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ejsteeler
10-20-2008, 02:03 PM
Link to story (http://myespn.go.com/blogs/afcnorth/0-0-535/Steelers-stockpiling-wins-before-tough-stretch.html)


Steelers stockpiling wins before tough stretch

October 19, 2008 7:43 PM


Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker


Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Ohio native Ben Roethlisberger improved to 11-0 in his home state on Sunday.
CINCINNATI -- Sometimes it can be difficult to focus on a minor quiz when a major test is looming.

That was the situation the Pittsburgh Steelers found themselves in Sunday. But they aced the quiz easily with a 38-10 victory over the winless and hapless Cincinnati Bengals. The hard part starts next week.

The Steelers proved in their past two games that they are maturing. Pittsburgh had every reason to lay an egg in Jacksonville two weeks ago, because the team was banged up and looking forward to a bye week. Instead, the Steelers gutted out a road win over a team that had beaten them four straight times.

On Sunday, Pittsburgh faced the NFL's worst team, with backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick replacing the injured Carson Palmer. The Steelers established a double-digit lead in the first quarter, then pulled away for good with three straight touchdowns in the final period. Pittsburgh also beat up Fitzpatrick on the way to a season-high seven sacks.

In what became a competition to see who could get to the quarterback faster, Pittsburgh linebackers Lawrence Timmons, LaMarr Woodley and James Harrison each had two sacks apiece.

"The fun thing about those guys right now is they're competing against one another," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. "James Harrison is the bus driver. And if he gets a [big] play off, he's going to let No. 56 [Woodley] hear about it, or No. 94 [Timmons] hear about it, or No. 51 [James Farrior].

"That's how they're playing. The biggest competition is in your backyard, and that's how they approach it."

The Bengals certainly didn't provide much competition for Pittsburgh, especially in the second half. As the lead grew, Pittsburgh dug in its cleats and continued to tee off on Fitzpatrick (164 yards passing, one touchdown). He often scrambled wildly before being spun around like a top and knocked to the ground.

"We didn't protect our quarterback worth a darn today," a disappointed Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said.

The Steelers' offense is being led by an unexpected hero: Mewelde Moore.

Moore gained 120 yards on 20 carries and scored three touchdowns. It was Moore's first 100-yard game with Pittsburgh, as the Steelers used a lot of quick-hitters and several draws to quickly get off the football and dominate the line of scrimmage.

Moore averaged six yards per carry and was often able to get outside. His ability to get to the perimeter gives Pittsburgh's running game a different look from its usual straight-ahead style.

"Coach believes and understands the type of abilities that I have, and they utilized those,'' Moore said. "It really puts the defense in a tough situation."

Moore, who received a game ball from the team, has 219 rushing yards in his past two contests replacing both Willie Parker (knee) and rookie Rashard Mendenhall (shoulder).

"He's become a locker-room favorite, and we make no bones about why we feel the way we do about each other," Tomlin said. "It's based on deeds. This guy is delivering time and time again."

Now that the bye week and the Bengals are out of the way, the meat of the schedule awaits the Steelers. Pittsburgh, which entered the year with the NFL's toughest strength of schedule, has four consecutive games against playoff contenders in a 21-day span.

Here is a quick peek:

Oct. 26 vs. New York Giants (5-1)

Pittsburgh faces the biggest challenge of the next four games right away against the defending Super Bowl champions. New York (5-1) has the same record as Pittsburgh after bouncing back with a win Sunday over the San Francisco 49ers following a bad loss to the Cleveland Browns.

For the Steelers, it will be a chance to get their biggest marquee win to date and further cement their status as one of the NFL's elite. Only the undefeated Tennessee Titans (6-0) have a better record than these two clubs.

Nov. 3 at Washington Redskins (5-2)

The Redskins are another tough opponent. The AFC North team that's able to win games against the NFC East probably will win the division.

The Steelers are 0-1 against the NFC East, which is widely regarded as the toughest division in football. Pittsburgh's only loss came against the Philadelphia Eagles on the road in Week 3.

Nov. 9 vs. Indianapolis Colts (3-3)

The Colts are a tricky team to figure out. But when they're hot, they're hot.

Pittsburgh won't know which team to expect when Indianapolis comes to Heinz Field in three weeks. The Colts, hammered by the Packers on Sunday, could be a lot more healthy than they are right now and any team with quarterback Peyton Manning is dangerous.

Nov. 16 vs. San Diego Chargers (3-4)

Don't be fooled by San Diego's record. The Chargers, who play the Saints in London in Week 8, are in the same "dangerous" category as the Colts.

This is a talented team that happens to be reeling right now after losses in two of its last three games. Similar to the Colts, the Chargers are hard team to forecast several weeks down the road.

The silver lining is that three of the four games during the stretch are at home. The Steelers could come out of this run as one of the last teams standing or fall back into the pack of the AFC.


I like the assessment. Here we, I say, Here we go Steelers, here we go!!!! :cope:

I am looking forward to this stretch very much. I don't want to sound crazy, but I do not see any reason, other than our own melt down, why we can't emerge from this stretch and be 9-1 or 8-2 at the worst. :yellowthumb:

Troyisabeast_43
10-20-2008, 02:56 PM
Link to story (http://myespn.go.com/blogs/afcnorth/0-0-535/Steelers-stockpiling-wins-before-tough-stretch.html)



I like the assessment. Here we, I say, Here we go Steelers, here we go!!!! :cope:

I am looking forward to this stretch very much. I don't want to sound crazy, but I do not see any reason, other than our own melt down, why we can't emerge from this stretch and be 9-1 or 8-2 at the worst. :yellowthumb:

I agree completely if the Giants or Redskins dont knock the Steelers off the next 2 weeks the Steelers should win all 3 of those home games with Indy,San Diego,and Cincy here. The Colts and Chargers have looked absolutely pathetic on the road so far this season. San Diego has to play another East Coast game and they have looked bad in both of their games here out East so far this season in Miami and Buffalo. The Colts have been terrible on the road this year as well. Now I know they have 2 of their 3 wins on the road, but keep in mind in both of those games Minnesota blew a 15-0 lead and Houston blew a 27-10 lead. Both of those teams let's face it arent very good at all and had the Colts played a better football team on both of those days such as the Steelers they have no chance in hell of coming back and winning either one of those games period. So for me personally, it comes to down to either the Giants or Redskins knocking the Steelers off the next 2 weeks. If one of those teams dont get the job done the Steelers will be 10-1 I believe heading in New England on November 30th.

AZ_Steeler
10-20-2008, 02:56 PM
It's going to be a tough stretch but will definitely define this Steelers team for the season! If they can come away form these next 4 games 3-1 that is a huge victory... I honestly don't see why 4-0 won't happen but I'm trying to be realistic.

Troyisabeast_43
10-20-2008, 03:01 PM
It's going to be a tough stretch but will definitely define this Steelers team for the season! If they can come away form these next 4 games 3-1 that is a huge victory... I honestly don't see why 4-0 won't happen but I'm trying to be realistic.

Keep in mind like I said it will be 5-0 if the Giants or Redskins dont beat the Steelers because the Bengals come in here to play on the Thursday night after the Chargers game. There is just no way in hell I see the Colts and Chargers coming into Heinz Field here with as bad as both of those teams have looked on the road so far this season and beating the Steelers as we sit here today.

steelerschick1220
10-20-2008, 05:15 PM
If we go 3-1 over the next four games, I will be totally happy with that. I think we will beat the Colts and Chargers. If we lose, I think it will be to either the Skins or the Giants. Looking forward to the next four games.

BlitzburghRockCity
10-20-2008, 05:28 PM
We have set ourselves up perfectly heading into this stretch of games, but also the rest of the AFCN has helped too. With Browns losing again, the Bengals being completely inept and we all know the Ratbirds can't beat quality teams this helps us out alot. I'm not guaranteeing anything right now but so far we have looked good and have done well to put ourselves in a good position.

Dean Denton
10-20-2008, 05:38 PM
We have set ourselves up perfectly heading into this stretch of games, but also the rest of the AFCN has helped too. With Browns losing again, the Bengals being completely inept and we all know the Ratbirds can't beat quality teams this helps us out alot. I'm not guaranteeing anything right now but so far we have looked good and have done well to put ourselves in a good position. I think up to this point we have beat the teams we should have beat. This is a big improvement from last year so far. We lost to Arizona, Denver and the Jets on the road and we should have beat those teams. Beating the Jags on the road this year is bigger than any road win we had last year, I think....I'm sure when we beat the Giants, then win in Washington we will be sitting alone at the top in our minds just because thats huge compaired to how we failed last year. But again, a lot of football to play.

Troyisabeast_43
10-20-2008, 05:43 PM
We have set ourselves up perfectly heading into this stretch of games, but also the rest of the AFCN has helped too. With Browns losing again, the Bengals being completely inept and we all know the Ratbirds can't beat quality teams this helps us out alot. I'm not guaranteeing anything right now but so far we have looked good and have done well to put ourselves in a good position.

I know I kind of wrote the division and the Ravens off completely last week in this division but I am not going to completely do that just yet. The Ravens play the Raiders in Baltimore this week another West Coast team coming out East so I look for the Ravens to win that game and move their record to 4-3. With that being said, it makes the game with the Giants this Sunday even more important for the Steelers to win to maintain that 2 game lead with the tiebraker in hand over the Ravens. Now the Ravens have 3 straight games on the road the next 3 weeks after the Oakland game with the Browns,Texans,and Giants which doesnt look like that tough of a stretch but I think for a team like Baltimore it will be. The Browns will want payback down in Cleveland for the game in September where Baltimore beat them,Houston has been playing better lately and is very tough to beat at home, and the Giants are the best team of the 3 and always play well in New York. The bottom line is you want to just keep taking care of business and not let the Ravens gain any ground, and give them any kind of life knowing that they still have a game left in December in Baltimore with the Steelers where they have pretty much owned them for the past 5-6 years.

--- Added 10/20/2008 at 04:43 PM ---


I think up to this point we have beat the teams we should have beat. This is a big improvement from last year so far. We lost to Arizona, Denver and the Jets on the road and we should have beat those teams. Beating the Jags on the road this year is bigger than any road win we had last year, I think....I'm sure when we beat the Giants, then win in Washington we will be sitting alone at the top in our minds just because thats huge compaired to how we failed last year. But again, a lot of football to play.

Winning the next 2 weeks and then having 3 straight home games against the Colts and Chargers who have been completely pathetic on the road so far this year, followed by a game here with the Bungles will really put the Steelers in excellent position to get homefield or a bye week going into the last 6 weeks of the season and into December.

Dean Denton
10-20-2008, 05:51 PM
I know I kind of wrote the division and the Ravens off completely last week in this division but I am not going to completely do that just yet. The Ravens play the Raiders in Baltimore this week another West Coast team coming out East so I look for the Ravens to win that game and move their record to 4-3. With that being said, it makes the game with the Giants this Sunday even more important for the Steelers to win to maintain that 2 game lead with the tiebraker in hand over the Ravens. Now the Ravens have 3 straight games on the road the next 3 weeks after the Oakland game with the Browns,Texans,and Giants which doesnt look like that tough of a stretch but I think for a team like Baltimore it will be. The Browns will want payback down in Cleveland for the game in September where Baltimore beat them,Houston has been playing better lately and is very tough to beat at home, and the Giants are the best team of the 3 and always play well in New York. The bottom line is you want to just keep taking care of business and not let the Ravens gain any ground, and give them any kind of life knowing that they still have a game left in December in Baltimore with the Steelers where they have pretty much owned them for the past 5-6 years.

--- Added 10/20/2008 at 04:43 PM ---



Winning the next 2 weeks and then having 3 straight home games against the Colts and Chargers who have been completely pathetic on the road so far this year, followed by a game here with the Bungles will really put the Steelers in excellent position to get homefield or a bye week going into the last 6 weeks of the season and into December. I know what you mean about the Ravens, but I'm not too worried about them because of Johhny Falco at QB. I know the Raiders are not good, but they seem to travel ok. They did hang in there with the Bills, and the Ravens will struggle to move the ball against them. They looked good yesterday. They really did. Fargas is a hell of a player.

I so look forward to the Colts coming to town. Nov 9th in my Birthday, and the Steelers dont lose on my birthday. Check the stats, I wouldn't lie about that. I have the media guide and I couldn't find any loses on that day except 1 I think against the Browns in 1966 or something. this is going to be a beat down. Same with the Chargers. They are getting worse as the season goes on. Rivers blows, and LT is hurt or something.

SteelerNC
10-21-2008, 02:10 PM
This stretch of games doesnt look as bad as it did at the beginning of the season.

DBR96A
10-21-2008, 02:18 PM
Each game presents its own challenges. The Giants are the defending Super Bowl champions. We have to hit the road to play the Redskins, and we have a short week to prepare for the Colts. Ordinarily the Chargers would match up well against us, but they do seem a bit weaker this year. And even the Bengals game won't be a "gimme" considering we only have four days to prepare for that. We do have 10 days to prepare for New England, though, but we do have to hit the road for that game.

ejsteeler
10-21-2008, 02:24 PM
Each game presents its own challenges.

That is the key. Tomlin I think is doing a good job keeping the guys and coaches focused on what is next. The schedule is looking better by the week. My only concern now, and it is small but a concern none-the-less, is our secondary with injuries.

Dean Denton
10-21-2008, 03:00 PM
The hardest game for us IMO will be the Bungles on Thursday Night after a long stretch of tough games. I see us being 9-1 going into that Thursday night Showdown, but I think out of all the games, that one will be the hardest. but you wont hear me say 9-2. Its just going to be tough getting uip for that one after all these worthy teams get blasted by our overwhelming play...