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mesaSteeler
12-23-2011, 02:49 PM
Steelers' Playbook: vs. Rams
http://www.timesonline.com/sports/local_sports/steelers-playbook-vs-rams/article_18fdc12f-0862-5c1c-acb8-3614ebd08677.html
Mike Bires Times Sports Staff | Posted: Thursday, December 22, 2011 11:17 pm

RAMS (2-12) vs. STEELERS (10-4)

1 p.m. Saturday at Heinz Field (65,500)

TV

FOX (locally WPGH, Channel 53)

Dick Stockton, play-by play; John Lynch, analysis

SATURDAY'S STORYLINE

The Steelers (10-4) play at home for perhaps the last time this season. If they fail to overtake the Ravens (10-4) for first place in the AFC North, they'll play a wild-card game on the road on Jan. 7 or 8. The Steelers conclude the regular season on New Year's Day in Cleveland while the Ravens play in Cincinnati (8-6).

INJURY REPORT

The Steelers don't have to issue an official injury until later today. But on Thursday, QB Ben Roethlisberger and C Maurkice Pouncey missed practice as they continue to deal with ankle sprains. They aren't expected to play. Limited at practice Thursday were LBs LaMarr Woodley (hamstring) and Chris Carter (hamstring) as well as WR Emmanuel Sanders (foot). They also aren't expected to play. Already ruled out are RB Mewelde Moore (knee) and CB Curtis Brown (knee).

For the Rams, QBs Sam Bradford (ankle) and A.J. Feeley (thumb) didn't practice Thursday. Neither did starting CB Justin King (shoulder).

STAT SPEAK

13: The Rams rank last in the NFL in scoring. They've only scored 166 points for an average of 11.9 per game. They've only scored 13 offensive touchdowns.

QUOTEWORTHY

"I don't know about that. I mean, we have another one next week. Let's not tick (the 49ers) off too early. We're just going to say from top to bottom, (the Steelers) have playmakers on all three levels. It's one of those defenses I enjoy watching whenever I can catch their games on television."

-- Rams running back Steven Jackson when asked if the Steelers have the best defense he'll face. Jackson isn't forgetting about next week when the Rams play the 49ers, who beat the Steelers 20-3 this past Monday night

BETTING LINE

Steelers by 14 (36.5)

THE PICK

The Rams are awful. Dating back to the start of the 2007 season, they only have 15 wins, the fewest of any NFL team. It's a franchise in total disarray. Steve Spagnuola is the fifth coach St. Louis has had since 2000 (that includes two interim coaches). And, there's speculation Spagnuolo will be fired once this season ends. The Rams are already pondering who they'll select with one of the top three picks in the 2012 draft. The Steelers are looking ahead for another run at the Super Bowl. So it will be ... Steelers 27, Rams 7