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Old 09-19-2009, 11:03 PM   #1
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Default Matchup: Steelers running game vs. Bears defense

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Matchup: Steelers running game vs. Bears defense

By Mark Kaboly
Sunday, September 20, 2009


Steelers running game vs. Bears run defense


It has been well documented that the Steelers run game has struggled. They were 23rd in the league in rushing and 29th in yards per carry last year. A new year didnt cure that problem. The Steelers rushed 36 yards on 23 carries last week, albeit against a good run defense in the Titans. That's 1.6 yards per carry. Willie Parker managed 19 yards and Rashard Mendenhall touched the ball only four times. After a performance like that, you better believe that Mike Tomlin & Co. wants to get a little better effort out of his ground game especially with the a couple new faces in the middle of Chicago's defense.


The Bears are stout against the run. Always have been and always will be. However, that was with All-Pro linebacker Brian Urlacher in the middle of the Bears' 4-3 defense. Urlacher is out for the season after dislocating his wrist last week against the Packers. Outside linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa is also questionable with a knee injury, making Chicago's run defense very vulnerable. Urlacher is being replaced by veteran Hunter Hillenmeyer and, if Tinoisamoa isnt able to play, he will be replaced Nick Roach. A week ago, those two filled in admirably, as the Bears held the Packers' Ryan Grant to 61 yards on the ground.


Even though the heart and soul of the Bears defense, Urlacher, will be on the bench, Chicago's defensive line is too big and talented to allow the Steelers to put forth more than just a token run game. Ends Alex Brown and Adewale Ogunleye and tackles Tommie Harris and Anthony Adams will be a tough task for the Steelers' offensive line to handle. And if Hillenmeyer is able to run free, he will be as effective as Urlacher.

Mark Kaboly can be reached at mkaboly@dailynewsemail.com or 412-664-9161.
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Old 09-20-2009, 01:30 AM   #2
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Default Re: Matchup: Steelers running game vs. Bears defense

I doubt we'll get much from the run this game. The Bears bring their safeties down low regularly. And they'll likely need to do that even more with the current state of their LB's.

It's Big Ben and the WR's once again if I had to make a guess at it.
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