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83-Steelers-43
10-15-2007, 02:32 PM
Steelers return to tough stretch that doesn't look so difficult
By The Associated Press
Monday, October 15, 2007

When they were handed their 2007 schedule last spring, the Pittsburgh Steelers must have thought this would be their toughest stretch all season.

It includes consecutive games at Denver and Cincinnati, teams they beat on the road during their Super Bowl run two seasons ago; a Monday night home game against last year's AFC North champion, Baltimore, which defeated them easily twice last season; then, a quick turnaround for Cleveland at home, followed by the Jets in their third road game in five weeks.

What the Steelers couldn't have imagined a few months ago was that only one of the five opponents - the Ravens (4-2) - would have a winning record six weeks into the season. Or that the Steelers (4-1), except for a glitch at Arizona, couldn't have handled the transition from former coach Bill Cowher to new coach Mike Tomlin much more smoothly or successfully.

The Broncos (2-3), Bengals (1-4), Browns (3-3) and Jets (1-5) are off to slow starts that may make the Steelers wary, but probably won't prevent them from being favored to beat all four. No team the Steelers have beaten currently has a winning record, and they can't play a team with one until Nov. 5 against Baltimore.

It's not easy to figure out why the Steelers have been so successful. As usual with the Steelers, no matter the coach or the season, it all begins with a running game that averages 167 yards per game and is second in the NFL.

Willie Parker is averaging 101.4 yards despite running behind an offensive line that has two new starters in center Sean Mahan and right tackle Willie Colon.

"It all starts with the running backs," Parker said. "If we have a good game, the whole team has a good game. So we're like the center of attention with this team."

The Steelers are 16-1 when Parker runs for 100 yards or more. This season, they have won by at least a 21-point margin all four games in which Parker has gone over 1 00.

"It's not a coincidence - pretty much, since I have been here, if we rush for 100 yards, we win the game and most of the time we win it big," Parker said. "We want to stick with the run and just make plays in the running game and the passing game. But it opens up everything when you can run the ball."

The Steelers, despite being without longtime star Joey Porter, are playing better than could have been imagined defensively, too. They have yet to give up a touchdown in the first half, yielding only a combined six points to five opponents, and have allowed only 47 points overall.

They haven't permitted so few points through five games in 70 years, or since their 1937 team gave up only 38 during a lower-scoring era than today.

"I just think they're coming out of the locker room ready to play football," Tomlin said. "That's a good thing. Sometimes teams warm up and find rhythm, especially defensively, and we're coming out the locker room ready to play ."

Scoring points early has been a problem for the Broncos, whom the Steelers meet on Sunday night. Denver has scored multiple touchdowns in the first half only once, while beating the Raiders 23-20 in their second game, and they were limited to a field goal in the first half of their last game, a 41-3 loss at home to San Diego on Oct. 7.

"Denver is a tough place to play - tough team, good defense," quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said. "So it is going to be a challenge for us. We know we have a tough stretch and it all starts with Denver, that's our first stop."

Notes: This will be the first Steelers-Broncos game in Denver since Pittsburgh's 34-17 win in the AFC championship game in January 2006. Denver won in Pittsburgh last season, 31-20. ... The Broncos also had their bye last weekend. ... Some Steelers defensive players visited Porter, who is now with the Dolphins, in Miami late last week after Tomlin gave them four days off instead of the scheduled three. The Steelers returned to practice Monday but will be off, as usual, on Tuesday.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/s_532779.html

verks36
10-15-2007, 02:57 PM
the wierd thing is i think the clevland game is going to be the toughest of the stretch...Which is kind of wierd considering ho bad we beat them earlier in the season

jjpro11
10-15-2007, 03:42 PM
we just need to replace indy with the cleveland game and we would be reliving our playoff run all over again.

Preacher
10-15-2007, 03:45 PM
the wierd thing is i think the clevland game is going to be the toughest of the stretch...Which is kind of wierd considering ho bad we beat them earlier in the season

True... but this is a different Cleveland team. Sure, it is the same players except for the QB... but the team we are coming in to play now has confidence... and think they can win almost any game.

This will be a whole different ball game!!

rbryan
10-15-2007, 03:56 PM
I hate to see an article like this. Lets hope the players aren't reading the paper. Its human nature to read a story like this and want to believe it. Next thing you know the team is 5-5. Still a long way to go.

Preacher
10-15-2007, 04:04 PM
I hate to see an article like this. Lets hope the players aren't reading the paper. Its human nature to read a story like this and want to believe it. Next thing you know the team is 5-5. Still a long way to go.

A little bit of belief in one's self is a good thing to have.

Edman
10-15-2007, 04:08 PM
Articles like this blow. I don't want the Steelers to lose their focus.

The Rats always play them tough, and you never which Steeler team will show up against Cincy(The dominant one or the turnover machine). The Browns are vastly improved and are playing with a lot of confidence. No, not an easy stretch by any means.

verks36
10-15-2007, 04:10 PM
True... but this is a different Cleveland team. Sure, it is the same players except for the QB... but the team we are coming in to play now has confidence... and think they can win almost any game.

This will be a whole different ball game!!

Ya i know what you mean watching the browns play recently it looks like the are playing with a chip on their shoulder. They play with some fearless type swagger which could be dangerous for us

but there D is still just terrible and i think are O will put up some huge points and there is no way Anderson is going to do that well against are D espically if Jamal Lewis is not 100% by then

revefsreleets
10-15-2007, 04:21 PM
I don't think Tomlin will have the slightest problem motivating the team to play the Ravens and Bengals. Just play the tapes of last year and they'll be fired up. I know I would be, and I wasn't even on the field!

HometownGal
10-15-2007, 05:11 PM
As I've always maintained, I take NO team lightly, no matter what their record is. However, I do believe 100% in this team and Coach Tomlin and as long as they continue to believe in themselves and in each other as contenders, the rest will take care of itself. :thumbsup::tt02:

83-Steelers-43
10-15-2007, 05:44 PM
I don't think Tomlin will have the slightest problem motivating the team to play the Ravens and Bengals. Just play the tapes of last year and they'll be fired up. I know I would be, and I wasn't even on the field!

I agree.

Eitherway, I've always felt that if a few news clippings change the way you play on Sunday's you have no business being in the playoffs.

tony hipchest
10-15-2007, 06:57 PM
I agree.

Eitherway, I've always felt that if a few news clippings change the way you play on Sunday's you have no business being in the playoffs.

nail clippings > news clippings

revefsreleets
10-15-2007, 07:05 PM
I'm getting angry right now just thinking about what the Ravens did to us last year.

BlastFurnace
10-15-2007, 07:10 PM
If this team didn't learn a lesson from last season on taking teams lightly, big timing it because of who you thought you were, and not preparing...then nothing will help them.

I believe this team did learn from last season and we have a fresh voice this season that reminds them of preparation steps every day.

We will be fine.

SteelDogFan
10-15-2007, 08:24 PM
There is one thing I believe to be a plus we have a core of young players a major positions that I believe even after winning the Superbowl are very hungry. When cower left you could almost feel the uncertainness in the locker room by the way Tomlin and Ben's first conversation went. The team did not want a new guy.

But now that they see the way he coaches they are on fire and realize that hes a coach that could take them back to the Superbowl. We may lose a couple of games and may only make it to the first round of the playoffs this year. But I believe we will when a Superbowl with Tomlin. I think he has a 3-4 year window with this talent base baring major injury.

The team just seams hungry again and we lost that in 2006 without The Bus. Cower did his best to act as if he was still hungry but he wasn't.. I believe the team new that and the uneasiness started in training camp2006 when they felt he was just going through the motions, and you know some players thought that. Tomlin is hungry and the team feeds off of that.

83-Steelers-43
10-15-2007, 08:47 PM
Just throwing this out there for the hell of it and well because of this article........

I hear many fans and even local media heads talking about the Patriots match up in December. How about we play and worry about the seven other teams we play before we meet the Patriots? Many are making the rest of the schedule sound like a walk in the park. I'll take it one game at a time. On December 3, then I will worry about the Patriots. Until then, I will focus on Denver and the six other teams we play before we make the trip up to 2001 bandwagon country.

revefsreleets
10-15-2007, 08:56 PM
Just throwing this out there for the hell of it and well because of this article........

I hear many fans and even local media heads talking about the Patriots match up in December. How about we play and worry about the seven other teams we play before we meet the Patriots? Many are making the rest of the schedule sound like a walk in the park. I'll take it one game at a time. On December 3, then I will worry about the Patriots. Until then, I will focus on Denver and the six other teams we play before we make the trip up to 2001 bandwagon country.

Great point. By December, Al Gore's great catastrophe will probably have occurred and we will all be buried at the bottom of the ocean. Or was it sand? Or snow?

You get my point. Play for today.

tony hipchest
10-15-2007, 09:47 PM
Just throwing this out there for the hell of it and well because of this article........

I hear many fans and even local media heads talking about the Patriots match up in December. How about we play and worry about the seven other teams we play before we meet the Patriots? Many are making the rest of the schedule sound like a walk in the park. I'll take it one game at a time. On December 3, then I will worry about the Patriots. Until then, I will focus on Denver and the six other teams we play before we make the trip up to 2001 bandwagon country.you wait 6 agonizing months in the off-season for the games to finally get here, and when they finally do its as if everyone wants to breeze right trhough them to get to 1/16th of the season almost 2 months away.

the season is too quick as it is, and im looking forward to whupping up on denver to make up for sending jake plummer into retirement on a good note.

plus (i got this one)... they shot joey up in denver!

Atlanta Dan
10-15-2007, 09:56 PM
Agreed - enjoy the journey and do not obsess about reaching the destination - the attitude that the only games worth watching are the big end of season games is what has ruined following baseball for Yankees fans

Galax Steeler
10-16-2007, 04:51 AM
you wait 6 agonizing months in the off-season for the games to finally get here, and when they finally do its as if everyone wants to breeze right trhough them to get to 1/16th of the season almost 2 months away.

the season is too quick as it is, and im looking forward to whupping up on denver to make up for sending jake plummer into retirement on a good note.

plus (i got this one)... they shot joey up in denver!

Agreed one game at a time.