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Old 11-05-2006, 01:23 AM   #1
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Default Game 8 Matchup: Steelers vs. Broncos

Game 8 Matchup: Steelers vs. Broncos
Sunday, November 05, 2006

Gerry Dulac breaks down the AFC championship rematch



Game plan


What the Steelers will do: The best thing the Steelers can do is protect the ball, something they've been unable to do this season. All but two of their 18 turnovers have come in their five losses. Ben Roethlisberger has to do a better job of making decisions. RB Willie Parker has three 100-yard rushing games this season, but the offensive line will be juggled. Chukky Okobi replaces injured center Jeff Hartings. The Steelers will try to shut down the Broncos running game and force mistake-prone Jake Plummer to beat them.

What the Broncos will do: Denver will probably take a cue from the Raiders --- line eight and nine guys in the box to stop the run, then drop seven to eight to stop the pass. They have not allowed a team to rush for more than 92 yards in four of the past five games. The strength of the defense is the linebackers, particularly OLB Ian Gold, who has the speed to chase down backs from the weakside. The Broncos hadn't scored more than 17 points until last week's 34-31 loss to the Colts, and the reason is Plummer. He has been erratic and mistake-prone, though he played his best game of the season against the Colts.


Keep an eye on ...


WR Javon Walker: Acquired in a draft-day trade with the Green Bay Packers, Walker gives the Broncos a big-time receiving threat to take the pressure off veteran Rod Smith. Since 1994, he leads all AFC receivers with an average of 81 receiving yards per game. After a slow start, he has 22 catches in the past four games and leads the Broncos with 33 catches for 535 yards.


Data


Game: Steelers (2-5) vs. Denver Broncos (5-2).

When: 4:15 p.m.

Where: Heinz Field.

TV: KDKA.

Radio: WDVE-FM (102.5), WBGG-AM (970).


Intangibles


Denver's offense finally came to life at the same time the Broncos defense finally showed some cracks, even though it was against Peyton Manning. But the Steelers aren't even that fortunate. No matter what they do, they keep giving away games. Turnovers aren't the only problem. Missed assignments, like the botched opportunity at the Raiders goal line, are another.


Keys to victory


To win, the Broncos must ...

1. Ring the Bell(s). Tatum Bell (3) and Mike Bell (1) have combined for four 100-yard rushing games this season for the Broncos.

2. Keep Ben in the pen. When Roethlisberger can't scramble, his receivers become more stationary and he tries to force the ball.

3. Have Bailey be a champ. The Broncos CB is so good that teams tend to pick on the other corner, Darrent Williams.

To win, the Steelers must ...

1. Rake Jake. Plummer is a mistake waiting to happen, which the Steelers proved with pressure in last year's title game.

2. Eliminate turnovers. They have cost them wins vs. Bengals, Falcons and Raiders, games in which the Steelers outgained the opponent, 1,198-743.

3. Pretend it's the Browns. Certainly they will get that feel because the Broncos entire defensive front is made up of former Cleveland players.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06309/735799-66.stm
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Old 11-05-2006, 09:10 AM   #2
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Default Re: Game 8 Matchup: Steelers vs. Broncos

My game plan is to sit, watch, cheer, and cry in victory!!
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Old 11-05-2006, 10:02 AM   #3
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Default Re: Game 8 Matchup: Steelers vs. Broncos

mine is to sit, eat, drink, yell and play video games...also i think pitt should get over 200 yrds rushing today to get there spirits up
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Old 11-05-2006, 10:21 AM   #4
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Default Re: Game 8 Matchup: Steelers vs. Broncos

Mine is to eat, drink and freeze my %&$ off at Heinz while being around the best fans in the game. Fortunately it's not supposed to rain. Flask day.
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