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Old 12-14-2008, 04:42 AM   #1
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Default Steelers matchup: Run game vs. Steelers

Steelers matchup: Run game vs. Steelers
By Mike Prisuta, TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Sunday, December 14, 2008


THE RAVENS' RUNNING GAME

The Ravens don't have a running back ranked among the NFL's top 25 in rushing, but they have three who have combined for 1,581 yards on the ground in Le'Ron McClain (606), Willis McGahee (521) and rookie Ray Rice (454). Baltimore has also gotten contributions on the ground from quarterback Joe Flacco (171 yards) and wide receiver Mark Clayton (81). They've even mixed in a little "Wildcat" formation on occasion with backup QB Troy Smith.

Baltimore ranks No. 5 in the NFL in rushing as a team and has produced 15 rushing TDs in 13 games.


THE STEELERS' RUN DEFENSE

The Steelers have been ranked No. 1 in the NFL in run defense for the past four weeks, as well as No. 1 in passing and total defense over that span. They've allowed just two opponents to surpass 100 yards rushing as a team against them, the Ravens with 103 on Sept. 29 and the Patriots with 122 on Nov. 30.

The Steelers' reliance upon gap-control and discipline in executing the scheme has allowed them to excel against speed and cutback runners and power backs. They're convinced no one should be able to run the ball on them. Almost no one does.


THE MATCHUP

The Ravens will be more stubborn than most opponents as it relates to sticking with the ground game, even if they don't have success initially. Baltimore must establish some semblance of a rushing attack to allow Flacco the opportunity to pass off play-action.

It'll get really interesting when the Ravens go to their "Jumbo" package. Rather than insert a third tight end, the Ravens will go with a third offensive tackle (Adam Terry) or defensive tackle (Haloti Ngata) and run McClain (6-foot, 260) behind fullback Lorenzo Neal (5-11, 255) and simply try to move the pile. They're pretty good at that. EDGE: RAVENS


LAST WEEK

The Steelers rushed for just 70 yards and averaged 2.7 yards per carry last Sunday against Dallas. NT Jay Ratliff had a sack and a pass defensed to show for his individual battle with C Jeff Hartings. Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger was sacked five times overall, and the Cowboys were especially effective against the run in short-yardage and goal-to-go situations. The Dallas defense did just about everything it wanted to, but the Cowboys didn't win the game. EDGE: STEELERS

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_602892.html
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Old 12-14-2008, 12:18 PM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers matchup: Run game vs. Steelers

Quote:
Originally Posted by lamberts-lost-tooth View Post
NT Jay Ratliff had a sack and a pass defensed to show for his individual battle with C Jeff Hartings.
Wow when did we get Hartings back Good read and thanks for sharing. We shut down their running game we easily win this game.
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