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mesaSteeler
12-17-2008, 06:56 AM
Steelers notes: Avoiding a letdown
http://www.timesonline.com/articles/2008/12/17/sports/steelers/doc494889052f070493701463.txt
By Mike Bires, Times Sports Staff

PITTSBURGH — Now that the AFC North title is secured, the Steelers will try to avoid a letdown.

That’s something that three division champs failed to do Sunday.

Arizona (NFC West), the New York Giants (NFC East) and Tennessee (AFC South) were losers one week after clinching their respective divisions.

With the Steelers (11-3) still in the running for the AFC’s No. 1 seed, coach Mike Tomlin doesn’t think his players will lack focus Sunday when the Steelers play the Titans (12-2) in Nashville.

“It happens to be the team that’s in the pole position in the AFC,” Tomlin said. “It’s at their place. All of those things make your hair stand up as you prepare.

“I’m really not worried about the relief mentality. We’ve got some tangible, big-time goals to achieve in front of us here in the regular season. Having an opportunity to play the best in our conference at their place here this weekend is motivation enough to get out of bed and be ready to rock-and-roll professionally.”

If the Steelers beat the Titans and then win their regular-season finale at home against Cleveland (4-10), they will be the AFC’s top seed and have home-field advantage for as long as they’re alive in the playoffs.

Even QB Ben Roethlisberger said that starting today, the Steelers will no longer wear their AFC North championship hats they got Sunday after winning in Baltimore.

That’s the approach the Steelers have taken throughout the season as they’ve played the NFL’s toughest schedule.

“It’s helped by the fact that after each one of those wins (the past three weeks), we’ve been faced by another steep challenge,” Tomlin said. “And that comes this week in the form of the Tennessee Titans. It’s easy to stay focused when you just turn that tape on and watch our opponent this week work. You’ll quickly realize we have a tall order in front of us.”

HEALTHY STEELERS

Even though FS Ryan Clark was seen Tuesday at team headquarters on crutches, Tomlin didn’t mention him when discussing his preliminary injury report.

In fact, Tomlin said, “We came out of the (Baltimore) game pretty healthy. We have our normal bumps and bruises that may cause some guys to be limited in some form or fashion the early part of the week. But for the most part, this is as encouraging an injury situation as we’ve had in a while coming out of a football game.”

The only two players on the active roster who didn’t play in Baltimore were DE Brett Keisel, who’s missed three games with a sprained knee, and OT Marvel Smith, who’s missed nine games with back spasms.

Keisel might be able to play in Tennessee, but it’s unlikely that Smith will be available.

ONE-TWO RB PUNCH

Much like several other NFL teams, the Titans feature a two-back system offensively. Rookie Chris Johnson ranks sixth in the NFL with 1,159 rushing yards. LenDale White is 25th with 700 yards.

“Their tailback combination of Chris Johnson and LenDale White is spectacular,” Tomlin said. “They’ll hurt you in a variety of ways.

“Of course, Johnson is a speed guy. His broken-field runs highlight sports shows on weekly basis. And LenDale White is a big, strong man.”

Johnson, the Titans’ first-round pick in this year’s draft, has rushed for eight TDs. White, a second-round pick in the 2006 draft, has rushed for 14 TDs.

Dino 6 Rings
12-17-2008, 07:03 AM
A letdown? Against the Top Seed Titans and their hated coach?

Don't think so.

Now if we were playing the Bengals this week, I'd fear the "let down" game.

Fire Haley
12-17-2008, 08:20 AM
The game against Baltimore marked the 5th straight game that the opposing offensive line has not been called for at least ONE holding call.

Its becoming ridiculous.

Why don't they write about that?

revefsreleets
12-17-2008, 09:11 AM
The game against Baltimore marked the 5th straight game that the opposing offensive line has not been called for at least ONE holding call.

Its becoming ridiculous.

Why don't they write about that?

They literally change the rule before teams play the Steelers. Anything short of full on ass rape is deemed a clean block against our LB's. It's sickening to watch Harrison get mugged play after play after play every week with no linen.

As to this article, I think the Steelers bring their A+ game this week to see how they measure up against "the best".

The_WARDen
12-17-2008, 09:41 AM
The game against Baltimore marked the 5th straight game that the opposing offensive line has not been called for at least ONE holding call.

Its becoming ridiculous.

Why don't they write about that?

Really? That's just an outright disgrace.

Guess all the other Olines are perfect.

:banging:

jjpro11
12-17-2008, 09:52 AM
i cant believe the rooneys or tomlin havent said anything to the league office about the lack of holding calls. maybe they have, but the league obviously isnt listening. the holding is only going to get worse when linemen watch tape and realize they can do whatever they want.

The Duke
12-17-2008, 09:58 AM
i cant believe the rooneys or tomlin havent said anything to the league office about the lack of holding calls. maybe they have, but the league obviously isnt listening. the holding is only going to get worse when linemen watch tape and realize they can do whatever they want.

And it's gonna be worse in the playoffs :banging:

Fire Haley
12-17-2008, 11:37 AM
Just think - if we DIDN'T win, we'd be looking at this next game just to get In the playoffs - like some other teams...

The Indianapolis colts can clinch a playoff spot with:

1. a win, OR
2. a tie plus a New England loss or tie, OR
3. a tie plus a Baltimore loss or tie, OR
4. a tie plus a Miami loss or tie and a NY Jets loss or tie, OR
5. a Baltimore loss plus a miami loss or tie, OR
6. a Baltimore loss plus a New England loss, OR
7. a Baltimore loss plus a NY Jets loss or tie, OR
8. a New England loss plus a Miami loss or tie, OR
9. a New England loss plus a NY Jets loss or tie, OR
10. a Miami loss plus a NY Jets loss and Indianapolis clinches strength of victory tiebreaker over NY Jets.

Just FYI

markymarc
12-17-2008, 06:20 PM
No way do the players and Tomlin have a let down. They know what's at stake and would like nothing more than to swipe the #1 playoff seed from the Titans this weekend.

Dino 6 Rings
12-17-2008, 06:21 PM
Titans are 12-2, I don't think you can Over Look the 12-2 team that holds the key to home field advantage.

If it was the Browns...then I'd worry...well not really...we can beat the Browns with our 3rd stringers from the practice squad

fordfan485
12-17-2008, 07:25 PM
In regard to the holding penalties or lack there off does anyone know where you can locate stats for officiating crews and how many penalties they call. Would be interesting to look at the trends from something like that and determine which crew would be more likely to call holding. I guess it would be as easy as determining what refereeing crew did what game and go from there.

markymarc
12-18-2008, 10:42 AM
I really think Woodley and Harrison are going to played pissed off this weekend since they went sack less against the Rats.