This week we have Matt Loede from Steelers Gab. While I would normally say we should go over there and give them hell, you can see we have our share of trolling Steelers fans this week.
1) I think it is fair to say that the Steelers escaped with a victory last week. What the hell happened?
Well, they started the game a house of fire, dominating in every phase in the first half in leading 13-0. They seemed to have everything well in hand before the refs pulled the usual one a game personal foul on James Harrison, and two plays later the Bills got a long TD from Fred Jackson and that changed the momentum of the game. Give the Bills credit, they held the Steelers in check on defense, and their offense started to find its stride. The Steelers were lucky, but then again, the Ravens can say the same thing about their win a few weeks back in OT vs Buffalo.
2) With Starks now done for the season, is the Ravens frontline going to have a field day on Sunday night?
While losing Starks is bad, the bigger key may be the foot injury to Ben Roethlisberger. Big Ben has a knack for escaping at key times, and it will be interesting to see if that foot injury keeps him more in the pocket, which will make him a sitting duck. The Steelers held the Ravens in check the first game, allowing Charlie Batch to get sacked just twice, and they kept him upright most of the day. They will have to do that again Sunday night if the Steelers are going to win.
3) The Ravens, Steelers, Jets, and Pats are all considered elite teams. I don’t buy it for the Ravens. Do you consider the Steelers an elite team this season?
I do, they have a defense that can hold a team to under 10 almost any week, and their offense when it’s clicking, is pretty solid. They have a run game that showed last week it can pound out tough yards when it needs to, and when they are up against it, Roethlisberger has shown (see SB 43) that he can pull a game out. The postseason is still well within their sights, and while the Pats crushed them at home a few weeks ago, they have a shot at playing in Dallas in February provided they get some breaks.
4) While the Steelers have made some big plays in the defensive backfield, it seems like they have given up some big plays. Why is that?
They are a defense that takes risks, and while Troy Polamalu has the ability to change games by making huge plays, he also has found himself flat footed and looking too much in the backfield at times. Ryan Clark is the same way, and he’s such a big hitter that sometimes he simply misses tackles and gives up the big plays as well. The secondary has always been suspect with William Gay and Ike Taylor. If the LB’s don’t get pressure, QB’s can have good throwing days.
5) Who is the true genius on this team- Mike Tomlin or Dick LeBeau?
I think it’s a healthy combination between the two. Tomlin made a great move by not dumping LeBeau when he came aboard in 2008, and it paid off a year later with a Super Bowl. Both guys have a good knowledge of defense, and they communicate well from what those in the know say. That’s good for this team, and you never hear about many issues within the coaching staff, which is important for a team that thinks they can get another trophy in the case in the offices at Heinz Field.
EC- How many personal fouls with James Harrison incur this week? What will his fine total be for the entire season?
I say he gets his usual one PF, and as far as season total, he’s already at $125,000, so I say by the time it’s all said and done, he’ll be at $200,000.