View Full Version : Steelers rested, ready for Panthers

12-12-2006, 12:18 AM

The Steelers should be rested for a season-ending stretch that includes games at Carolina and Cincinnati and one against the Baltimore Ravens on Christmas Eve at Heinz Field.

The Steelers visit Carolina on Sunday, and the game pits a pair of preseason Super Bowl favorites that find themselves at 6-7 and in must-win situations against one another.

Despite a four-day break the players received following a 27-7 win over the Browns, the Steelers still have some health issues.

All-Pro safety Troy Polamalu (knee) will likely miss Sunday's 1 p.m. game. Along with Polamalu, wide receiver Cedrick Wilson (ankle) and safety Mike Logan are listed as doubtful.

Wide receiver Hines Ward (knee) is questionable for the game, though following the Steelers' win last Thursday night the wide receiver sounded optimistic that he would play against the Panthers.

Starting free safety Ryan Clark (groin) is also listed as questionable on the Steelers' injury report.

One thing that isn't in question: the Steelers having to account for two Panthers in particular at Bank of America Stadium.

Steve Smith has caught 71 passes for 1,025 yards and is as feared as any wide receiver in the NFL. Defensive end Julius Peppers, meanwhile, leads the NFC with 11 sacks and is such a disruptive force that coach Bill Cowher indicated that he will be at least double-teamed when he is rushing the passer Sunday.

"They may have two of the best players at their position on their team when I talk about Steve Smith and Julius Peppers," Cowher said Monday at his weekly news conference.

The Panthers could be without starting quarterback Jake Delhomme, who missed Sunday's game because of an injured thumb on his throwing hand.

What is more encouraging for the Steelers' prospects of winning in Charlotte is they are probably playing their best football of the season.

They have won four of their last five games and have generally taken better care of the football than they did earlier in the season, particularly in losses to Cincinnati, Atlanta, Oakland and Denver.

"We're playing better, there's no question about it," said Cowher, whose team returns to practice today. "I look at the last three weeks, our coverage teams have been excellent. We have guys getting takeaways, we're getting key stops. The one game that sticks out is the (27-0 loss) at Baltimore. That got out of hand early and we could never catch up. I'd like to think we're playing better."

Our depleated secondary will be put to the test with Steve Smith out there that's for sure. However if we can turn up the pressure on Delhomme or Weinke then we should be ok. Control the clock, run the ball, mix in the pass and play solid defense and we'll be ok.

12-12-2006, 12:25 AM
Yup, we get pressure on the QB and Smith will be a no show. Out D tends to play well against the "elite" type players.

12-12-2006, 01:19 AM
i can't wait for this game, i probably won't get to see it, but i like playing spoiler and it will be fun to eliminate one of my friends team pretty much from playoff contention lol

Black@Gold Forever32
12-12-2006, 11:13 AM
i can't wait for this game, i probably won't get to see it, but i like playing spoiler and it will be fun to eliminate one of my friends team pretty much from playoff contention lol

I thought you wanted the Steelers to blow the rest of their games and get a good draft pick?

12-12-2006, 12:37 PM
Koopa does not know what the hell he wants :lol:

12-12-2006, 12:55 PM
Pressure is the key to this game. Carolina has 2 threats at WR (Smith & Johnson) of course the Steelers chances are better if Weinke is the QB, but regardless of who is playing QB the Steelers are finally starting to peak!

12-12-2006, 06:01 PM
You covered it TG. If we play our game we won't lose.