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Old 09-27-2010, 07:38 AM   #1
mesaSteeler
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Default Next up for run defense? Mendenhall and the Steelers

http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/spor..._steelers.html

September 27, 2010
Next up for run defense? Mendenhall and the Steelers

Since the Ravens drafted linebacker Ray Lewis in 1996 to coordinate the middle of the defense, the defense has allowed 100-yard rushers in consecutive games just twice.

The first time was 13 years ago when the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Jerome Bettis and the Miami Dolphins’ Karim Abdul-Jabbar did it. The second time took place last season against the Cincinnati Bengals’ Cedric Benson and the Minnesota Vikings’ Adrian Peterson.

So after the Cleveland Browns’ Peyton Hillis gashed the defense for 144 yards, what can the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Rashard Mendenhall expect next Sunday?

Time will tell, but Ravens defensive end Trevor Pryce conceded that the performance against Hillis was both a concern and a hiccup.

“It’s a little bit of both,” he said. “It’s something you have to fix, but you have to wait until the next game to fix it completely. But they [the Steelers] are going to see some stuff. They’re going to see some weaknesses, and they’re going to see what worked and what didn’t work. So we’ll see what happens.”

The Browns had entered Sunday ranked 21st in the NFL in rushing, averaging 88.5 yards per game. But after a few successful gains, the players said they began to notice a change in the Ravens.

“We felt it with their body language,” left tackle Joe Thomas said. “They weren’t jumping around and screaming. We were running the ball directly at them. I thought we did a good job of that. We kind of hit them in the mouth because they are the type of team that thrives on stopping the run and getting you in third and longs. They kind of do exotic blitzes and looks and try to make you panic. But we were able to run the ball directly at them. We kind of had them on their heels. They were kind of searching for answers. We have to be able to make those plays down the stretch and execute those.”

(The Ratbirds smell scared. - mesa)

With quarterback Charlie Batch expected to start in place of Ben Roethlisberger who will serve the last of his four-game suspension next Sunday, Pittsburgh will likely lean on Mendenhall to power the offense. And Mendenhall has rushed for more than 100 yards in two of the season’s first three games and scored two touchdowns.

Shoring up the run defense figures to be a point of emphasis during the upcoming week.

“Anytime you rush for that many yards, we’re going to be watching the film this week,” outside linebacker Jarret Johnson said. “Probably until six o’clock in the afternoon.”

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Old 09-27-2010, 07:40 AM   #2
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Default Re: Next up for run defense? Mendenhall and the Steelers

http://www.associatedcontent.com/art..._steelers.html

Baltimore Ravens Vs Pittsburgh Steelers: Las Vegas Line & Pick Against the Spread

NFL Fans that Love Decapitating Hits & Defensive Battles Will Be in Heaven Sunday
Both offenses in this game will take a back seat to the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Baltimore Ravens defenses Sunday October 3rd. This will be the last game the Pittsburgh Steelers play without quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and if they win they could be 4-0 in his absence.

The Baltimore Ravens stretched their wings on offense as Anquan Boldin scored three receiving touchdowns and Joe Flacco was able to restore his confidence against the Cleveland Browns. The Baltimore Ravens continue to struggle establishing the rush. the Ravens only rushed for 109 yards against a weaker opponent in the Cleveland Browns.

Defense is Only Category of Importance in This Game Between Baltimore Ravens & Pittsburgh Steelers

Neither the Baltimore Ravens nor the Pittsburgh Steelers have a killer offense but their defenses are two of the best in the NFL. The Baltimore Ravens defense led by Ray Lewis are one of the most punishing defenses in the NFL. Opposing players fear running crossing routes against Lewis and his linebacking corps. Intimidation is the key to Baltimore's success which forces teams to go for the long ball more often.

The Baltimore Ravens front line is good enough to put pressure on the opposing quarterback and gives the Ravens secondary opportunities they must capitalize on. The Baltimore Ravens secondary is their Achilles heel. If there is a way to get past the Baltimore Ravens it is deep through the air.

When it is said that a defense is beatable without a certain player, many would scoff. Look no further than the Pittsburgh Steelers and Troy Polamalu to prove this point. With Polamalu in the lineup the Steelers are one of the most opportunistic defenses in the NFL once again.

Polamalu is not the only player on the Pittsburgh Steelers that can cause chaos on the field. LaMaar Woodley and James Harrison along with Aaron Smith are keys to the Steelers success on defense to this point in the NFL season. The edge on defense is not much but it goes to the Pittsburgh Steelers over the Baltimore Ravens.

Baltimore Ravens -3 vs Pittsburgh Steelers: Pick Against the Spread & Final Look
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