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Suitanim
10-25-2005, 11:09 AM
From CBSSportsline.com

As long as Steelers run, AFC North is doomed to chase

http://images.sportsline.com/images/author/8690.jpgOct. 23, 2005
By Clark Judge (http://www.sportsline.com/columns/writers/judge)
CBS SportsLine.com Senior Writer
Tell Clark your opinion! (http://www.sportsline.com/columns/writers/judge)
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CINCINNATI -- Pittsburgh, not Cincinnati, is the best team in the AFC North. And the Steelers (http://www.sportsline.com/nfl/teams/page/PIT) might just be the best team in football.

http://images.sportsline.com/u/photos/football/nfl/img8999605.jpg Thanks to the Steelers ground attack, Ben Roethlisberger needs only nine completions. (Getty Images) I know, they don't have the best record in the NFL. Indianapolis does. They don't even have the best record in their division. Cincinnati (http://www.sportsline.com/nfl/teams/page/CIN) does, but only because it played one more game than the Steelers.

But Sunday's 27-13 waxing of the Bengals -- Cincinnati's second loss in three games -- convinced me.

Pittsburgh won with Ben Roethlisberger completing nine passes for 93 yards; with only two players, tight end Heath Miller and wide receiver Hines Ward, making catches; and with unheralded cornerback Ike Taylor keeping Chad Johnson off the scoreboard.

Yet they buried the Bengals, and they did it the way they've done it for years -- by running them to death. They went right. They went left. They went up the gut. And when they were finished they had 221 yards in 47 tries, and stop if you've heard this before.

A year ago the Steelers averaged -- averaged -- 158 yards rushing against Cincinnati in two wins. On Sunday, they were so successful with their ground game they called nothing but runs on all 21 snaps of the fourth quarter.

"People get so enamored with the ball in the air, they don't understand what it takes to build an offense," said Steelers running back Jerome Bettis (http://www.sportsline.com/nfl/players/playerpage/1152). "This game was designed as a running game, and then the pass was introduced -- and now people want to make the pass the strong point. But that's ultimately why we're competitive every year; because we can run the football."

Bettis offered a textbook example on a third-and-3 call at the Cincinnati 25 late in the third quarter. The Steelers were in control 17-6, and dialed Bettis' number for a short plunge up the middle. At first, it appeared he was stopped. But his feet never stopped, with Bettis carrying a pile of tacklers to the 21 and another first down.

Fans booed, believing officials should have whistled the play dead, but they were wrong. Replays showed that Bettis' knees never touched the turf. So he had a critical first down that, four plays later, produced a Ward touchdown.

"A huge play," said offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt. "That was the biggest play of the drive."

It was one of the biggest of the game, too, and it demonstrated that until or unless Cincinnati figures out a way to stop Bettis, Willie Parker (http://www.sportsline.com/nfl/players/playerpage/494527), Verron Haynes (http://www.sportsline.com/nfl/players/playerpage/302046) -- you name it -- they can stop thinking about supplanting Pittsburgh at the top of the AFC North.

"We won this division the last couple of years," said Bettis, "so you still have to go through us. We don't feel this is a division up for grabs. We feel it's still our division. We just have to go out and control the ball, and that's what we did."

The Steelers entered the game determined to beat the Bengals with the run, but they struggled until their third possession, when the combination of Parker and Bettis helped produce Pittsburgh's first touchdown. It was a sign of what was ahead: Parker and Bettis ravaged Cincinnati for 187 yards -- Parker gaining 131 by himself -- and the Bengals wilted in a game that was billed as their biggest in years.

"We can't be more disappointed about losing," Cincinnati's Marvin Lewis would say afterward.

I understand, but this is not exactly new for the losers. An opposing back had 100 yards in five of their six division games last year, and opponents this season averaged five yards a carry against the Bengals. If Cincinnati truly was worthy of challenging for a division title, skeptics insisted, the barometer was Pittsburgh.

And now you know.

"They kind of forgot who the champs were," said Steelers linebacker Joey Porter. "We have the same team we had last year, and until they beat us, we're still the champs. And we went out and played like it today. We played with a chip on our shoulders."

Well, they should. They lost a game last week only because Roethlisberger was out. Until that defeat, the Steelers had two turnovers all year; Tommy Maddox, who replaced Roethlisberger for one start, had four by himself -- including two in overtime. Their only other loss? It was to defending Super Bowl champion New England in a game where officials lost track of the time.

Now, look at this team a little more closely. It has won a franchise-record 10 consecutive road games, is 17-1 under Roethlisberger in regular-season play and hasn't lost two straight since Nov. 2, 2003. Plus, the Steelers are well balanced: A year ago they ranked first in defense and second in rushing; entering Sunday they were eighth in defense and 13th in rushing -- with the latter figure bound to jump.

"We're a run team," said Ward. "And we're going to run first until they stop us."

Last time I looked, they hadn't. What Pittsburgh does well, few clubs do better. It's a formula that produced a division championship a year ago and, barring a change in Cincinnati's play for its Dec. 4 date at Pittsburgh, it's a formula that should produce another this season.

Pittsburgh just showed us why.

"This was a big game for us," said Ward. "Our backs were against the wall, but we just looked at is as, we were 15-1 last year and the division champs. The championship still has to come through Pittsburgh."

Iron City Hangover
10-25-2005, 11:41 AM
:toofunny:

:rofl:

:joker:

:laughing:

SteelR1
10-25-2005, 12:11 PM
I agree, the question is can we win the games that force us to throw the ball. I believe we can!!!!

Iron City Hangover
10-25-2005, 03:20 PM
I agree, the question is can we win the games that force us to throw the ball. I believe we can!!!!
Just as long as Roethlisberger stays cool under pressure. He didn't fair too well last year against the Jets and Pats in such situations.

SteelR1
10-25-2005, 03:21 PM
Just as long as Roethlisberger stays cool under pressure. He didn't fair too well last year against the Jets and Pats in such situations.



LAST YEAR

Iron City Hangover
10-25-2005, 03:32 PM
LAST YEAR
We'll see in January! :grin:

SteelR1
10-25-2005, 03:33 PM
We'll see in January! :grin:

It's on the calender!!!!!!!!!! :grin:

Iron City Hangover
10-25-2005, 03:35 PM
It's on the calender!!!!!!!!!! :grin:
Make sure it's on Ben's too.

SteelR1
10-25-2005, 05:09 PM
Make sure it's on Ben's too.



:blah: :blah: :blah:

Enough postwhoring!!!!!!!!

Cape Cod Steel Head
10-25-2005, 05:30 PM
Just as long as Roethlisberger stays cool under pressure. He didn't fair too well last year against the Jets and Pats in such situations.
You mean his rookie year? Yeah there is a big differernce between playing 12 games in college at Miami Ohio,and playing 16 in the NFL.

Iron City Hangover
10-25-2005, 09:13 PM
You mean his rookie year? Yeah there is a big differernce between playing 12 games in college at Miami Ohio,and playing 16 in the NFL.
So they were "rookie mistakes"? The previous games were just luck then? Trying to get clarification from a Steelers fan on their quarterback.

Cape Cod Steel Head
10-26-2005, 08:11 AM
So they were "rookie mistakes"? The previous games were just luck then? Trying to get clarification from a Steelers fan on their quarterback.
Just stating the facts. I personally believe that he was emotionally and physically spent by that point in the season.

Suitanim
10-26-2005, 09:13 AM
:toofunny:

:rofl:

:joker:

:laughing:

One of your more positive, well thought out and articulate posts. Where, oh mighty guru of all knowledge of all things football, is YOUR published article from a major media outlet? Surely, one gifted with knowledge as omniscient as yours has at least one, if not dozens of published articles enthralling millions with your acumen?

Iron City Hangover
10-26-2005, 09:26 AM
One of your more positive, well thought out and articulate posts. Where, oh mighty guru of all knowledge of all things football, is YOUR published article from a major media outlet? Surely, one gifted with knowledge as omniscient as yours has at least one, if not dozens of published articles enthralling millions with your acumen?
I do not need an article when I can just rely on the intelligence of this board to know that the STEELERS SO RULE. SUPER BOWL XL CHAMPIONS! We will post news articles from people who don't currently play the game to prove our excellence on the field, punctuated by reciting an evening reading verbiage from an 18th century work of literature.

Here we go Steelers, here we go!

Suitanim
10-26-2005, 09:30 AM
I do not need an article when I can just rely on the intelligence of this board to know that the STEELERS SO RULE. SUPER BOWL XL CHAMPIONS! We will post news articles from people who don't currently play the game to prove our excellence on the field, punctuated by reciting an evening reading verbiage from an 18th century work of literature.

Here we go Steelers, here we go!

I'm sorry, I didn't get that...put it in emoticons, please.

WHOOSH! Soared right over your head...

Iron City Hangover
10-26-2005, 09:45 AM
I'm sorry, I didn't get that...put it in emoticons, please.

WHOOSH! Soared right over your head...
Sorry, too busy to use emoticons. I am preparing my daily routine of praising the Steelers and killing puppies. When done, I will do some research on expert NFL analysis by Mark Madden.

GOOOOOOOO STEELERS!

Steel - X
10-26-2005, 09:52 AM
WHY do we keep responding to his messages? UGH feed it and it will grow.

Hey mods is there anyway to not view someone's posts? Because these 2 children can not get enough of each other.

Iron City Hangover
10-26-2005, 09:56 AM
WHY do we keep responding to his messages? UGH feed it and it will grow.

Hey mods is there anyway to not view someone's posts? Because these 2 children can not get enough of each other.

My participation in the apparent rivalry is completely deplorable and unacceptable. I have employed the "ignore user" tool in the past, however I am not aware if my counterpart employs the option as well. I will commence using it now.

Can we please return to talking about the best team in the NFL?

Suitanim
10-26-2005, 10:08 AM
WHY do we keep responding to his messages? UGH feed it and it will grow.

Hey mods is there anyway to not view someone's posts? Because these 2 children can not get enough of each other.

User CP, "Buddy/Ignore lists". I would be honored to be placed on your ignore list.

Prosdo
10-26-2005, 10:23 AM
WHY do we keep responding to his messages? UGH feed it and it will grow.

Hey mods is there anyway to not view someone's posts? Because these 2 children can not get enough of each other.

Click on the person's name and go to their profile. The ignore option is in there.

Steel - X
10-26-2005, 10:25 AM
Click on the person's name and go to their profile. The ignore option is in there.

Thanks. Didnt know that being ignored would be such a good thing. Maybe its me.

Iron City Hangover
10-26-2005, 12:55 PM
Thanks. Didnt know that being ignored would be such a good thing. Maybe its me.
You'll see that they posted but you can't see the actual "beef" of the message when ignored. It's a pretty standard option on any html based message board. There's some other nice bells and whistles with html boards.