Saturday, December 13, 2014

Penguins 29 Preview - @ Columbus Blue Jackets


 Columbus Blue Jackets

7:00 p.m., Nationwide Arena, Columbus, OH 

The Last Penguins Game
December 12, 2014 - Pittsburgh 3, Calgary 1


Probables

Pittsburgh (19 -6-3) [via Dailyfaceoff]

Forwards
Nick Spaling - Sidney Crosby - Patric Hornqvist
Evgeni Malkin - Brandon Sutter - Blake Comeau
Rob Klinkhammer - Marcel Goc - Steve Downie
Zach Sill - Andrew Ebbett - Craig Adams

Defense
Paul Martin - Kris Letang
Christian Ehrhoff - Robert Bortuzzo
Rob Scuderi - Simon Despres

Goaltender
Thomas Greiss

Columbus (11-15-2) [via Dailyfaceoff]

Forwards
Boone Jenner - Ryan Johansen - Jack Skille
Matt Calvert - Brandon Dubinsky - Cam Atkinson
Kerby Rychel - Nick Foligno - Brian Gibbons
Corey Tropp - Michael Chaput - Jared Boll

Defense
Jack Johnson - David Savard
Jordan Leopold - Dalton Prout
Kevin Connauton - James Wisniewski

Goaltender
Sergei Bobrovsky


Stats

Steelers Game 14 Preview - @ Atlanta Falcons

After a really dreadful performance against New Orleans the Steelers really came back in a big way against the Bengals. After a slow first quarter the offense picked up and put the Bengals away to let the Steelers control their own destiny in terms of winning the division.

The problem for the Steelers is that the Falcons are not a good team. I think we all know why that is a bad thing, because the Steelers seem to do a great job (so to speak) of playing down to competition. Look to further than games against Tampa Bay, New York, and Tennessee. The Falcons seem to have the talent but they never seem can put it together. The offense stacks up but the defense is just awful. The Steelers offense should feast on a defense like this but we have seen this story before.

The good news for the Steelers is that Julio Jones might play. The Steelers defense hasn't good good this season and there really isn't any reason to think they are going to get any better. Against the past they are very vulnerable as they rank only 31st in the league against the pass with a DVOA of 26.5% and with Jones having an outside chance of breaking the single season receiving mark things could have been bad. I mean he still could play but for the Steelers sake here is hoping he decides to sit it out.

Anyways, lets look at the Falcons.

Here are the numbers for the Falcons offense:

The Falcons offense ranks 9th in the league with an overall DVOA of 10.6% that includes a passing game that is ranked 7th in the league (28.3% DVOA) while the rushing game ranks 15th (-6.2% DVOA)

Passing

Matt Ryan
Completions: 330
Attempts: 504
Completion %: 65.5%
Yards: 3,802
YPA: 7.5
TD: 25
INT: 11
DVOA: 15.5% (9th)
DYAR: 903 (7th)
QBR: 67.1 (10th)

Rushing

Steven Jackson
Attempts: 175
Yards: 652
Average: 3.7
Touchdowns: 6
DVOA: 2.2% (19th)
DYAR: 83 (18th)
Success Rate: 52% (7th)

Receiving

Julio Jones
Receptions: 93
Targets: 132
Yards: 1,428
Average: 15.4
Touchdowns: 6
DVOA: 13.9% (18th)
DYAR: 294 (8th)
Catch Rate: 63%

Roddy White
Receptions: 59
Targets: 85
Yards: 704
Average: 11.9
Touchdowns: 6
DVOA: 5.1 (34th)
DYAR: 136 (26th)
Catch Rate: 63%

Devin Hester
Receptions: 27
Targets: 42
Yards:  362
Average: 13.4
Touchdowns: 1
DVOA: -16.6%
DYAR: -13
Catch Rate: 61%

Offensive Line
Adjusted Line Yards: 4.05 (12th)
Power Success: 73% (7th)
Stuffed %: 20% (18th)

Rushing Frequency:
Left End: 13% (3.02 ALY, 26th)
Left Tackle: 14% (4.56 ALY, 4th)
Middle/Guard: 44% (4.59 ALY, 2nd)
Right Tackle: 14% (4.33 ALY, 11th)
Right End: 14% (2.54 ALY, 29th)

Here is a look at the Falcons defense. They rank 32nd overall in terms of DVOA at 16.2% while they rank 30th in pass defense (26.5%) and 31st in rushing defense (3.9%).

Here are some of the statistical leaders for the defense:

Paul Worrilow
Total Tackles: 116
Solo Tackles: 70
Sacks: 2.0
Passes Defended: 1
Interceptions: 0

Kemal Ishmael
Total Tackles: 78
Solo Tackles: 53
Sacks: 0.0
Passes Defended: 6
Interceptions: 4

Kroy Biermann
Total Tackles: 65
Solo Tackles: 39
Sacks: 3.5
Passes Defended: 3
Interceptions: 0

Desmond Trufant
Total Tackles: 49
Solo Tackles: 42
Sacks: 0.0
Passes Defended: 14
Interceptions: 2

Dwight Lowery
Total Tackles: 68
Solo Tackles: 51
Sacks: 0.0
Passes Defended: 5
Interceptions: 2

Here is a look at the Falcons special teams

Kicking

Matt Bryant
Field Goals Attempted: 26
Field Goals Made: 23
Long: 54
1-19: 0-0
20-29: 7-7
30-39: 3-3
40-49: 7-7
50+: 6-9
Extra Points: 35-35

Punting

Matt Bosher
Punts: 54
Yards: 2,452
Average: 45.4
Long: 66
Inside 20: 18
Touchback: 4
Fair Catch: 22
Average Return Against: 9.6

Returns

Devin Hester
Kick Return Attempts: 37
Kick Return Yards: 891
Kick Return Average: 24.1
Kick Return Long: 48
Kick Return TD: 0
Punt Return Attempts: 15
Punt Return Yards: 231
Punt Return Average: 15.4
Punt Return Long: 68
Punt Return TD: 1

Prediction: Steelers 31, Falcons 21

Friday, December 12, 2014

Penguins Game 28 Preview - vs. Calgary Flames


Calgary Flames


1:00 p.m., CONSOL Energy Center, Pittsburgh, PA

The Last Penguins Game
December 8, 2014 - New York 4, Pittsburgh 3 (OT)


Probables

Pittsburgh (18-6-3) [via Dailyfaceoff]

Forwards
Nick Spaling - Sidney Crosby - Patric Hornqvist
Evgeni Malkin - Brandon Sutter - Blake Comeau
Rob Klinkhammer - Marcel Goc - Steve Downie
Zach Sill - Andrew Ebbett - Craig Adams

Defense
Paul Martin - Kris Letang
Christian Ehrhoff - Robert Bortuzzo
Rob Scuderi - Simon Despres

Goaltender
Marc-Andre Fleury

Calgary (17-11-2) [via Dailyfaceoff]

Forwards
Joe Colborne - Sean Monahan - Paul Byron
Johnny Gaudreau - Josh Jooris - Jiri Hudler
Curtis Glencross - Markus Granlund - David Jones
Brandon Bollig - Lance Bouma - Mason Raymond

Defense
Mark Giordano - T.J. Brodie
Kris Russell - Dennis Wideman
Raphael Diaz - Deryk Engelland

Goaltender
Jonas Hiller


Stats

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Penguins Game 26 Preview - vs. Ottawa Senators

Ottawa Senators

1:00 p.m., CONSOL Energy Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The Last Penguins Game
December 4, 2014 - Vancouver 3, Pittsburgh 0


Probables

Pittsburgh (17-6-2) [via Dailyfaceoff]

Forwards
Nick Spaling - Sidney Crosby - Jayson Megna
Marcel Goc - Evgeni Malkin - Blake Comeau
Bryan Rust - Brandon Sutter - Steve Downie
Zach Sill - Andrew Ebbett - Craig Adams

Defense
Olli Maatta - Christian Ehrhoff
Brian Dumoulin - Paul Martin
Rob Scuderi - Simon Despres

Goaltender
Marc-Andre Fleury

Ottawa (10-10-5) [via Dailyfaceoff]

Forwards
Clarke MacArthur - Kyle Turris - Mark Stone
Mike Hoffman - Mika Zibanejad - Bobby Ryan
Erik Condra - David Legwand - Chris Neil
Milan Michalek - Curtis Lazar - Alex Chiasson

Defense
Chris Phillips - Erik Karlsson
Marc Methot - Cody Ceci
Mark Borowiecki - Eric Gryba

Goaltender
Craig Anderson


Stats

Steelers Game 13 Preview - @ Cincinnati Bengals

The Steelers really laid an egg last week against New Orleans. While it was a dreadful game to watch as a fan in the overall feel of the season it is about par for the course. The good thing is that the rest of the division was pretty awful last week and while the Bengals won and still control first place in the division the Steelers have two games remaining against them so in essence they control their own destiny. That destiny begins on Sunday with the first of two meets against the Bengals over the last five games.

The Bengals have been like the Steelers with an up and down season that even includes a tie. While Andy Dalton got a big contract he has pretty the definition of average and while their offensive stars like A.J. Green getting hurt and missing time and top running back Giovani Bernard missing games with injuries they have still found a way to win five of their last six games.

Lets look at the Bengals.

Here are the numbers for the Bengals offense:

The Bengals offense ranks 15th in the league with an overall DVOA of -2.5% that includes a passing game that is ranked 20th in the league (8.2% DVOA) while the rushing game ranks 21st (-4.8% DVOA)

Passing

Andy Dalton
Completions: 230
Attempts: 365
Completion %: 63%
Yards: 2,589
YPA: 7.1
TD: 13
INT: 13
DVOA: -5.4% (27th)
DYAR: 138 (24th)
QBR: 53.5 (24th)

Rushing

Jeremy Hill
Attempts: 144
Yards: 683
Average: 4.7
Touchdowns: 6
DVOA: 8.0% (11th)
DYAR: 103 (10th)
Success Rate: 56% (4th)

Giovani Bernard
Attempts: 136
Yards: 540
Average: 4.0
Touchdowns: 5
DVOA: -10.7% (26th)
DYAR: -12 (26th)
Success Rate: 40% (29th)

Receiving

Mohamed Sanu
Receptions: 51
Targets: 89
Yards: 738
Average: 14.5
Touchdowns: 5
DVOA: -1.7% (37th)
DYAR: 77 (37th)
Catch Rate: 57%

A.J. Green
Receptions: 45
Targets: 73
Yards: 686
Average: 15.2
Touchdowns: 5
DVOA: 13.2% (20th)
DYAR: 152 (22nd)
Catch Rate: 62%

Jermaine Gresham
Receptions: 47
Targets: 62
Yards:  355
Average: 7.6
Touchdowns: 2
DVOA: -28.0% (35th among TE)
DYAR: -82 (40th among TE)
Catch Rate: 76%

Offensive Line
Adjusted Line Yards: 3.90 (19th)
Power Success: 69% (10th)
Stuffed %: 16% (6th)

Rushing Frequency:
Left End: 11% (3.93 ALY, 13th)
Left Tackle: 13% (3.01 ALY, 31st)
Middle/Guard: 55% (3.93 ALY, 21st)
Right Tackle: 13% (4.67 ALY, 4th)
Right End: 8% (3.81 ALY, 16th)

Here is a look at the Bengals Defense. They rank 17th overall in terms of DVOA at 0.7% while they rank 9th in pass defense (-1.5%) and 32nd in rushing defense (3.2%).

Here are some of the statistical leaders for the defense:

Emmanuel Lamur
Total Tackles: 84
Solo Tackles: 49
Sacks: 0.0
Passes Defended: 7
Interceptions: 2

Vincent Rey
Total Tackles: 82
Solo Tackles: 41
Sacks: 0.0
Passes Defended: 3
Interceptions: 0

Carlos Dunlap
Total Tackles: 52
Solo Tackles: 32
Sacks: 6.0
Passes Defended: 3
Interceptions: 0

Reggie Nelson
Total Tackles: 78
Solo Tackles: 50
Sacks: 1.5
Passes Defended: 9
Interceptions: 2

George Iloka
Total Tackles: 56
Solo Tackles: 38
Sacks: 0.0
Passes Defended: 9
Interceptions: 3

Here is a look at the Bengals special teams

Kicking

Mike Nugent
Field Goals Attempted: 25
Field Goals Made: 19
Long: 49
1-19: 0-0
20-29: 5-5
30-39: 7-9
40-49: 7-9
50+: 0-2
Extra Points: 27-27

Punting

Kevin Huber
Punts: 56
Yards: 2,661
Average: 47.5
Long: 69
Inside 20: 24
Touchback: 4
Fair Catch: 12
Average Return Against: 5.2

Returns

Adam Jones
Kick Return Attempts: 19
Kick Return Yards: 596
Kick Return Average: 31.4
Kick Return Long: 97
Kick Return TD: 0
Punt Return Attempts: 19
Punt Return Yards: 223
Punt Return Average: 11.7
Punt Return Long: 47
Punt Return TD: 0

Prediction: Steelers 24, Bengals 21

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Penguins Game 23 Preview - @ Carolina Hurricanes

Carolina Hurricanes

7:00 p.m., PNC Arena, Raleigh, North Carolina

The Last Penguins Game
November 28, 2014 - Carolina 4, Pittsburgh 2


Probables

Pittsburgh (15-5-2) [via Dailyfaceoff]

Forwards
Nick Spaling - Sidney Crosby - Patric Hornqvist
Chris Kunitz - Evgeni Malkin - Blake Comeau
Jayson Megna - Brandon Sutter - Steve Downie
Zach Sill - Marcel Goc - Craig Adams

Defense
Paul Martin - Kris Letang
Olli Maatta - Christian Ehrhoff
Rob Scuderi - Simon Despres

Goaltender
Thomas Greiss

Carolina (7-12-3) [via Dailyfaceoff]

Forwards
Jiri Tlusty - Eric Staal - Alexander Semin
Nathan Gerbe - Riley Nash - Elias Lindholm
Jeff Skinner - Victor Rask - Andrej Nestrasil
Zach Boychuk - Jay McClement - Pat Dwyer

Defense
Andrej Sekera - Justin Faulk
John-Michael Liles - Ron Hainsey
Tim Gleason - Michal Jordan

Goaltender
Anton Khudobin


Season Series (Carolina leads 1-0)

November 28, 2014 - Carolina 4, Pittsburgh 2




Stats

Steelers Game 12 Preview - vs. New Orleans Saints

The Steelers are coming off a bye week in a division that is as close as any in football. Every team in the AFC North has seven wins and it is going to be a sprint to the finish starting this week. The Saints are coming into town and in years past that would have been a terrifying thing. That isn't to say they aren't a good team, in some respects, but they have struggled in a huge way.

While the Steelers are in a stacked division the Saints are part of just a brutal NFC South where the Atlanta Falcons are tied with the Saints for the division lead with a 4-7 record. Woof. Tampa Bay is only two games out of the division lead and they are just awful. The Saints are a weird team because they continue to have an outstanding offense but the defense has just been dreadful this year. It is fun to see that defense become awful if only because Rob Ryan is the leader of it.

Should be an interesting game.

Lets look at the Saints.

Here are the numbers for the Saints offense:

The Saints offense ranks 6th in the league with an overall DVOA of 14.1% that includes a passing game that is ranked 8th in the league (27.8% DVOA) while the rushing game ranks 9th (1.3% DVOA)

Passing

Drew Brees
Completions: 325
Attempts: 462
Completion %: 70.3%
Yards: 3,491
YPA: 7.6
TD: 22
INT: 11
DVOA: 20.6% (6th)
DYAR: 1,009 (3rd)
QBR: 72.8 (6th)

Rushing

Mark Ingram
Attempts: 149
Yards: 645
Average: 4.3
Touchdowns: 6
DVOA: 3.4% (16th)
DYAR: 78 (15th)
Success Rate: 53% (6th)

Receiving

Jimmy Graham
Receptions: 65
Targets: 87
Yards: 670
Average: 10.3
Touchdowns: 9
DVOA: 22.6% (8th among TE)
DYAR: 184 (2nd among TE)
Catch Rate: 74%

Marques Colston
Receptions: 38
Targets: 64
Yards: 618
Average: 16.3
Touchdowns: 2
DVOA:
DYAR:
Catch Rate:

Kenny Stills
Receptions: 39
Targets: 51
Yards:  529
Average: 13.6
Touchdowns: 2
DVOA: 25.9% (7th)
DYAR: 157 (17th)
Catch Rate: 76%

Offensive Line
Adjusted Line Yards: 4.43 (2nd)
Power Success: 82% (4th)
Stuffed %: 16% (5th)

Rushing Frequency:
Left End: 17% (4.50 ALY, 8th)
Left Tackle: 15% (4.26 ALY, 9th)
Middle/Guard: 40% (4.77 ALY, 1st)
Right Tackle: 18% (4.49 ALY, 7th)
Right End: 10% (3.14 ALY, 23rd)

Here is a look at the Saints Defense. They rank 31st overall in terms of DVOA at 14.1% while they rank 30th in pass defense (23.1%) and 31st in rushing defense (3.9%).

Here are some of the statistical leaders for the defense:

Curtis Lofton
Total Tackles: 100
Solo Tackles: 69
Sacks: 0.0
Passes Defended: 1
Interceptions: 0

Rafael Bush
Total Tackles: 55
Solo Tackles: 44
Sacks: 0.0
Passes Defended: 3
Interceptions: 0

Junior Galette
Total Tackles: 35
Solo Tackles: 25
Sacks: 7.0
Passes Defended: 2
Interceptions: 0

Cameron Jordan
Total Tackles: 33
Solo Tackles: 25
Sacks: 5.0
Passes Defended: 3
Interceptions: 0

Corey White
Total Tackles: 45
Solo Tackles: 42
Sacks: 1.0
Passes Defended: 6
Interceptions: 2

Here is a look at the Saints special teams

Kicking

Shayne Graham
Field Goals Attempted: 18
Field Goals Made: 17
Long: 50
1-19: 0-0
20-29: 5-5
30-39: 8-8
40-49: 3-4
50+: 1-1
Extra Points: 31-32

Punting

Thomas Morstead
Punts: 35
Yards: 1,606
Average: 45.9
Long: 61
Inside 20: 13
Touchback: 3
Fair Catch: 9
Average Return Against: 2.9

Returns

Travaris Cadet
Kick Return Attempts: 11
Kick Return Yards: 261
Kick Return Average: 23.7
Kick Return Long: 34
Kick Return TD: 0

Brandin Cooks
Punt Return Attempts: 10
Punt Return Yards: 35
Punt Return Average: 3.5
Punt Return Long: 15
Punt Return TD: 0

Prediction: Saints 34, Steelers 27