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-   -   Celizic: Big Ben, Steelers the Only Hope to Topple Pats (http://forums.steelersfever.com/showthread.php?t=21087)

alittlejazzbird 11-06-2007 08:57 AM

Celizic: Big Ben, Steelers the Only Hope to Topple Pats
 
Mike Celizic's writing generally has more cliches than a freshman English paper, but he's echoing what I've believed since about week 5 - it's us or no one.
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Celizic: Big Ben, Steelers the only hope to topple Pats
Circle Dec. 9 on your calendar — when Pittsburgh invades New England

OPINION
By Mike Celizic
updated 1:19 a.m. ET, Tues., Nov. 6, 2007

Pittsburgh Steeler fans saw a promising season flash before their eyes when their star quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger, went down on a seemingly innocent play and took what seemed like a week to get up. But to NFL fans, the fear wasn’t for what it meant to Pittsburgh but what it would have meant to New England if Big Ben had been as hurt as he looked.

Right now, Roethlisberger’s continued health may be all that stands between the Patriots and 16-0. Look at the schedule: the Patriots have a bye this week followed by the Buffalo Bills. Then it’s the feeble Eagles, the Ravens with their non-existent offense, and finally, on Dec. 9, the Steelers in New England.

After that, it’s the Jets and Dolphins before the Pats meet the only other team on their schedule that might have a shot at them — the New York Giants in the Meadowlands in the season’s final game. But the Patriots have already whupped the NFC East-leading Cowboys 48-27, so it’s hard to imagine the Giants being able to put up a better fight than Dallas.

So you have to think that if anybody is going to stop New England short of 16-0, it’s got to be Big Ben and the Steelers.

It’s a tall order. Pittsburgh looked terrific against the Ravens. But stopping Baltimore’s offense was as hard as stopping a runaway tricycle, and the Ravens’ depleted defense could no more stop Roethlisberger than a ****er spaniel can solve quadratic equations. In other words, beating the Ravens isn’t what it used to be.

And as good as the Steelers looked, it’s impossible to forget that the two games they’ve lost have been to the Broncos and the Cardinals, two teams whose combined record after Week 9 is 6-10. And their wins have been against these powerhouses: the Browns, Bills, 49ers, Seahawks and Bungles. Of that list of opponents, only Cleveland has a winning record. So it’s not as if they’ve been tested by whatever passes for the NFL’s best this season.

But the Steelers are all there is standing between New England and perfection. Like Obi-Wan Kenobi was to the rebels, they’re our only hope of stopping the NFL’s Evil Empire.

It’s enough to make you wish you were the NFL commissioner so you could order the Steelers to send Roethlisberger to Fiji or someplace equally remote for the next month — somewhere without blitzing linebackers or motorcycles where he can stay healthy between now and Dec. 9 and this season’s next Game of the Century.

It should be the Dolphins’ job to stop teams who would join the 1972 Fish as the league’s only undefeated team. They’re so protective of the record, let them stop the Patriots. But Miami is so bad, it might have trouble beating Notre Dame.

So it falls by default to the Steelers, and Roethlisberger is the key.

He’s no longer the rookie who tip-toed into a Super Bowl, making only safe throws and mostly handing off to his big running backs. And he’s not the player who spent last year recovering from a preseason motorcycle accident that was followed by an emergency appendectomy.

Roethlisberger is a fully accomplished NFL quarterback now. He started Monday night by rifling completions through a driving rain storm, and when the rain let up, he didn’t. He had five touchdown passes in the first half, and only New England’s Tom Brady has matched that.

He’s also mobile, something that is vital against the Patriots’ pass rush.

It’s always been Peyton Manning’s downfall on the bad days he’s had against New England — the inability to get away from the pass rush. But Roethlisberger can roam wide of the pocket, and he can take it down and run with it if he has to.

The game will be in New England, which will make it even more daunting for the Steelers. But, if there’s any team you’d want to stop the Patriots’ assault on perfection, who better than Pittsburgh?

On Monday night at Heinz Field, the Steelers honored the franchise’s all-time team as voted by the fans. This is the franchise of Mean Joe Greene, Jack Lambert, Franco Harris, Rockey Bleier, Lynn Swann, Terry Bradshaw and the rest of the legendary Steel Curtain that won four Super Bowls. Thanks to Roethlisberger and the current team, the franchise has five total championships.

Miami has the motivation to stop the Pats but not the talent. The Steelers don’t have identical motivation — their object should be to do what they can to keep Brady from joining Bradshaw as a four-ring QB — but they at least have a fighting shot.

So circle Dec. 9, the next big hurdle facing New England. And say a prayer for Big Ben. We need him healthy.

Mike Celizic writes regularly for msnbc.com and is a freelance writer based in New York.

URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21647256/

DACEB 11-06-2007 09:10 AM

Re: Celizic: Big Ben, Steelers the Only Hope to Topple Pats
 
Quote:

So circle Dec. 9, the next big hurdle facing New England. And say a prayer for Big Ben. We need him healthy.
I will be there rooting hard and loud for my Steelers.:tt02:

Sharkissle29 11-06-2007 11:57 AM

Re: Celizic: Big Ben, Steelers the Only Hope to Topple Pats
 
Dear NFL,
PLEASE MOVE THIS GAME TO SUNDAY NIGHT SO I CAN WATCH IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Love,
Steelers Diehard.

alittlejazzbird 11-06-2007 12:11 PM

Re: Celizic: Big Ben, Steelers the Only Hope to Topple Pats
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by St33lers (Post 317717)
Dear NFL,
PLEASE MOVE THIS GAME TO SUNDAY NIGHT SO I CAN WATCH IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Love,
Steelers Diehard.

Ditto for me. Win or lose, I'd still love to be able to see it in NJ.

Borski 11-06-2007 12:22 PM

Re: Celizic: Big Ben, Steelers the Only Hope to Topple Pats
 
They would be dumb if they dont, this is the Pats last chance to lose, it should get high ratings

OneForTheToe 11-06-2007 01:09 PM

Re: Celizic: Big Ben, Steelers the Only Hope to Topple Pats
 
My sympathies my fellow fans. I lived away from Steeler's Country for three years, so I know the pain. Of course, it was in the late 80's, early 90's, so it wasn't quite as bad as misssing games now.

Still, I don't think you will see the game on Sunday Night. Remember the NFL can't just move the game of their own free will. CBS has the right to block one game a week, or so many games a season - I'm not entirely sure how many they can block,. Given the ratings for the Colts'/PATs'game, and what it did for CBS's Sunday Night schedule, expect CBS to move the game to 4:15 that day . (Would you guys be able to see a 4:15 CBS national game?)

Also, the NFL already moved another Pat's game to Sunday Night, and I believe each team is restricted in the number of times they can be on Sunday night football.

Anyhow, I hope that I am wrong. Maybe the comish can sweet talk CBS.

Sharkissle29 11-06-2007 01:28 PM

Re: Celizic: Big Ben, Steelers the Only Hope to Topple Pats
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by OneForTheToe (Post 317757)
My sympathies my fellow fans. I lived away from Steeler's Country for three years, so I know the pain. Of course, it was in the late 80's, early 90's, so it wasn't quite as bad as misssing games now.

Still, I don't think you will see the game on Sunday Night. Remember the NFL can't just move the game of their own free will. CBS has the right to block one game a week, or so many games a season - I'm not entirely sure how many they can block,. Given the ratings for the Colts'/PATs'game, and what it did for CBS's Sunday Night schedule, expect CBS to move the game to 4:15 that day . (Would you guys be able to see a 4:15 CBS national game?)

Also, the NFL already moved another Pat's game to Sunday Night, and I believe each team is restricted in the number of times they can be on Sunday night football.

Anyhow, I hope that I am wrong. Maybe the comish can sweet talk CBS.

ah that really hurts. i have sunday ticket, but the reason i cant watch it is because i have other obligations until 4 pacific time. i might be able to catch the end of it, but that is just so disappointing out of all the games to miss that it has to be this one. all well, we should have a playoff spot pretty secured by then but i would still LOVE to see how we'd do. i might cry that sunday.....cant even remember the last steeler game i missed entirely.

steelpride12 11-06-2007 02:55 PM

Re: Celizic: Big Ben, Steelers the Only Hope to Topple Pats
 
I honestly can say we play our hearts out, the defense steps up and brings pressure and Ben plays like he did last night i can feel a first loss for the Pats and im sure we will see them in the Playoffs!

Go Steelers!

HometownGal 11-06-2007 03:24 PM

Re: Celizic: Big Ben, Steelers the Only Hope to Topple Pats
 
I believe in my black 'n gold heart that the Steelers can beat the Cheatsies in their own backyard if they continue to believe in themselves and in each other. The Steelers that annihilated the Ratfinks last night was about as confident a Steelers team as I've seen since their history-making 2005 SB run. :tt02:

Steelers 11-06-2007 04:55 PM

Re: Celizic: Big Ben, Steelers the Only Hope to Topple Pats
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by alittlejazzbird (Post 317579)
But the Steelers are all there is standing between New England and perfection. Like Obi-Wan Kenobi was to the rebels, they?re our only hope of stopping the NFL?s Evil Empire.

So pretty much, fans of 31 teams are going to be pulling for the Black & Gold that night. :helmet:


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