The Herald, Sharon, Pa.


September 8, 2013

SPORTVIEW: Opening games will tell a lot about Steelers, Browns

OPINION — PEOPLE WHO were picking the Steelers and Browns to battle it out for last place in the AFC North Division may be in for a real surprise if the early season is any indication.

Already the two teams are tied with Cincinnati for first place in the division while the defending Super Bowl champs are bringing up last place.

OK, I realize that Baltimore is the only team to have played a game yet, but it’s nice anytime the Browns are tied for first.

After this weekend, will the Steelers and Browns still be tied first the lead? Read on!

Pittsburgh has looked pathetic in preseason, going 0-for-4. But as everyone knows, the preseason doesn’t mean much. Maybe!

The scary thing about the preseason is that it revealed a problem that Pittsburgh has faced the last few years. The offensive line isn’t strong and Big Ben is often forced to run for his life.

While Roethlisberger is good at avoiding trouble, the number of hits he takes add up. And he’s no spring chicken anymore.

The running game is also questionable. Jonathan  Dyer will not put fear in too many NFL defenses. (Oh, where have you gone Franco and Jerome?) And if you don’t have to worry about big break-away runs, you can attack the quarterback at will.

The Steelers are 6-0 in home openers under Mike Tomlin and they get a break against a rebuilding Tennessee team this year. Still, something was missing from the team in the preseason that has made them great in the past — desire. Not only did they not win a game in preseason, they looked extremely bad most of the time as if they weren’t even trying.

It’s hard to turn the switch too quickly back to high intensity. So I look for a young determined Titans club to overcome the 61⁄2 point spread and beat Pittsburgh, 20-16.

Meanwhile, Cleveland has looked surprisingly good in the preseason, with the exception of poor play against Indianapolis. The big key is the showing of quarterback Brandon Weeden, who is seeming to flourish under the system of the new coaching staff.

The Browns are hosting Miami in the opener, a meeting of two clubs who are expected to finish low in the NFL pack. But while the Browns aren’t ready for the Super Bowl, they should be much improved.

This is a year with a new coaching staff that they plan for the future and build a team that can contend in 2 or 3 years.

But today the Browns should roll past the Dolphins, 30-13.

Following are the rest of this week’s picks (betting lines in parentheses just for fun):

Detroit (-41⁄2) over Minnesota

New England (-10) over Buffalo

Indy (-91⁄2) over Oakland

Philly (plus 31⁄2) over Washington

San Fran (-41⁄2) over Green Bay

New Orleans (plus 3) over Atlanta

Carolina (plus 3) over Seattle

St. Louis (-41⁄2) over Arizona

NY Jets (plus 3) over Tampa

Dallas (-3) over NY Giants

Chicago (-3) over Cincy

Houston (-31⁄2) over San Diego

Kansas City (-31⁄2) over Jacksonville

Lynn Saternow is sports editor of The Herald.

Text Only
  • On to baseball GC coach Bell retired — sort of!

    You can take the man out of coaching, but you can’t take coaching out of the man.
    Former Grove City High football coach Jeff Bell has spent his first few months of retirement hearing the ping of a baseball ricocheting off an aluminum bat instead of clap of shoulder pads coming together.
    “My grandson Maddox (Bell) and a few of his friends play on a traveling team, so I’m helping out with that,” said Bell, who retired as the Eagles’ football coach this past winter. “They’re a good group of kids to work with and this is a lot more enjoyable. It’s a lot less stress.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPORTVIEW: Johnny Football claims he has learned from his 'rookie mistakes'

    HERE ARE some thoughts from a guy who might have made a few “rookie mistakes” in his life, ala Johnny Manziel.
    Johnny Football admitted this past week that he made some rookie mistakes. Really?
    Usually rookie mistakes for most NFL newbies are throwing into coverage or fumbling the football because you don’t tuck it tightly to your side.

    July 27, 2014

  • NFL NOTEBOOK: Ex-Sharon star Austin hopes to spark Lions' defense

    THE TALENTED — albeit underachieving — Detroit Lions commence camp July 27 in Allen Park, Mich. as the National Football League prepares for the 2014 season.

    July 21, 2014

  • Fighting cancer Racing to fight cancer

    Former Hickory High athlete Amanda Budzowski is on the run — the run to raise money to fight cancer.
    Budzowski is part of Team in Training, an organization that has raised more than $1.4 billion for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society since forming in 1988. Her division is known as IRONTEAM and she is currently training for the 140.6-mile Ironman triathlon in Mont Tremblant, Canada, in August.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPORTVIEW: Pirates, Indians need fast start after All-Star break

    SO FAR, so good. I’m referring to the start of the Pittsburgh Pirates and Cleveland Indians after the All-Star break on Friday night.
    Both teams rallied to win. The Buccos beat the Colorado Joints — err, I mean Rockies — by coming from behind in the 8th inning. Since they legalized marijuana sales in that state, it gave new meaning to John Denver’s song “Rocky Mountain High.”

    July 20, 2014

  • Sky high Rutters earn spot in national motocross event

    The brother-sister racing duo of Elijah and Dannah Rutter of Mercer are set to travel to Hurricane Mills, Tenn., to compete soon in the prestigious 33rd annual Rocky Mountain ATV/MC AMA Amateur National Motocross Championships presented by AMSOIL at Loretta Lynn Ranch.
    Elijah, 18, and Dannah, 16, earned a ticket to the event with their performances at qualifiers and then regionals and are among the top 5 percent of riders in the U.S. Overall, 20,000 hopefuls from across the U.S. competed and there are only 1,446 qualifying spots at nationals.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sharon Football scramble Notebook: Sharon football greats meet, reunite at inaugural golf scramble

    Mid-July, with the temperature 80-plus degrees at Avalon at Buhl Country Club; however, it felt like a fall, football Friday.
    The inaugural Sharon Football Boosters 4-man golf scramble took place recently, and served as a Who’s Who in the Tigers’ triumphant tradition.

    July 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPORTVIEW: All is right with the world - LeBron has come home!

    HAPPY DAYS are here again. The prodigal child has returned!
    The announcement that “King James” is returning to Cleveland has created a level of euphoria not seen since the Browns won the city’s last major sport championship a couple of years ago.
    What’s that? Oh, yeah — make that 50 years ago (1964).

    July 13, 2014

  • LeBron James Full text of LeBron's essay in SI

    LeBron James announced his return to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday in an essay that he wrote for Sports Illustrated. The following is the full text of that essay.

    July 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Snyder, Gordon, Popatak named to All-State team

    Grove City High’s David Gordon, Sharpsville’s Greg Popatak and Lakeview’s Logan Snyder recently were named to the Pennsylvania High School Baseball Coaches Association all-state team.
    Synder was selected 1st-Team in Class A as a designated-hitter, while Gordon was honorably-mentioned in Class AAA and Popatak similarly was honored in AA. Gordon gained his laurels as a pitcher; Popatak as a 3rd baseman.

    July 10, 2014

  • Oprah lands first interview with Jerry Sandusky's adopted son, Matthew

    Matthew Sandusky, the adopted son of former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky, is breaking his silence for the first time since his father's 2012 conviction on 45 counts of child sexual abuse, sitting down with Oprah to tell his story.

    July 8, 2014

  • County champs Little League Tournaments

    Sharon won the District 2 Major Division (12-year-olds) Championship, while Greenville 9-10 and West Middlesex 11 teams notched tournament victories in recent action.

    Hermitage Brennan Chiropractic won the Mercer County 14-under championship recently.

    Following are game reports:

    July 5, 2014 1 Photo

  • John Cook The First Tee of Sharon celebrates 15th anniversary

    Professional golf star John Cook has received many honors and awards in his illustrious career, but probably none mean as much as those similar to the one he received Monday afternoon at The First Tee of Sharon.
    During a special ceremony to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the local program, a permanent plaque was unveiled in his honor describing the contributions he has made to junior golf.

    July 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPORTVIEW: John Cook here Monday for First Tee; other celebs on July 11

    THE RETURN of Tiger Woods to a PGA event sparked a lot of interest this past week. The return of John Cook to Buhl Farm Golf Course Monday will do the same locally.
    Cook, a standout on the Champions Tour and outstanding TV golf analyst, will conduct a clinic at 11 a.m. Monday at the course to help celebrate the 15th anniversary of The First Tee of Sharon program.
    It is open to the public at no charge.

    June 29, 2014

  • Tri-Athletes Hickory honors Tri-Athletes

    Hickory High honored its 2013-14 tri-athletes in a recent ceremony, the latest installment in a program that began in 2003-04.
    Fifty student-athletes (grades 9-12) were cited for having competed in at least one sport in the fall, winter and spring while maintaining a minimum B (85 percent) grade-point-average during the first three 9-week grading periods of the  academic year.

    June 22, 2014 1 Photo

Top 25 (AP Poll)
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter