M!KEDROP MORNINGS – Throw Up The X

Steelers vs Panthers – ThrowbackThursday

Steelers lead all-time series against Panthers 5-1; Carolina franchise has only existed since 1995, so being in different conferences they only play every four years. The Panthers won the first ever meeting in 1996 and Steelers have won 5 straight since.

That 1996 game, in week 17 of the Panthers won 18-14 and would go on to finish the regular season 12-4. QB Kerry Collins went 21-39 for 166 yards and a TD pass to WR Wesley Walls. Steelers QB Kordell Stewart was awful throwing the ball, and finished with a QB Rating under 10% (9.5). He completed 8 of 21 passes, took 2 sacks, threw 2 INT. only threw for only 77 yards. The good news for him is he did run 7 times for 102 yards and a TD.

Steelers won the last meeting in week 4 of the 2014 season, winning 37-19. Ben Roethlisberger was 22-30 and threw 2 TD, both to Antonio Brown. The running game carried Pittsburgh as RBs LeVeon Bell (remember him?!) ran for 146 yards and LeGarrette Blount ran for 118 yards on just 10 carries.

Entering Thursday night, the Panthers are playing outstanding football at 6-2 and the Steelers have won 4 in a row and are 5-2-1.

Throw Up the X

Good for Dez Bryant, who signed with the Saints on Wednesday. Bryant can have a big impact on the Saints offense. For starters, all of the criticisms against him in Dallas won’t matter in New Orleans. He is in no way shape or form, their #1 wideout nor their top option. For the “he can’t run routes crowd” I have much more faith in Sean Payton and Drew Brees abilities to get Dez involved rather than the Dallas coaching staff. And the truth is, Dez doesn’t have to run a ton of routes. He should be utilized in the red zone, as a big bodied receiver. Throw him a fade on first down and let him out jump the defender. It simply adds another diminesion to the offense because you have to respect him in the end zone but does that take away attention from Michael Thomas? Or draw your focus away from the backfield allowing Alvin Kamara to be set free? Bryan’t impact goes much deeper than simple stats in this case. He will be able to further improve an already dynamic offense with his presence.

NBA Recap

  • Lakers beat the Wolves 114-110. Lebron James was one assist shy of a triple double (24/10/9) and newly signed center Tyson Chandler wasted no time getting into it with 9 rebounds in 22 minutes.
  • Cavs lost to the Thunder, falling to 1-10. For OKC, with Russell Westbrook out, guard Dennis Schroder stepped up big, leading the team with 28 points on 11-19 shooting.
  • Heat beat the Spurs 95-88 in an exciting game. It’s amazing how good Heat center Hassan Whiteside can be when he wants to be – he had 29 points and 20 rebounds. For the Spurs, not enough good things have been said about Demar Derozan (maybe because of how good the Raptors have been with Kawhi), but Derozan was 2 assists shy of a triple double, finishing with 18 points, 14 rebounds, 8 assists. His assist numbers are insane this year as Greg Popovich continues to prove his GOAT-like abilities as a head cocach.
  • Speaking of Toronto, Raptors beat the Kings to improve to 11-1. There’s talk of them getting involved in the Jimmy Butler sweepstakes. I’m not sure what they have to give (OG Anunoby?) but boy, if they got him to pair with Lowry and Leonard it might be over in the east. Sorry, Celtics.
  • Victor Oladipo is an absolute star and needs to be treated like one. He had 36 points on 30 shots and also 6 rebounds, 7 assists as the Pacers lost to the Sixers, in a rare road win for Philly.

LOL Moment of te Day

This is from Tuesday night after Virginia’s opening night victory.

Quote of the Day

Apparently Eagles center Jason Kelce is a not a big Dallas Cowboys fan – “A lot of fair weather people from across the country that just kind of fell in love because they’re winners instead of having any type of emotional connection to the team whatsoever.”

Kenyon Martin’s Return

Cincinnati hosted Ohio State in basketball for the first time in 98 years. Kenyon Martin returned to the Bearcats new home and performed the ceremonial first dunk. Turns out he’s still got it. Bearcats definitely could have used this type of offense yesterday in the loss.

What to Watch For

  • NFL – Steelers vs Panthers
  • College Football – Wake Forest vs NC State – Wolfpack still have a shot at a New Year’s Six bowl game and must keep winning to make that a reality
  • NBA – Rockets vs Thunder – a little Carmelo Anthony reunion in OKC? Rockets undrafted rookie Gary Clark is a player to keep an eye on n this game; Bucks vs Warriors – Milwaukee is 9-2 and Warriors are 10-1, this game is on TNT at 10:30 and should be an exciting test for the young Bucks
  • No top 25 teams or major conference vs major conference games in college basketball tonight

Be sure to listen to my latest podcast – a poetic preview of college football week 11

 

About Mike Schneid 283 Articles
University of Cincinnati alum. Became an LA Kings fan through marriage. Fan of Knicks, Mets, Kings, Cowboys, Cincinnati

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