Steelers’ Defensive Trend Continues…

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ defensive struggles continued in Week 4 against the surprising Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium.

Harrison and Farrior in practice.

This year the Steelers’ usually dependable defense isn’t blaming their pass defense for their inability to slow the Texans, but the rushing yards the Texans picked up were the difference in their 17-10 win over the reigning AFC Champions.

Coming into the season many questioned whether or not the Steelers’ aging defense would be ready to come in and make another run at the Lombardi Trophy. Pittsburgh’s linebacker core, led by James Harrison, 33, and James Farrior, 36, have shown some signs of aging in the first four games of the season.

Last season the Steelers rush defense held their opponents to an average of 62.6 rushing yards per game throughout the season. This year’s defensive woes have allowed their opponents to rush for an average of 99.3 yards on the ground through the first three weeks and allowed Houston’s Arian Foster to run for 155 yards, which will surely bump up the average on the year.

Before the Steelers faced the Baltimore Ravens in Week 1, they had only allowed only one 100-yard rusher in their previous 50 games. This year the “Steel Curtain” has already allowed two 100-yard rushers as well as giving up 86 yards to Joseph Addai and the Indianapolis Colts in Week 3.

The switch on the defensive end has turned the 12th best passing defense into the league’s best passing defense but has also left the Steelers at a mediocre 2-2 in this young season. Coincidently, the Steelers have lost both games in which they allowed the opposing back to rush over 100 yards.

The Steelers’ are going to have to figure out how to get back to their “hit-you-in-the-mouth” style of defense if they hope to make a run at the Super Bowl. But first they have to make sure they can get into the playoffs.

The Worst of the Curse?

Cleveland Browns’ cover boy Peyton Hillis has strep throat.

Fans hope to see Hillis back in action for their Browns.

Every year the media, and fans alike, keep a close on eye on the player that has been featured on that years version of Madden.

Madden 2012 featured the Cleveland running back and the “Madden Curse” has officially struck once again. Or has it?

Daunte Culpepper’s knee in 2002, Michael Vick’s right fibula in 2004, and Shaun Alexander’s foot in 2007. These events occurred after these players faces graced the cover of Madden and knocked them out of games at a time.

Hillis’ strep throat has knocked him out this week against the Miami Dolphins but could this only be the beginning of worse things to come?

Cleveland fans are hoping that the worst is being dealt with this week and that Hillis will return to the backfield next week against the Tennessee Titans.

Ready for kick-off

The National Football League and its players’ association agreed to end the lockout earlier today.

The end of the lockout calls for celebration around the NFL world.

Now the frenzy of signing draftees, free agents, and renegotiating current players contract begins. This will prove to be a crucial time for all teams to cut and add key players in order to put their squad in position for a run at the Super Bowl.

Players are allowed into their team facilities beginning Tuesday at 10 a.m. ET.

Teams will be reporting to training camp in the next couple of days.

Much Props: Shaquille O’Neal

After 19 years Shaq has called it a career with a short video posted about an hour ago on his twitter.

Shaq has had quite the career since he started his dominance in Orlando.

The decision doesn’t come as much of a surprise after only playing 752 minutes this passed season with the Boston Celtics.

Although it was about time for him to retire, fans all over the league will miss the future Hall of Famer.

Much Props

What playoffs?…

The Miami Heat just finished winning game one of the 2011 NBA Finals and some fans didn’t care to tune in.

Fans of all the teams that have already faltered in this years playoffs have already turned their sights on to next season.

So what about the winner of this year’s title?

Many Los Angeles Laker fans were so upset with the lack of effort in their series with the Dallas Mavericks that even the thought of basketball was enough to bring them to their knees in disgust.

Other fans around the league have seemingly done the same as “The Big 3” continue their dominance in the playoffs.

Either fans are still bitter about their teams’ losses or they simply don’t care enough to catch the finals.

Soon enough Mavericks’ fans will also forget about these finals if Forward Dirk Nowitzki doesn’t step up his play and carry his team to even up this series.

For those fans that aren’t going to watch Nowitzki possibly “choke” in yet another final, enjoy the remainder of the baseball season.

Scully’s reign to continue…

The golden voice of long-time Los Angeles Dodger announcer Vin Scully will be around for the 2011 season.

The Dodgers announced today that Scully will be behind the mic once again after a tough decision-making process.

“I just love it so much; it’s like a very good marriage,” Scully said in an interview on the Dodgers website. “When push came to shove, I just didn’t want to leave. My wife, God bless her, said, ‘If you love it, do it.’

Although the Dodgers haven’t looked great many times this year, the voice of Scully will surely be appreciated while tolerating the pitiful play of the Dodger bullpen.

Scully has been with the Blue Crew since 1950 and has been the man behind the mic since the Dodgers moved to LA 53 years ago.

“After that, only God knows how long I’ll continue to work,” Scully said in his informal interview.

One change calls for another…

Now that the Cleveland Cavaliers have finally begun to deal with the departure with former golden child Lebron James, more changes need to be made to forget all the “good times”.

The Cavs have unveiled their new jerseys that they will be wearing for the upcoming season. The new kits are a lot more basic and retro compared to the flashy ones they debuted with the arrival of The King in the 2003-2004 season.The same colors will be used but, this time around, they are a lot less glossy and metallic in exchange for colors that resemble their ‘70s jerseys.

The new look will help fans cope with any remaining memories they had left with James in a Cavaliers jersey. The bitter taste left after witnessing their hero walk away from their beloved team will hopefully go with the old jerseys.

Besides, change is always good.