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GBMelBlount
09-16-2008, 07:05 AM
Steelers OK away from home

Some might think Sunday's 10-6 win by the Steelers in Cleveland was just one of 16 games.

But it was much more than that.


Not only did the Steelers take an early two-game lead on a team picked by many to unseat them in the AFC North, they won their first road game of the season.

Considering the schedule over the next month, both are critical.

Cleveland was the first of four road games over the next six weeks. The only time the Steelers are at home in the next month and a half is Sept. 29, when they host Baltimore. There are road games coming up at Philadelphia, Jacksonville and Cincinnati. The bye week is Oct. 12.

"It's pretty cool, actually," said safety Ryan Clark of this stretch of games. "You come into this game, a night game in a hostile environment. The weather was bad, but the offense was able to control the ball. The defense made some big plays. It was good to get it started like this."

The Steelers went 7-1 at home and 3-5 on the road last season. So this could be a make-or-break portion of the schedule.

"It's tough to win on the road, but if you want to be a good team, that's what you've got to do," said offensive tackle Marvel Smith. "Every win on the road is huge."

Road victories are particularly important when they come against division opponents. The Steelers won the AFC North last season, despite having the same 10-6 record as Cleveland because of their two wins over the Browns.

Pittsburgh has won 10 games in a row over Cleveland and 16 of the last 17.

"To win on the road is big, especially in the division," said defensive end Aaron Smith, who had two sacks against the Browns.

"You play each other twice a year. To come out with a win is a big factor for us."

The defense was especially strong, limiting Cleveland's high-powered offense to 208 total yards, including just 53 on the ground on 25 carries.

"The wind really played into our hands," said linebacker Larry Foote. "Actually, I wish it would have rained harder, too. That would have cut down on all the passing. Then it would have been a game of peek-a-boo with the running back. That's what linebackers live for."

The Steelers seem to live to beat the Browns.

"We're 2-0," said wide receiver Hines Ward, who scored the game's only touchdown. "Cincinnati and Cleveland are 0-2. They have to catch up to us. It is big. Everybody picked Cleveland as the team to beat. We came on the road and won up here, it speaks volumes for our team."

Odds and end zones

Defensive end Brett Keisel is expected to miss two months with a calf injury. ... Smith's two-sack game was his most since he had 2 1/2 in 2002 at Tampa Bay. ... After recording just 11 interceptions last season - the fewest in the NFL - the Steelers already have four in their first two games. ... Strong safety Troy Polamalu, who failed to intercept a pass in 2007, recorded his second interception of the season against Cleveland. ... Running back Willie Parker leads the AFC with 243 yards rushing.

http://www.observer-reporter.com/OR/Story/9-16-Steelers-road-warriors

By F. Dale Lolley, Staff writer

dlolley@observer-reporter.com

HometownGal
09-16-2008, 08:44 AM
"It's tough to win on the road, but if you want to be a good team, that's what you've got to do," said offensive tackle Marvel Smith. "Every win on the road is huge."


Marvel summed up my thoughts in a nutshell. :thumbsup:

lilyoder6
09-16-2008, 10:33 AM
it was a good read.. and they are specualtiong that keisal might miss 2 months.. but u never know

Lone Wolf
09-16-2008, 04:19 PM
This will be a huge test...Philly is one of the toughest places in the league to play.