The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Sports

December 22, 2013

SPORTVIEW: Steelers still have a chance at playoffs — LOL!

0PINION — THE PITTSBURGH Steelers are making a run for the playoffs. All they need is a strange course of events to happen and they are in.

Of course, they have to win their last two games to start with. And then various teams need to win or lose, making the odds something like winning the Powerball jackpot.

But like they say: “If you don’t play, you can’t win!” So the Steelers will play.

But will they win?

Even many Steelers fans have already given up on the season. Last week was the smallest home crowd in the 13-year history of Heinz Field with about 20,000 empty seats.

The Steelers face Green Bay and Cleveland in their final two games. And more importantly today, they face a Packers team which will be without the services of All-Pro quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

However, quarterback Matt Flynn replaced Rodgers last week and looked like the second coming of Brett Favre in rallying the Pack to a stunning victory over Dallas. He threw for 4 TDs in the second half.

Of course you have to consider that Dallas has no defense. And you have to consider that Cowboys’ QB Tony Romo has a propensity to throw interceptions at key times to cost his team ballgames.

Meanwhile, the Steelers appear to be much improved over the team that went 0-4 to start the season. The offensive line has jelled, Ben Roethlisberger is having a phenomenal year and the defense has made strides.

The oddsmakers don’t know what to do about a betting line on this one. There are too many question marks.

On paper you would have to favor the Steelers. However — and this is a big HOWEVER — this game is at Green Bay. Not an easy place to win.

Therefore I give the edge to the Packers who have loyal fans who will actually still fill the stadium. Green Bay, 28-24.

The Browns, meanwhile, continue to find ways to lose games they actually could win. The defense has bright moments, like two turnovers for TDs last week, then falls apart at key times and can’t stop touchdown drives.

Still, Cleveland is only a few players away from being a pretty good team and with a plethora of draft picks coming up, they could be heard from next year.

Today they play the Jets, who have been pathetic. The game is pretty much a toss-up. But because of New York’s offensive struggles, I can see Cleveland winning this one, 17-16.

Last week my picks went 6-8 for a season mark of 119-85. Following are the rest of this week’s predictions (betting line in parentheses just for fun):

Carolina (-3) over New Orleans

Dallas (-3) over Washington

Seattle (-101⁄2) over Arizona

Chicago (plus 3) over Philly

San Fran (-12) over Atlanta

Kansas City (-6) over Indy

Detroit (-9) over NY Giants

Denver (-101⁄2) over Houston

Jacksonville (plus 51⁄2) over Tennessee

Buffalo (plus 21⁄2) over Miami

St. Louis (-51⁄2) over Tampa

Cincy (-7) over Minnesota

Baltimore (-21⁄2) over New England

Lynn Saternow is sports editor of The Herald. He can be reached at lsaternow@sharonherald.com.

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  • Roundup: Trojans, Hounds win team titles at WM Invitational

    Wilmington High girls and Greenville boys dominated the annual Big Red Track & Field Invitational Thursday afternoon in West Middlesex.
    A half-dozen girls’ and 7 boys’ teams competed.
    Wilmington overwhelmed the female field, as the Lady Greyhounds garnered almost twice as many points as runner-up Lakeview (236-5 to 133.5).

    April 18, 2014

  • Aaron Webb Roundup: WM diamondmen edge Reynolds, 6-4

    ä West Middlesex 6, Reynolds 4 — At Transfer, the Big Reds snapped a 4-all tie by plating a run in the 4th inning and another in the 7th in a 2-run win over the Raiders.
    Mark Colella earned the mound win in a relief appearance for WM. No pitching stats were submitted.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Roundup: Hickory, Wilmington softball teams win

    Paced by Chelsea Marriott’s muscle, Hickory High hammered 4 home runs Saturday afternoon en route to a 19-1 rout of Sharon.
    At Wengler, Marriott mauled 2- and 3-run round-trippers to right-center and straightaway center field, respectively. Her Lady Hornets’ teammates Hannah Gallagher and Morgan McBride mustered 3-run bombs, also.

    April 13, 2014

  • Fired coach in Mankato unjustly accused of visiting porn sites

    Minnesota State University-Mankato officials wrongly accused former football coach Todd Hoffner of viewing pornography sites on his work  computer  before firing him last May, a state arbitrator has disclosed.

    April 11, 2014

  • Roundup: Hickory track coaches to step down following season

    Hickory High track & field co-head coaches Barb Dzuricsko and Mark Slezak announced they will step down at the season’s conclusion.
    Dzuricsko and Slezak, who led the Lady Hornets to the 2012 PIAA Class AA crown, jointly made the announcement via e-mail late Wednesday.

    April 11, 2014

  • Nikolo Lima Roundup: Devil diamondmen roll past Sharon

    An old-school baseball bromide states that, early in any season, pitching is always ahead of hitting. However Sharpsville shunned that axiom Wednesday afternoon.
    The Blue Devils banged 15 hits, and Sharpsville short-circuited Sharon, 16-4, in 5 innings.

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • Haley Boyd Roundup: Hounds, Hornets notch track sweeps

    ä Wilmington 116, Reynolds 44 — At New Wilmington, the host Lady Hounds were led by Rikki Brumbaugh (4x8, 4x4 relay legs, 400- and 800-meter runs); Hannah Drake (long, triple jumps, 4x4 relay); Allison Baldwin (4x8 and 4x4 relay legs); Lexi Brumbaugh (1600-, 3200-meter runs, distance-relay leg), and Tessa Sikora (high jump, 200-meter dash, sprint-relay anchor).

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPORTVIEW: Pirates, Indians fans looking for big things this year

    LIFE IS GOOD if you are a fan of the Pittsburgh Pirates or Cleveland Indians. At least for now!
    Heading into Saturday, both teams were 3-1 and looking pretty sharp. Since both made the playoffs last year, there are high expectations for both clubs. But in baseball, every year is a new season and there are no guarantees.
    Still, it’s always nice when your favorite teams get off to a good start. In too many seasons, Pittsburgh and Cleveland fans were only talking about the NFL draft because hopes were bleak for their baseball teams.

    April 6, 2014

  • Nikki Arbanas Hickory's Arbanas 1st team All-State; KC's Hood 3rd team

    ALTOONA, Pa. (AP) — Teams from the WPIAL won three of the four PIAA girls basketball championships this year, and southwestern Pennsylvania is turning out to be just as dominant when it comes to postseason honors.
    Pittsburgh-area programs produced seven of the eight major award winners on this season’s Sports Writers Pennsylvania High School Girls Basketball All-State Team, including all four players of the year.

    April 5, 2014 1 Photo

  • Trey Staunch WM's Staunch named 2nd team All-State

    HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Finishing on the winning side in a championship game — or coming mighty, mighty close — scored plenty of points with the panel that selected Pennsylvania’s all-state boys’ basketball team.
    Especially when it came time to choose those — whether players or coaches — who claimed the top individual awards.

    April 5, 2014 1 Photo

  • Brady Leunis Roundup: Hickory, Mercer, Reynolds, WM baseball teams earn wins

    ä Hickory 12, Sharpsville 10 — At the McCullough Run Complex in South Pymatuning Twp., the visiting Hornets improved to 4-0 with the win.
    Brady Leunis went 2-for-3 for Hickory with a double and 3 RBI, Tommy Cannon belted a 2-run homer, Noah Orndorff was 2-for-4, Nate Mastrian ripped an RBI-double, Ethan Davis was 2-for-4 with a double and a run driven in and Jake Andrzjewski doubled.

    April 3, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jordyn Allen Roundup: WM, Wilmington, Mercer softball teams win

    ä West Middlesex 11, Grove City 1 (5 inn.) — At the Richard J. Kritz Softball Complex in West Middlesex, Jordyn Allen fired a complete-game 2-hitter with 8 strikeouts and no walks as the Ms. Reds (1-1) rebounded from a tough loss to Lakeview on Monday.
    Offensively, Allen doubled and ripped 2 singles for WM, Abby McAdams and Aly Andrusky doubled and singled, Macy Siefert collected 4 singles and Hannah Havens, Megan Hazlett and Oivia Slater added 2 singles each.

    April 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • In control Hickory girls, Farrell boys win Guerino titles

    The Hickory girls and Farrell boys captured championships on Saturday night at the 17th annual Buddy Guerino Underclassmen Basketball Tournament at Sharpsville High School.
    The Hickory girls beat Kennedy Catholic, 41-29, for the crown while the Farrell boys topped Mercer, 76-35, for the title.
    In the consolation games, Sharpsville defeated Sharon, 35-15, in girls hoops while the Sharon boys beat Hickory, 57-33.

    March 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPORTVIEW: Eagles' release of Jackson was a strange move

    ONE OF THE strangest NFL moves I’ve seen in a long time involved the Philadelphia Eagles releasing DeSean Jackson.
    Jackson is one of the top wide receivers in the league and a danger to score every time he touches the ball, including punt returns. But the big question is: Why was he just released? Couldn’t they find a trade at least to get some value back?

    March 30, 2014

  • Tanner Powell WM track teams go 6-1 at Big Red Duals

    The West Middlesex girls and track teams both went 6-1 on Friday at the annual Big Red Relays. Both teams lost to Mohawk.
    The WM boys beat A.C. Valley (129-17), Commodore Perry (120-26), Kennedy Catholic (128-18), Laurel (89-61), Sharon (108-38), Union (127-19) and lost to Mohawk (96-53).
    The Ms. Reds topped A.C. Valley (128-18), Commodore Perry (120-22), Kennedy Catholic (123-14), Laurel (123-14), Laurel (89-56), Sharon 114-26, Union (107-33) and lost to Mohawk (96 1/2-48 1/2).

    March 29, 2014 1 Photo

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