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Old 11-12-2010, 11:02 PM   #1
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Default Ward says Steelers won't look ahead

View From The Press Box
Scott Brown

Ward says Steelers won't look ahead

November 12th, 2010

The Steelers did not just win a game last Monday night in Cincinnati.

They may have also cleared a key psychological hurdle after making a late defensive stand when they were on the verge of blowing the biggest lead in franchise history.

“It seemed like we were going back down that road in that Cincinnati,” Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward said.

That road, bumpy as it proved to be, led to a dead end as the Steelers missed the playoffs a season after winning the Super Bowl.

And of their seven losses in 2009, five came after the Steelers squandered fourth-quarter leads, including one in Cincinnati.

Three times during a crippling five-game losing streak that bridged November and December the Steelers dropped games they hadled in the fourth quarter.

The sting of those stunning string of losses in the second half of the season -– and a Steelers win in any one of them would have put them in the playoffs –- has not completely subsided.

And that is not a bad thing.

The reason: the Steelers are again 6-2, and, just as in 2009, the schedule sets up favorably for them in the second half of the season.

The eight teams they have played sport a combined winning percentage of .567. The winning percentage of their eight remaining opponents is .431.

Three of the Steelers’ final eight games are against the Bengals and Panthers, both at home, and the Bills. The combined record of those team is 3-21.

But the Steelers learned the hard way last season that what looks like a sure win on paper can prove to be anything but that.

That is why the Steelers players talked this week about not getting ahead of themselves, something, Ward said, they may have done in 2009.

“It’s fresh on guys’ minds,” Ward said of what happened in the second half of last season. “Not saying it will happen again like that but we’re not looking and saying ‘We should beat this team’ and just take it one week at a time.”

So cliché, yet such a vital approach for the Steelers in the second half of the seas
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