View Full Version : Offensive line paramount in Steelers' win

01-12-2009, 09:51 AM
Offensive line paramount in Steelers' win
Monday, January 12, 2009

Following the Steelers' 35-24 win over the San Diego Chargers on Sunday, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger sought out the offensive linemen that protect him and gave each one a hug.

Nothing was more telling about the job the oft-criticized line did in the win that puts the Steelers in the AFC Championship Game. The Steelers rolled up 165 rushing yards. Roethlisberger threw for 181 yards and a touchdown and got sacked just one time.

Starting right tackle Willie Colon said offensive coordinator Bruce Arians challenged the line before the AFC divisional playoff game to win the battle up front. To say the group did that might be an understatement considering how much running room Willie Parker had and how much time Roethlisberger had to throw.

"To win the game, (Arians) said it had to be on us," Colon said. "We knew we could get after them. It was just a matter of doing it."

Comcast cable television service did something the Chargers couldn't: Stop the Steelers in the third quarter of Sunday's game. Service problems interrupted the TV broadcast to an undetermined number of fans in Allegheny, Westmoreland, Armstrong and Indiana counties.

A recorded message cited "network issues" in the Greensburg area for all services and "technical issues" in the Kiski, Blairsville, Murrysville, Tarentum, Rural Valley and Plum areas that affected digital and analog cable service.

"We had a full bar in front of the HD (high definition) TVs, and they had nothing to watch," lamented Tony Sachs, manager of the Red Star Brewery & Grille at the Greensburg Train Station. Sachs said two analog TVs kept operating, so customers could watch the Steelers cruise to victory. HD service was restored before game's end.

The Steelers hadn't returned a punt for a touchdown this season prior to yesterday. That wasn't the only reason why Santonio Holmes' 67-yard punt return against the Chargers was a rare feat. Holmes' touchdown was the first one given up by San Diego since 2003. It also marked the first punt return for a touchdown yielded by the Chargers in the postseason since the 1965 AFL Championship Game.

The Steelers did something on special teams they had never done under coach Mike Tomlin when they tried a fake punt. The direct snap to upback Ryan Clark in the second quarter didn't fool anybody and led to a Chargers field goal, but Tomlin stood behind the call.

"I was going to be aggressive," Tomlin said. "I want our football team to know that I have a great deal of belief in them and that we are not going to play scared."

The return of Clark to active duty turned free safety Anthony Smith into a spectator yesterday. Joining him on the Steelers' inactive list were outside linebacker Bruce Davis, defensive end Orpheus Roye, cornerback Fernando Bryant, offensive tackles Tony Hills and Jason Capizzi, defensive tackle Scott Paxson and quarterback Dennis Dixon.

San Diego running back LaDainian Tomlinson didn't play yesterday because of a groin injury. The five-time Pro Bowler and 2006 league MVP was doubtful for the game because of a torn tendon. Darren Sproles started in place of Tomlinson and managed just 15 rushing yards on 11 carries, but he did catch a 62-yard touchdown pass.

Hines Ward, who had four receptions for 70 yards, became the first player in Steelers history to catch at least 70 postseason passes. He also moved into second place on the Steelers' all-time list for postseason receiving yards (966).

Tomlin said the Steelers didn't suffer any significant injuries yesterday. As for how Roethlisberger played two weeks after sustaining a concussion, Tomlin said: "Like I said leading up to the game, it was a non-issue for us."


13 Advantage in minutes the Steelers had in time of possession yesterday.

26 Plays the Steelers ran in the third quarter compared to one by the Chargers.


01-12-2009, 10:22 AM
I was very impressed with the OL yesterday. Now they just need to perform like that for 2 more games!

01-12-2009, 10:26 AM
I was very impressed with the OL yesterday. Now they just need to perform like that for 2 more games!

I wouldn't plan on it....... :wink02:

01-12-2009, 11:53 AM
I wouldn't plan on it....... :wink02:

LOL :tt02:

01-12-2009, 12:25 PM
I was very impressed with the OL yesterday. Now they just need to perform like that for 2 more games!

DITTO! :helmet:

El-Gonzo Jackson
01-12-2009, 12:37 PM
They created creases in the defense over the guards. Kemo blocked with purpose, Hartwig handled Williams well for the most part and Colon blocked like a beast as usual. Even the guy I belive is the weakest run blocker on the squad Stapleton did the job well.

Difference next week is the Ravens run blitz a lot and the Steelers have to make some key blocks to exploit it like the Titans did.

01-12-2009, 12:46 PM
They kept Ben upright a great deal yesterday . . .Keep it up boys . . . Do it two more times and I take back everything I have said about ya.