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Old 12-17-2006, 06:12 AM   #1
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Default Game 14 Matchup: Steelers vs. Panthers

Sunday, December 17, 2006
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Game plan

What the Steelers will do: The Steelers have done a good job reducing their mistakes, committing only seven turnovers in the past five games, but the offensive line will need to protect QB Ben Roethlisberger. Because the Panthers use their defensive lineman to pressure the quarterback, the Steelers are hoping to hit long runs with RB Willie Parker. They will try to run at the middle of the Panthers' defense, where MLB Chris Draft has replaced Dan Morgan, who is out after a season-ending concussion.

What the Panthers will do: Chris Weinke, who is 1-16 as a starter, is expected to start again for injured Jake Delhomme, and that is good news for the Steelers. Weinke threw 61 passes for 423 yards last week in a loss to the Giants, but he also was intercepted three times. Keyshawn Johnson and Steve Smith have combined for 124 catches, the third-most productive receiving tandem in the league. DeShaun Foster and rookie DeAngelo Williams have combined for 1,084 yards. The Panthers have a strong defensive line, headed by DE Julius Peppers. But they have been inconsistent and forced only 18 turnovers, fourth fewest in the league.

Keep an eye on ...

Panthers WR Steve Smith might be the best wide receiver in the league, at least in the estimation of coach Bill Cowher. Smith is one of three NFC receivers with more than 1,000 yards receiving. He leads the team with 71 catches, 1,025 yards and eight touchdowns. He also has scored a 24-yard touchdown on a reverse. The Steelers will not try to shadow Smith with one cornerback, as they have done in the past with Ike Taylor against some of the league's other top receivers.


Game: Steelers (6-7) at Carolina Panthers (6-7),
When: 1 p.m.
Where: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, N.C.
Radio: WDVE-FM (102.5), WBGG-AM (970).
Line: Steelers by 3.


The Panthers have lost three in a row and have had problems finishing off games, much like the Steelers early in the season. They have blown five fourth-quarter leads this season. The Steelers have won four of their past five and are coming off what is probably their most complete game of the season.

Keys to victory

To win, the Panthers must...

1. Have Foster go bananas. The Panthers have to run the ball to take the pressure off their passing game

2. Shut down Tobacco Road. Parker has not had good games on the road, gaining only 275 of his 1,199 yards away from home.

3. Key(shawn) on Johnson. The Panthers' other receiver could give the cornerbacks problems because of his height.

To win, the Steelers must...

1. Whack Weinke. One victory in 17 career starts is no way to go through the NFL.

2. Smear Smith. The secondary has to make sure he doesn't have room to run after a catch.

3. Keep Peppers chilly, not red-hot. RT Max Starks will need help handling the NFC's leading sacker.
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Old 12-17-2006, 07:58 AM   #2
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Default Re: Game 14 Matchup: Steelers vs. Panthers

My keys to this game is definitely like this..
1. Willie must have a good game to keep the pressure off Ben. We Dont want to have Ben going back to pass 30 times today. We need the running game to protect Ben.
2. Our Run Defense... we need to make the Panthers one dimensional and cause Weinke to pass alot and then lets show off our skills at Crushing The QB!!!
Merry Christmas To Everyone
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Old 12-17-2006, 08:13 AM   #3
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Default Re: Game 14 Matchup: Steelers vs. Panthers

I think that we need to do a better job of protecting Ben. We also need to make more holes so that Willie can do what he does best. Their are some other minor details, but that's about it. I hope we have a great game today. Sadly, I have to Christmas shop and will only be able to see part of the game Anyway, HERE WE GO STEELERS HERE WE GO!

Harder the Conflict, Sweeter the Victory
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