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mesaSteeler
01-04-2009, 08:48 PM
Chargers did the Steelers a favor Saturday by beating the dangerous Indianapolis Colts
Rick Cook
PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE
http://www3.signonsandiego.com/stories/2009/jan/04/chargers-s5steelers/?chargers

Sunday, January 4, 2009

At the risk of violating Mike Tomlin's most sacred rule sorry, Coach let's look ahead and ponder a couple of delicious questions:

How would you like another Pittsburgh Steelers-Baltimore Ravens matchup at Heinz Field in the AFC championship game on Jan. 18?

And:

Are you ready for a little more bounty talk and Spitgate revisited?

It's going to happen.

Write it down.

Wild-card weekend couldn't have turned out much better for the Steelers. Because of the results, they get a relatively weak opponent the San Diego Chargers at home Sunday in their first playoff game and won't have to go to Tennessee for the AFC title game. The Baltimore Ravens are going to take out the Titans on Saturday.

Write that down, too.

The Chargers did the Steelers a favor Saturday by beating the dangerous Indianapolis Colts, 23-17 in overtime, thanks, in large part, to two defensive holding penalties and a facemask personal foul against the Colts on the Chargers' winning drive. Better that the Chargers come to Heinz Field especially if injured star running back LaDainian Tomlinson can't play than the Colts with the great Peyton Manning.

Then Sunday, the Ravens embarrassed the overmatched Miami Dolphins, 27-9. Clearly, they are better right now than the AFC's top-seeded Titans. Heck, they just might be good enough to beat the Steelers at Heinz Field, but who wants to waste time worrying about that now?

I'm going to cite Tomlin's don't-look-ahead rule on that one.

You can argue a home game Sunday against the Dolphins would have been the Steelers' easiest path to the conference championship game and I won't disagree. The Dolphins were the worst of the AFC teams playing this past weekend. We also lose a little entertainment value with the Chargers as the opponent. It would have been great fun watching Dolphins linebacker Joey Porter squawking at Ben Roethlisberger and Willie Parker.

Oh, well.

What's important is that the Chargers also are a lesser team than the Steelers. They were an 8-8 club that made the playoffs only because the Denver Broncos gagged down the stretch. I don't buy that they're hot at the right time with five consecutive wins. I might buy it if Tomlinson were healthy, but he left the Colts game early with what appears to be a serious groin injury. It's hard to imagine backup Darren Sproles running for 100 yards against the Steelers the way he did against the Colts. Certainly, there's no way he gets 178 yards in kickoff and punt return yardage against the Steelers' coverage units.

Philip Rivers is a fine quarterback, better than fine if you look at his NFL-best 105.5 passer rating and 34 touchdown passes. But he struggled big-time in an 11-10 loss to the Steelers on Nov. 16 at Heinz Field. Steelers safety Troy Polamalu and linebacker James Harrison had interceptions, and Harrison sacked Rivers for a safety. Rivers' passer rating was a season-low 44.4. It didn't help that, even with Tomlinson, the Chargers rushed for just 66 yards.

The Steelers, meanwhile, had one of their better offensive days, although you wouldn't know it by the score. They had the ball for a season-best 36 minutes, 31 seconds. Roethlisberger threw for 308 yards with no interceptions. Parker ran for 115 yards on 25 carries. Wide receiver Hines Ward had 11 catches for 124 yards. Blame the Steelers' season-high 13 penalties for 115 yards and tip your hat to the Chargers for keeping the outcome in doubt by sacking Roethlisberger four times and stopping running back Mewelde Moore on fourth-and-goal at the San Diego 1. But the Chargers won't be able to survive that kind of domination Sunday.

So, as long as the game doesn't come down to the punters did you see the way the Chargers' Mike Scifres kept pinning back the Colts? I'll still take the Steelers, despite Scifres' edge over Mitch Berger. Here's one final thing to write down:

This isn't the last time you'll be seeing Berger's name in the paper. He'll be front and center in the news when the Steelers and Ravens play in the AFC championship game because he accused the Ravens' Frank Walker of spitting in his face in their game Dec. 14 in Baltimore. So will Ward, the object of any number of bounties over the years by the Ravens players.

I can hardly wait.

Sorry, Coach Tomlin.

BehindSteelCurtain
01-04-2009, 08:53 PM
Mitch Berger shouldn't even be in the NFL.

El-Gonzo Jackson
01-04-2009, 09:09 PM
I would have rather played the Colts or Dolphins. A dome team outdoors in January with an undersized defense is much better than facing the Chargers with a good O line and D line of Jamaal Williams, Castillo and Olshansky. Still gonna be a tough road trip for the Chargers and I hope it snows for them.

lilyoder6
01-04-2009, 09:23 PM
evrytime berger name comes up i cry.. i am suprised how good our def is that we have a real good chance of berger shanking a punt

stillers4me
01-04-2009, 09:45 PM
Mitch Berger shouldn't even be in the NFL.

You'd rather we'd kept Ernster???????? :coffee:

Boltheads
01-04-2009, 11:22 PM
I hope the Steeler players are over-looking the Bolts as much as this writer. Nothing like being on the receiving end of a trap game.

MJ5150
01-04-2009, 11:36 PM
Well, we got them once already this year. I don't think the Chargers are loads better now than they were then, even though they have won five in a row. I am definitley happy they took care of Indy. That was the one team I feared.

-Mike

Boltheads
01-04-2009, 11:39 PM
Well, we got them once already this year. I don't think the Chargers are loads better now than they were then, even though they have won five in a row. I am definitley happy they took care of Indy. That was the one team I feared.

-Mike

They are a completely different team.....on offense and defense. Keep looking ahead to the Ravens.....please.

fansince'76
01-04-2009, 11:41 PM
They are a completely different team.....on offense and defense. Keep looking ahead to the Ravens.....please.

It's not the fans who play the games. Fans can look as far ahead as they wish - it has no bearing on the game.

tony hipchest
01-04-2009, 11:46 PM
I hope the Steeler players are over-looking the Bolts as much as this writer. Nothing like being on the receiving end of a trap game.

nothing like pinning your hopes on "hope", right?



They are a completely different team.....on offense and defense. Keep looking ahead to the Ravens.....please.

i think most steelerfans (and probably the players) would rather kick the titans ass and stomp it into the mud.

Nighthawk
01-05-2009, 12:29 AM
I'm extremely surprised by some posts on all threads here... It almost seems like some of us are over-looking the Bolts. Whether or not you think Sproles can fill in for LT - you MUST look at him as a whole new challenge. The bolts are clicking at the right time of the year (it doesn't matter about Penalties or records now guys).

That being said, I'm confident we'll find a way to slow down Sproles or at least make some adjustments for the screens and draws that will be coming with him to at least try to contain him and keep the pressure up on Rivers so we can pull out a tighter game then it seem many think we'll have... :tt02:

MJ5150
01-05-2009, 12:35 AM
Keep looking ahead to the Ravens.....please.

What does it matter what I think anyway? I'm not playing you guys on Sunday. I'll speculate all frickin' day long about how we can win the Super Bowl.

The guys you really have to worry about, the actual Pittsburgh Steelers football team, have all their attention focused on your team and how to stop you.

-Mike

Steelman16
01-05-2009, 02:00 AM
The writer wasn't overlooking the Chargers...as if that has any bearing on anything.

He was saying that we match up better against the Chargers than the Colts.

augustashark
01-05-2009, 02:21 AM
Don't forget about the first game we played against SD. That was a MUST win for them, they could not and did not think that Denver would choke it the way they did. I know it's the playoffs and things pick up, but they played as hard as they could in that first game and with out the zebras help and a goal line stand that game would have been pretty ugly.

SteelCityMom
01-05-2009, 03:29 AM
Don't forget about the first game we played against SD. That was a MUST win for them, they could not and did not think that Denver would choke it the way they did. I know it's the playoffs and things pick up, but they played as hard as they could in that first game and with out the zebras help and a goal line stand that game would have been pretty ugly.


No doubt, after reading some threads on the Chargers boards, they are acting like this game will be an easy win for them on Sunday because of how close the score was last time we played. They really believe their D matched up well against us in that game, which they did, for one play. They have selective memory about how many drives were killed by penalties and how 2 TD's were called back.

You would think after the Denver game that the refs screwed them on they would be more aware of these things and would be thanking their lucky stars that the score wasn't 25-3 like it should have been. I have a hunch they wouldn't feel so confident about this Sunday's game had it turned out the way it should have.

Galax Steeler
01-05-2009, 04:42 AM
I would have loved to have played the colts again to get some revenge on a fluke win earlier in the year but I guess the chargers will have to do I think it will be a much different game this go around and it won't be as close.

markymarc
01-05-2009, 08:40 AM
While I wanted to play the Colts again for the revenge factor, we get the Bolts. The playoff run begins this Sunday and I can't wait. Our defense is well rested and hopefully it gave Arians enough time to come up with a good game plan.

Fordy
01-05-2009, 08:56 AM
I hope the Steeler players are over-looking the Bolts as much as this writer. Nothing like being on the receiving end of a trap game.

I'm not overlooking your team and I highly doubt the Steelers players are either. Especially after that close contest you gave us this season. You guys are playing some good ball right now and Sproles is going to be a dangerous weapon that we must corral. I expect another close and hard-fought game with alot of drama just like our 11-10 victory over you guys earlier this season.

Fordy
01-05-2009, 09:03 AM
While I wanted to play the Colts again for the revenge factor, we get the Bolts. The playoff run begins this Sunday and I can't wait. Our defense is well rested and hopefully it gave Arians enough time to come up with a good game plan.

I think its about time we avenge our 2 playoff losses to the Chargers. So I think we have a revenge factor against them as well. The 1994 afc title game is a painful memory.:mad:

Fire Haley
01-05-2009, 09:16 AM
Nothing like being on the receiving end of a trap game.

LOL! There are no trap games in the playoffs.

The original premise of the article was right. The Chargers did the Steelers a favor by knocking off the Colts - the refs also handed them the game in OT. Now we can move on.

markymarc
01-05-2009, 10:05 AM
I think its about time we avenge our 2 playoff losses to the Chargers. So I think we have a revenge factor against them as well. The 1994 afc title game is a painful memory.:mad:

Yes that definitely is a very painful playoff memory. The players and coaches will be ready for this rematch on Sunday night.

Jammer
01-05-2009, 11:05 AM
becarefull for what you wish for :)

HometownGal
01-05-2009, 11:19 AM
becarefull for what you wish for :)

Be careful what you thump your chests about. :wink02:

X-Terminator
01-05-2009, 11:20 AM
becarefull for what you wish for :)

If you really think the Steelers will overlook the Chargers, then you don't know jack about Mike Tomlin. He will not allow it to happen, I guarantee you that.

The fans? Well, that's a different story. A lot of your fans seem to think this is going to be an easy win as well. Do you believe that?

stlrtruck
01-05-2009, 12:44 PM
Just like the Steelers in '05, the chargers have been playing playoff football since the beginning of December.

They've changed their identity and although they finished 8-8, they are still a dangerously talented team - offensively and defensively.

However, the Steelers aren't the same either. While sports writers write fantasy articles about who would be next and wouldn't it be nice, coaches, players, and fans know better.

No one is looking past the chargers and their revamped offense as well as their aggressive defense.

But thump your chest chargers and believe, that's what your suppose to do after you knock the league MVP out of the playoffs. But remember what you face on Sunday is not one league MVP but a defense that is #1 in the league and an offense that is just as equally talented!!

jjpro11
01-05-2009, 12:47 PM
i hate these kinds of articles.. absolutely hate them.

tyler289
01-05-2009, 12:56 PM
Everyone talks about how hot the Chargers and Colts are, well hell, look at the Steelers!

Won 6 of their last 7, including wins against Dallas, New England, Baltimore, and San Diego!! The only loss was to the Titans, but that's a respectable loss.

In the last 4 games, the Chargers beat the Raiders, Chiefs (needed some late-game magic and collapse by the Chiefs), Tampa, and Denver. One semi-good team in there, Tampa.

And this past weekend they played well, but were at home and got some ticky-tack calls go their way. Do I look at this game and think easy win? Nope.

But I do think we're the better team and I do think we matchup better.

Jammer
01-05-2009, 02:17 PM
Call me crasy but IF the Ravens beat the Titans chargers will be pump even more chance to host the next possible game...

lilyoder6
01-05-2009, 02:32 PM
Call me crasy but IF the Ravens beat the Titans chargers will be pump even more chance to host the next possible game...

if the chargers need something like that to "pump them up even more" then they are a joke of a team... if ur not hyped up as much as u can in a playoff game then u shouldn't be there

stlrtruck
01-05-2009, 02:40 PM
Chargers self-destruction in

5, 4, 3...