Ben Roethlisberger Strikes Out, Le’Veon Bell Romps in Steelers-Chiefs Game Ball Poll

The results of the game ball polling from the Steelers win over the Chiefs are in, and no Ph.D in advanced meta statistics are needed to interpret the results.

Le'Veon Bell, Steelers vs Cheifs, Le'Veon Bell Arrowhead

Le’Veon Bell dominated the Chiefs in the Steelers 2017 win at Arrowhead. Photo Credit:

As you can see, Le’Veon Bell was the run away favorite in the voting, followed by Antonio Brown.

Steelers vs Chiefs, Steelers Chiefs Game Ball, Le'Veon BellReally, if you look at the quality of play of both Number 26 and Number 84 its hard to dispute the result. The fact that Ben Roethlisberger got shut out in the voting is perhaps a surprise, although your truly would like to believe that this reveals the sophistication of this site’s readership.

  • Quarterbacks often get too much credit when a team wins, and too much blame when they lose.

Ben Roethlisberger DID play a better game against the Chiefs than he has played for much of the season thus far, but the fact remains that his still below par for a franchise quarterback. Ben Roethlisberger got extremely lucky on the touchdown pass to Antonio Brown, and he must bear some responsibility for the Steelers 3rd down struggles.

  • Beyond that it was slim picking for the Steelers offense in the game ball poll.

JuJu Smith-Schuster found no love. Nor did Vance McDonald find any love. McDonald might have only made one catch, but it was his first as a Steeler, and a very important one at that. While the defense drew a number of write ins, only David DeCastro got a nod, although 5 other voters followed suit. Perhaps the entire offensive line deserved a ballot position, as the unit played its best game of the season.

Its hard to argue against a game ball for Deboo, and yours truly is NOT inclined to do so. But we will argue that Vince Williams deserved more love, as he was a one-man wrecking crew until he left the game with an injury. Its also a bit surprising that Sean Davis found no love until the very last day of the poll, and then he only pulled down one vote.

Sean Davis had a phenomenal day and, all respect intended for the late game heroics of Cameron Heyward and James Harrison in bringing Alex Smith down, his play in the end zone was arguably the most important defensive play of the game.

As always, Steel Curtain Rising thanks everyone who took out time to vote and/or submit their write-in choices.


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Byrant & Heyward Lock in Dead Heat in Steelers-Vikings Poll

There wasn’t alot of drama behind the Steelers-Vikings game ball voting, as it came down to a tale of two studs on each side of the ball.

Martavis Bryant, Cameron Heyward, Steelers vs Broncos,

Martavis Byrant high fives Cam Heyward in the Steelers 2016 playoff loss to Denver. Photo Credit: David Zalubowski, AP via Pro Football Weekly

Cameron Heyward and Martavis Bryant ended the poll deadlocked with 12 votes a piece.Steelers Vikings Game ball results, Martavis Bryant, Cameron Heyward

Credit the citizens of Steelers Nation for being smarter than the proverbial average bear on this one. Support for Martavis Bryant is obvious here, factor in the pass interference penalties and as Bryant’s 3 catch, 91 yard efforts in the Steelers win over the Vikings broaches the level of being dominant.

Things with Cam Heyward aren’t so clear. In an age when the fantasty football mentality dominates too many fans, Heyward’s effort against the Vikings looks rather ho hum, as it is absent “Splash” plays to speak of. But Heyward dominated against the Vikings, stopping several runs at the line of scrimmage, and disrupting their running game consistently by rerouting runners.

  • After that, referee Eddie Morelli was the next highest vote getter with four, followed by 3 for Chris Boswell.

Boswell scored 14 points in the game, giving the Steelers all but 3 of their margin of victory so its a tad bit surprising that he didn’t do better. Ben Roethlisberger also earned 3 votes as did Eli Rogers. Ryan Shazier polled two votes while Bud Dupree got one.

That’s a bit surprising. Tyler Matakevich had his second big special teams play in as many weeks while Vince Williams had a big game on the inside and helped cut off the middle of the field for the Vikings – Williams has come a long way since his first start in the disastrous London Loss to the Vikings.

Mike Hilton, who had a strong game, earned a write-in vote, as did James Harrison who didn’t take a snap. Thanks again to all how voted.

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Vote Steelers Game Ball Winners for Victory over Vikings

Its that time again Steelers Nation. While they might not have earned any style points, the Pittsburgh Steelers pulled out a 26 to 9 win over the Minnesota Vikings, giving themselves 2-0 start to the 2017 season, and a victory in their home opener on a day that was dedicated to the late Dan Rooney.

Steelers vs Vikings, Steelers game balls vikings, Bud Dupree, Anthony Chickillo

Bud Dupree celebrates his first sack of 2017 as Anthony Chickillo looks on. Photo Credit: Chaz Palla, Pittsburgh Tribune Review

Here’s how the results panned out:

Steelers Vikings Game ball results, Martavis Bryant, Cameron Heyward

Martavis Bryant, who scored the Steelers first touchdown and authored its biggest play of the day wins the first slot on the ball, followed by Chris Boswell, who accounted for all of the Steelers offense following Pittsburgh’s 14-0 start. Referee Eddie Morelli’s also gets a (sort of) tongue and cheek nod, given that two pass interference calls set up the Steelers only two touchdowns, while they were generally penalizing someone on every other play.

Ben Roethlisberger also earns a slot. While this wasn’t a marquee game for Number 7 by any stretch of the imagination he did settle down in the second half and got the chains moving, although he wasn’t able to direct the Steelers into the end zone. Antonio Brown also gets a nod, because well, because he made some tough catches.

  • JuJu Smith-Schuster scored a touchdown on his first NFL touch — you can’t argue for a much better start than that.

On defense, Vince Williams leads the ballot, for recording a sack and being around the ball. Bud Dupree, who also registered a sack also gets a nod, as does Cam Heyward, who might not have made any fantasy owners happy, but was his usual disruptive self. Ryan Shazier wins a ballot slot, after another strong afternoon, as does Tyler Matakevich who made his second big special teams play in as many weeks.

  • Remember, however, this is YOUR Steelers game ball poll, and you are by no means limited to these choices.

Think that Le’Veon Bell deserves a game ball? Write his name in. Ditto Jesse James. Think that Sean Davis and/or Mike Hilton, T.J. Watt or perhaps Anthony Chickillo deserve deserve game balls? Then write their names in, or better yet, write their names in and state your case in the comments section.

Thanks  for voting. Be sure and check out Steel Curtain Rising’s full analysis of the Steelers win over the Vikings.

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Le’Veon Bell Leads in Dolphins Win Game Ball Voting with Silverback in Pursuit

To no one’s great surprise, Le’Veon Bell topped the rest of the Steelers Killer Bees in the game ball voting for the Steelers Wild Card victory over the Dolphins.

steelers vs. dolphins, steelers dolphins wild card game, steelers dolphins game ballsThat’s the kind of thing that happens when you make your playoff debut by setting Steelers records in one game that neither Franco Harris, nor Jerome Bettis, nor Willie Parker nor Rocky Bleier could top in their collective 58 playoff games.

James Harrison came in second in the voting earning 29 votes, which also is not surprising given his role in completely neutralizing the Miami Dolphins rushing attack. Next came Antonio Brown, who himself had a record setting day with his two touchdown performance that was good enough to earn him 17 votes.

  • Bud Dupree was the next highest individual vote getter, grabbing 14 votes, or one more than the Steelers offensive line, which was a write in vote.

Ben Roethlisberer was the only other player to reach double digits, reaching 10 votes. Ryan Shazier got close with 9 votes, followed by Lawrence Timmons with 7, and Stephon Tuitt who got 6. Jesse James got 2 votes, as did a write in favoring Danny Smith’s dismissal, followed by 1 vote for Mike Mitchell.

  • The write in success of the Steelers offensive line deserves to be commended.

The synergy between Le’Veon Bell and his offensive line is something truly incredible, and truly special. With that said however, the lukewarm support enjoyed by Stephon Tuitt and Mike Mitchell is perhaps a surprise, but this poll is about what you readers think, not about what yours truly thinks.

As always, Steel Curtain Rising thanks everyone who took out time to vote. Now its on to Kansas City!


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Speak Out Steelers Nation: Vote Steelers Game Ball Winners for Wild Card Win over Dolphins

The Steelers beat the Miami Dolphins in the AFC Wild Card 30 to 12 and as we always do here at Steel Curtain Rising, we invite you the readers to vote Steelers game ball winners.

Steelers Dolphins wild card, Stephon Tuitt Matt Moore, Stephon Tuitt, Matt Moore, Steelers Dolphins game ball winners

Stephon Tuitt corrals Matt Moore in Steelers 30-12 playoff win over Dolphins. Photo Credit: Chaz Palla, Tribune Review

Lead the ballot for the offense is Le’Veon Bell. No explanation needed here. If you’re a Steelers running back who breaks Franco Harris post-season single game rushing record in your first playoff game, you’re nominated for a game ball.

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After that, we have Antonio Brown, who scored his first 2 post season touchdown, and led Steelers receivers 5 catches for 124 yards. Ben Roethlisberger also gets a nod with his 13 of 18 passing with 197 yards and two touchdowns. After that we’ll nominate Jesse James, whose numbers won’t make fantasy owners happy, but game up big with block and in saving an interception.

On defense, Lawrence Timmons leads the balloting as he led the Steelers in tackles and sacked Matt Moore two times. James Harrison has the next ballot position, who was instrumental in shutting down Jay Ajayi.

Ryan Shazier gets the next nod, as he was all over the field and snuffed out a drive with an interception. Another player who was all over the field was Mike Mitchell, who had a sack and seemed to be in on every play.

  • Bud Dupree also gets the next defensive ballot slot, for his sack.

Rounding out the defensive ballot-place holders is Stephon Tuitt. Stephon Tuitt might have “only” had 4 tackles, but he led the defensive line, which completely shut down Miami’s running game.

Remember, Writings Not Only Allowed, but Encouraged

Remember, this poll is about who you think deserves to win a game ball, not about what I think. So if you think that Ross Cockrell, who had a solid game, deserves a game ball, write his name in. If you think that Sean Davis or Javon Hargrave deserves one, take a moment to write their names in.

  • Better yet, write their names in and leave a comment stating your case.

Thanks for taking time out to vote, and please remember to come back later for our full analysis of the Steelers playoff win over the Dolphins.

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Vote Now Steelers Nation: Steelers Game Ball Winners for Christmas Win over Baltimore

Wow! What a game. On Christmas Day 2016 the Pittsburgh Steelers snapped a 4 game losing streak to the Baltimore Ravens on the heels of a heroic, furious 4th quarter comeback that saw the lead change twice as Steelers score 3 touchdowns. As we always do after a Steelers win, we invite you, the citizens of Steelers Nation to vote game ball winners.

Earning the top ballot slot is Antonio Brown, who was quiet for most of the game, but came alive in the fourth quarter making a number of tremendous catches, including the game winner.

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Behind Brown, you have Le’Veon Bell who also had an impressive game rushing for 122 yards who also came on strong in the 4th quarter. Ben Roethlisberger, who did throw two interceptions, never lost his composure, as he threw 3 touchdown passes including two strikes in the end zone in the 4th quarter.

Xavier Grimble also gets a ballot slot, for his early touchdown that put the Steelers ahead at the beginning of the game. And we’re also giving the Steelers offensive line a slot on the ballot, who did not allow a sack, and opened the lanes for Le’Veon Bell.

James Harrison leads the balloting on defense, as he ran for led the team in tackles. Lawrence Timmons is next, as he was second in tackles, and brought Joe Flacco down early on a critical 3rd down. Ryan Shazier is next, as he recorded 10 tackles and also had a last minute interception. Bud Dupree also gets a slot on the ballot, due to his sack of Joe Flacco.

  • Finally, my wife Alejandra gets a ballot slot.

Due to the Christmas celebrations down here in Argentina yours truly needed to watch the game on tape delay. My wife knew the result, but didn’t let on in the slightest, all the way until the end.

Remember, You Can Write in Your Game Ball Choices

This Steelers game ball winner poll isn’t about who I think should get game balls, its about who you think should get game balls. Both William Gay and Sean Davis had strong games – if you think they deserve a game ball, write their names in.

A case could also be made for Jesse James and Chris Boswell. Again, write in their names if you think they deserve a game ball. Better yet, write in their names and leave a comment stating your case.

Please be sure to check back later for our full analysis of the Steelers AFC North clinching win over the Baltimore Ravens.

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He Boots It! Chris Boswell Dominates Game Ball Voting for Bengals Win

Boswell boots it! The game ball voting for the Pittsburgh Steelers win over the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium was perhaps as lopsided as it has ever been, with Chris Boswell dominating the balloting.

Chris Boswell, Chris Boswell six field goals

Chris Boswell kicks 1 of his six field goal during the Steelers win over the Bengals. Photo Credit:

Chris Boswell’s strong performance in the game ball polling is hardly a surprise, given his 18 points, several of them coming on long field goals, and his shoe string tackle of Alex Erickson. But no on expected such a landslide result.Chris Boswell, Steelers Bengals Game ball winner polls

After Boswell, James Harrison, Eli Rogers, and Lawrence Timmons were the next highest vote getters with each earning 3 votes a piece. They were followed by Ben Roethlisberger, Ryan Shazier and Ross Cockrell who each earned one vote. However, Artie Burns, Le’Veon Bell, Antonio Brown, and Ladarius Green were shut out of the voting completely.

  • This has to count as a surprise.

None of these players had monster games, but all made important contributions to the win.

Tackle Edges Out the Six Field Goals

The Steelers game ball winners were the only poll we conducted here on Steel Curtain Rising. Our writer Tony Defeo raised the question as to whether Chris Boswell’s 6 field goals or his tackle was more important to the outcome of the game.

Armed with his essay, we took to Twitter to ask Steelers Nation what they thought. Here are the results:

By a bare margin of 2 percentage points, the fans have selected Chris Boswell’s tackle as the bigger play.

  • That’s a razor thin margin indicative of the chicken-egg nature of this question.

Chris Boswell scored 18 points, which is the equivalent of DeAngelo Williams or Darrius Heyward-Bey scoring three touchdowns. Yet his tackle prevented a touchdown on a drive where the Steelers defense held the Bengals to a field goal. That’s a 4 point differential in a game decided by 4.

Homer J. makes a strong case for the six field goals being more important over on Going Deep: An Introspective Steelers site. Regardless, we thank everyone who voted in this week’s polls.

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Vote Steelers Game Ball Winners for Victory over Bengals

The Pittsburgh Steelers 24-20 win over the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium gave the men in Black and Gold their 5 straight victory in as many weeks. Which beyond keeping the Steelers a step ahead of the Baltimore Ravens , it also gives this corner of Steelers Nation their 5th straight opportunity to vote Steelers game ball winners.

Eli Rogers, 2016 Steelers vs. Bengals,

Eli Rogers touchdown puts the Steelers ahead of the Bengals. Photo Credit: Chaz Palla, Tribune Review

It is no secret why Chris Boswell earns top billing on the ballot after knocking in 6 straight field goals tying the franchise record held by Jeff Reed and Gary Anderson.

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After that, you have Ben Roethlisberger, who while certainly did not have a dominant performance during the game against the Bengals, protected the ball, and got the Steelers ahead in the 4th quarter with a precision strike to Eli Rogers, another player earning a ballot slot who led the Steelers receivers.

Le’Veon Bell likewise didn’t enjoy the same success he has enjoyed for the last several weeks, but he finished just shy of 100 yards rushing, with 93 and added 38 through the air. Antonio Brown, had a quiet day, also earns a ballot slot. Even if number 84’s catch count was down, Brown came down with balls when the Steelers needed him to.

  • Ladarius Green rounds out the Steelers offensive players with game ball ballot slots, due to his 5 catch 72 yard performance.

On defense, Lawrence Timmons lead the balloting, who came in second in tackles, and made an impressive interception to help turn momentum around for the Steelers. Ryan Shazier likewise gets the second ballot slot, thanks to his all-around sound play and notching.

  • James Harrison led the Steelers defense in tackles providing excellent run support, earning his ballot slot.

Both Ross Cockrell and Artie Burns nabbed ballot slots as both men made key third down pass defenses, although Burns pass interference in the end zone set up the Bengals first touchdown.

Write-In Candidates for Game Winners

Perhaps you think that Cobi Hamilton making a clutch catch should earn him a game ball. Good for you. Write in his name. Perhaps you think that Michael Mitchell or Sean Davis also deserve game balls for their play? By all means write in their names. Better yet, leave a comment stating your case.

Thanks in advance for voting. Please check back for our full analysis of the Steelers win over the Bengals.

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Steelers Smash Mouth Football Dominates Bills Game Ball Winner Voting

Steelers Smash Mouth “3 Yards and a Cloud of Dust” football reigns supreme in the game ball winner voting following Pittsburgh’s 27-20 win over the Buffalo Bills.

Le'Veon Bell, Roosevelt Nix, Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers vs. Bills

Le’Veon Bell rushes as Roosevelt Nix paves the way in Steelers 27-20 win over Bills. Photo Credit:

2016 Steelers vs. Bills, Steelers bills game ball winners, le'veon bell, roosevelt nix, steelers offensive line, bud dupreeAs expected, Le’Veon Bell was the top individual vote getter, pulling in a total of 19 votes between his ballot slot and the write in for #26 L.Bell. However, the second highest vote getter was for the Steelers offensive line who had 15 votes, and Roosevelt Nix came in with 14 votes of his own, quite an impressive showing in this age where the fullback is supposed to be a dying position.

  • Those three were the only vote getters on the offensive side of the ball.

Not surprisingly, Ben Roethlisberger didn’t get any votes on a day where he clearly struggled, but Antonio Brown also garnered zero votes. While Brown didn’t have a strong game statistically, he did make one field flipping catch that set up a touchdown, and he made a few shorter key catches that set up other scores.

Bud Dupree led the defensive voting with 9 votes, followed by Ryan Shazier who earned the support of 8 of our voters. Sean Davis was the next highest vote getter on defense netting 5 votes, and he was followed by Stephon Tuitt and a write in for the entire defensive line, who both got 4 votes a piece.

  • Artie Burns notched his third interception of the season, and that was good enough to earn him 3 game ball votes.

Another minor surprise comes on special teams, as Chris Boswell, who had a perfect day kicking in some horrendous conditions, yet only earned the support of one of our voters.

As always, Steel Curtain Rising thanks all of you who took time out to vote. Now it is on to the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium.


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Speak Out Steelers Nation: Vote Steelers Game Ball Winners for Bills Game

Its that time again Steelers Nation. For the fourth straight week invite this corner of Steelers Nation to vote Steelers game ball winners for the Steelers 27-10 win over the Buffalo Bills.

Le'Veony Bell, Maurkicey Pouncey, Steelers vs. Bills, Steelers game ball winners Bills

Le’Veony Bell and Maurkicey Pouncey during the Steelers 27-10 win over the Bills

As the question suggests, there is little doubt that Le’Veon Bell earned a game ball for his historic performance against the Buffalo Bills, that saw him run for a franchise record 236 yards and add 62 yards through the air. For those of you at home, Le’Veon Bell fell just 2 yards shy of 300 yards from scrimmage.

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Antonio Brown had a modest day by his standards, but still led the Steelers in catches, with 5 catches for 78 yards. Ben Roethlisberger had a rough day completing below 55% of his passes and throwing 3 picks, each one seemingly uglier than the last. It might seems strange to include Roethlisberger’s name on the ballot, but Ben did make some nice plays at key moments.

  • If you don’t think he deserves a game ball however, by all means vote with your silence.

Rounding out the offensive ballot positions are Roosevelt Nix and the entire Steelers offensive line.

On the defense, Ryan Shazier earns a ballot slot, as Number 50 had a monster game all around and played a key role in containing LeSean McCoy. So did Sean Davis, who likewise has a ballot slot. Bud Dupree showed that he can make an impact, dropping Tyrod Taylor twice.

Stephon Tuitt gets a ballot slot thanks to his overall strong performanceand the half sack he shared with Sean Davis. Finally, Artie Burns gets a nod, thanks in large part to his interception which obliterated any momentum the Bills might have gained from intercepting Ben Roethlisberger in the Red Zone.

  • Chris Boswell also earns a ballot slot for going 2-2 on field goals, and 3-3 on PAT’s in less than optimal conditions.

Remember, as always, you are not limited to these ballot choices. Think that David Johnson, William Gay and/or Ross Cockrell deserve a game ball for their play vs. the Bills? Write their names in and, better yet, leave a comment stating your case.

Thanks in advance for voting and click here for our full analysis of the Steelers win over the Bills.

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