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Old 12-09-2008, 10:10 PM   #1
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Default Roethlisberger's passing, stout defense keys to Steelers' winning formula

Roethlisberger's passing, stout defense keys to Steelers' winning formula
http://www.profootballweekly.com/PFW...spin120808.htm
By Mike Wilkening
Dec. 8, 2008

The Steelers’ 20-13 victory vs. Dallas on Sunday had major ramifications on both conference races. Pittsburgh ran its record to 10-3, and put itself in a position to clinch the AFC North next week with a win at Baltimore. Dallas, which has a challenging upcoming schedule, fell to 8-5 after holding a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter. If the Cowboys are wondering what might have been, the Steelers have to be ecstatic after scoring 17 points in the final 7:15 to earn the victory. The win wasn’t pretty — QB Ben Roethlisberger was sacked five times, the running game was shut down and Cowboys rookie RB Tashard Choice rolled up a surprising 166 combined yards vs. Pittsburgh’s top-ranked defense — but it highlighted the Steelers’ resilience. And that’s a good attribute to have as the Ravens loom.

The PFW spin

In victory, the Steelers’ toughness is saluted; perhaps the story would be different if they lost. But there is something to be said for having the persistence and creativity needed to overcome a 10-point deficit against an opponent as good as Dallas in trying weather conditions (below-freezing temperatures, 16 mph wind) and when little is working offensively.

About that offense: It’s clear the Steelers’ running game is going to have problems vs. strong run defenses. Willie Parker doesn’t look like the back that rose to stardom from 2005-07. Backup Mewelde Moore has played well, but he is not a game-breaking threat a la a healthy Parker. Parker and Moore combined for 47 yards on 17 carries vs. Dallas; don’t be surprised if a similar output is coming in Week 15. The Ravens have never let Parker rush for more than 63 yards in a game, and Moore's biggest impact in the 23-20 OT win vs. Baltimore was as a receiver.

The Steelers’ bid for a season sweep of Baltimore likely will come down to the play of Roethlisberger and the defense. Roethlisberger, who threw for 191 yards against Dallas, including the game-tying TD pass to Heath Miller with 2:04 left to play, has had both terrible games vs. Baltimore (he was sacked nine times in a game in ’06) and wonderful outings (five TD passes vs. Baltimore in November 2007). But we can suspect this much: Roethlisberger will stand in vs. the Ravens’ rush, and he’ll take some hits. And, ultimately, the success of the Steelers’ offense is likely to fall on his shoulders, given the Ravens’ stout run defense.

The Pittsburgh offense can sputter and search for answers and usually get away with it because of its spectacular defense, which surrendered only two first downs after Cowboys PK Nick Folk’s 33-yard field goal with 3:36 left in the third quarter. The defense also authored the game-winning TD, as instinctive veteran CB Deshea Townsend snagged a Tony Romo pass and returned it 25 yards.

The Steelers remain tops in the NFL in yards allowed per game as well as run defense and pass defense and allowed only 289 yards on 65 plays vs. Dallas. The performance of Choice, who had a 22-yard run and 50-yard reception, likely speaks to his bright future more than any building defensive problems for the Steelers considering Pittsburgh’s track record this season.
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Old 12-09-2008, 10:12 PM   #2
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Default Re: Roethlisberger's passing, stout defense keys to Steelers' winning formula

I agree i just hope he doesnt take that BIG hit, and that our defense doesnt let Mcclain run on us, because Choice did better than expected, but Dallas does have a huge O-line.....all in all i think Ben will show up
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Old 12-09-2008, 10:24 PM   #3
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Default Re: Roethlisberger's passing, stout defense keys to Steelers' winning formula

Ben will show up, so will the D. What makes you think that McClain will run on us? Thats crazy to even say. Jacobs couldnt run on us LT couldnt run on us yeah, Choice did ok. But, still didnt get to 100 yards.
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Old 12-10-2008, 06:31 AM   #4
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Default Re: Roethlisberger's passing, stout defense keys to Steelers' winning formula

I definitely have no worries about our defense showing up. Harrison will be ready for a big game again against the Rats. It will come down to who makes the fewest mistakes.
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Old 12-10-2008, 07:16 AM   #5
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Default Re: Roethlisberger's passing, stout defense keys to Steelers' winning formula

Lebeau is not going to let the Ravens run on the Steelers. He will use lessons learned from the first game and plan accordingly. The Ravens are going to have to look elsewhere for any offensive output.
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Old 12-10-2008, 07:29 AM   #6
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Default Re: Roethlisberger's passing, stout defense keys to Steelers' winning formula

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Lebeau is not going to let the Ravens run on the Steelers. He will use lessons learned from the first game and plan accordingly. The Ravens are going to have to look elsewhere for any offensive output.
Exactly.

As long as the Steelers keep the pressure on "Flacid Joe", he's bound to make mistakes. Pound him to the turf early and often and force him into either running for his life or hurrying his throws.

The O HAS to show up for this game and not rely on the Steelers D to put points on the board. The line has to play better and Ben has to get rid of the ball quicker, as the Rats LB's will be coming.

Take the wind out of their sails and their fans out of the game early. Period.
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Old 12-10-2008, 07:47 AM   #7
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Default Re: Roethlisberger's passing, stout defense keys to Steelers' winning formula

Stop the Ravens run game and force Flacco to beat you.

Tashard Choice had a good game last week because the Steelers were not keying on him, and Dallas also ran a lot of draws. They were focused on stopping the Dallas passing game, which at this point was a far bigger threat than Choice. I doubt the Rats get that much production this week.

What Ben needs to do is be patient, manage the offense, and survive. The Ravens won't let him sit comfortable for the long ball, and they'll take away the run game.

All in all, I still think the Offense will have quite a few issues in this game.
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Old 12-10-2008, 08:29 AM   #8
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Default Re: Roethlisberger's passing, stout defense keys to Steelers' winning formula

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Tashard Choice had a good game last week because the Steelers were not keying on him, and Dallas also ran a lot of draws. They were focused on stopping the Dallas passing game, which at this point was a far bigger threat than Choice. I doubt the Rats get that much production this week.

.
Tashard Choice had a good game, because he is a good RB. If you were able to watch the Senior Bowl week and game last year, he really stood out against a lot of other draftees. The problem with him was injuries and that is why he slid to the 4th round......but still a good RB.

Gotta see some kind of a running game from the Steelers this week and control some clock. I honestly think the Ravens will score 17 points.
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Old 12-10-2008, 09:12 AM   #9
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Default Re: Roethlisberger's passing, stout defense keys to Steelers' winning formula

I'd have to say some of the success on offense on Sunday will rely heavily on the offensive line!
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Old 12-10-2008, 09:32 AM   #10
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Default Re: Roethlisberger's passing, stout defense keys to Steelers' winning formula

Please Ben use Miller and Moore for checkdowns !!!

or maybe I should say Ariens use Miller and Moore for checkdowns


Colon better step up his ffing game...he played the worst by far against the Cowboys
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