Sunday January 11, 2009
4:45 PM EST
Stats are thrown out the window at this point because they don't mean a thing anymore! It's the playoffs and if a team doesn't show up to play their "A" game then it's best they are sent home any ways. This Sunday afternoon the Chargers come to Pittsburgh to battle the Steelers for the right to play in the ADC Championship game. Last year the Steelers were one and done in the playoffs so Mike Tomlin is looking to capture his first playoff win as head coach. To get that first victory Tomlin is going to be relying on his defense to do what they have done all year and for the offense to do something they haven't been able to do all year... move the ball and put some points on the board!
The Steelers have a stout defense that is known for stopping the run. However, this year the Steelers added "Shutting down the pass" to their defensive resume as well, and quite convincingly as well! Ryan Clark is practicing this week and should make his return along side Troy Polamalu in the safety spot. Clark is one of those defenders wide receivers think about when they come across the middle of the field because Clark is usually waiting for the receiver to jar the ball free. The secondary will need to be on their toes to try and cool down a hot Phillip Rivers. Thankfully, the defensive player of the year, James Harrison will be back in action after missing the final game of the season. He claims to be re-energized after being off for two weeks and his licking his chops to get back on the field and make Rivers' life a living hell on Sunday!
Big Ben is returning this Sunday after sustaining a concussion the final week of the season. Ben seems to be in good spirits and joking with media about his latest concussion. When Ben was recently asked if he has failed recent concussion tests his response with a laugh was "I don't know, I can't remember?". Any Steeler fan has to wonder though if the points put on the board week 17 was either because they were playing the Browns or because of Byron Leftwich. Granted Leftwich didn't win the game for the Steelers because they were already up 7-0 when he entered the game, but the fans haven't been use to seeing that many point on the board in awhile. The last big number on the score board was Dec 7th against Dallas and 6 of those were from a late Townsend touchdown. The offense of the Steelers is the definite "X" factor and will be the ultimate decision maker for how deep the Steelers go in the playoffs.
For the Steelers to make it to the AFCCG, they need to do the following
Join us this Sunday afternoon as we talk about the game and cheer our Steelers to a victory!
- NO TURNOVERS - Almost 75% of the Steelers turnovers can be accounted for in their 4 losses on the season.
- Contain either Tomlinson or Sproles, especially Sproles on the little check downs in passing situations
- Offense needs to come alive