First off, let's get this out of the way ...
Merry Freaking Christmas Everybody!
Fvck' the "Happy Holiday" and "Seasons Greetings" bullshitt, it's Christmas! ... say it like you mean it and don't ever let anyone tell you about the political-incorrectness of saying something like that when it comes from the heart!
enough of that ... here we go:
The Ravens limp into Pittsburgh with plenty left to play for. The Steelers keep plugging away winning games with slim playoff chances in there future. The Ravens out coached, out willed, and out skilled the Steelers in Baltimore, I expect a completely different result this week at Heinz Field. :tt02
Ravens with the ball
The Ravens are a ball control team, but they will open the passing game for the kill shot; the chance to put a team “away” early in other words. The Ravens best offense is that quick attacking defense. Mcnair is expected to manage games, don’t get me wrong Mcnair is still savvy and skilled enough to break a teams heart, Billick wants to limit the opposing team defenses opportunities to make plays. The Ravens passing game for the most part is very safe 3-5 step drops, half rolls, take what the defense gives you with basic west coast principles, The Ravens running game is in big trouble this week, I believe the Steelers defense will take away Jamal Lewis early and force the Ravens to make plays in the passing game.
Adam Terry on Brett Kiesel- I am familiar with Terry from his college days at Syracuse. He reminds me a lot of former Steelers Chris Conrad. Terry is a tall lanky man with decent feet and no ability to anchor. Kiesel should have no problems holding the point in the run game. Kiesel play has improved over the past few weeks against the run, maybe it’s the level of competition…Maybe the light went on. Kiesel needs to play with the fire& desire and passion he did the past few weeks. Ravens love to run power and stretch series to the left…That’s right at Kiesel.
Adam Terry on Joey Porter in Pass Pro- I will make this short and sweet. Porter is faster and stronger then Terry, if the Ravens don’t help Terry and he controls Porter, Porter needs to find a new way of making a living.
Jason Brown on Hampton and Foote- Brown is a mauler who will move Hampton with downblocks on runs left. That means Kiesel and Foote need to make plays against the run. Brown has feet made of stone; he has little to no chance to make blocks at the second level. As the weather cools off Hampton is able to play more quality snaps, my hope is Hampton can come underneath some of the down blocks and wreck some havoc in the Ravens back field…That’s a tall order for Hampton…IF the Steelers want to win this game it must happen.
Jason Brown on Brett Kiesel in the Passing game- Kiesel did a nice job in this matchup last game…He just missed closing the deal a few times. Steelers must eliminate the run game to be able to take advantage of this matchup... I have a feeling the Steelers choke off the Ravens run game forcing the Ravens out of there comfort zone and into throwing the ball, Kiesel just needs to close the deal this week.
Mike Flynn on Hampton- This is a complicated match up for several reasons. Flynn may not be able to go...If he can not Jason Brown the starting Lt Guard moves into center and Chris Chester moves into left guard, if this happens it will kill the Ravens hopes of controlling the front seven. I am guessing Flynn will start; Flynn or any center in the NFL not named Jeff Hartings will need help with Casey. Flynn will do his best to wall Hampton out of plays….The Ravens have to hope Hampton is cocked away from the play side a ton. Hampton if inspired could make a ton of plays without registering a tackle; he must be the proverbial bull in a china closet.
Keydrick Vinnie on Hampton and Farrior- Same deal as Brown…Vinnie is big and strong enough to get some movement on Hampton with down blocks, if they seal or move Hampton Farrior and Smith must make plays. The Ravens will run the ball as long as they have success. The Steelers inside linebackers must not miss tackles…They must attack Lewis low and drive through him.
Keydrick Vincent on Aaron Smith in the passing game- Smith should be able to make some plays. Vincent is not a great a pass blocker. My hope is the Steelers twist and stunt up front expose the Ravens Oline as a group of sloths. Smith is relentless in his pass rush if the Steelers stop the run game the rush will get there.
Tony Pashos on Aaron Smith- Pashos is a big ole son of a bitch. Boy is he dirty. Smith needs to punch Pashos in the throat first chance he gets. Pashos took the Steelers heart last game…That can not happen this week. Pashos is a less mobile Max Starks; the major difference is Pashos mean streak, he could make Steve Wisnewski or Conrad Dobler blush at times. Pashos is slowing and plodding and limited athletically; Smith will have to keep his technique and play hard every down. Skill and passion will overcome treachery this game.
Pashos on Haggans in the passing game- No matchup disappointed me more last game. Not Larry Foote’s nine missed tackles, Not James Farrior flailing as Lewis ran by him. Haggans in this game showed me something I had not seen from him…He’s a **** who will pack it in. Haggans has a lot to prove this week. If I noticed Haggans packed it in I am sure Lebeau and the rest of the staff did as well. I expect a nasty Clark Haggans this week…Steelers need a nasty Clark Haggans this week.
The Ravens Wrs and Te’s on Steelers Backers and Dbs.
The Ravens are the walking wounded. I expect Heap and Wilcox to play this week; that doesn’t mean either will be effective. Heap has a deep thigh bruise and he could not walk off the field last week. Wilcox is a nice secondary outlet in the passing game; he has missed 3 out of the past 4 games with back and knee issues…Both these injuries will have BIG outcomes in this game. Heap is a decent blocker, with a bad wheel he wont be able to seal either Steelers Olb, Wilcox was already a poor blocker. Derrick Mason is a warrior who will play no matter what …he also has a deep thigh bruise. I am not a very smart man but the Ravens 2 best Receivers are gimpy (Heap and Mason,) there missing there best Olinemen in Pass Pro (and the best in the NFL). Mark Clayton is a nice route runner when he is allowed a clean release; unfortunately the Steelers will not put the corners up in bump. Demetrius Williams has come on lately and showed he has NFL play making ability. I expect Fad to have his hands full with Clayton, I believe the Steelers could give themselves a better chance to win if they played Fad up in bump against Clayton…Takes away the timing of the modified West Coast offense also plays to Fads strength. Shea will be able to stay with Mason because of the injury. Ike will handle any Receiver he is matched with most likely Williams. Heap and Wilcox will struggle to take the field so the backers and safeties will have no issues staying with either. My biggest fear is the human blown pass coverage Troy Polamula returning and trying to make phenomenal plays. Tony Smith has been great. If the Steelers front seven can stop the run game and force the Ravens to pass; I see big time opportunities for plays to made for the Steelers defense.
Ravens Backs. Jamal Lewis is not the same back he was 3 years ago…He’s still 245 pounds with the ability to truck any backer in the NFL. He will explode through the holes deliver a blow running with great body lean. He will put the ball on the carpet and boy is he due…Lewis still exposes the ball around the pile trying to gain that extra yard or two. At this point Lewis needs a lot of help to be effective; he won’t make something out of nothing. Ovie Mughelli is a fierce run blocker, far better then Krieder and he maybe the best in the NFL. He is also a threat in the passing game to convert 3rd downs. Steelers Front 7 must take the game to the Ravens backs…I would not be unhappy if one of our fine Steelers took 15 to send a message…Make sure you get your moneys worth though.
Mcnair- Gash on his hand has healed to the point he is not listed on the Injury report. Mcnair is streaky with accuracy to start with…Gash to his throwing hand will not help. Healthy or not if Mcnair is forced to win this game the Ravens are ****ed.
Steelers must come out like a bunch of wild dogs…Just steaming.
Make the penalties count…Get that pound of flesh
Play the scheme…Nothing more…Nothing less
Rally to the Ball with very bad intentions
Be the Hammer not the nail
Steelers with the ball
I would not expect the same game plan as in the previous game with the Ravens. The Steelers are praying to see the Ravens bring 7. The way to beat the Ravens defense is simple. Pound the ball at them…and attack over the top…Executing is a different issue. The Ravens defense is very good…The Ravens defense is not great if they can’t force tempo…Steelers offense must dictate the terms of battle. The Ravens supposedly run a 3-4 now… I say bullshit they run a 4-6 I will do my position break down in those terms
Marvel Smith on Adalius Thomas- Thomas plays more of an elephant role… He doesn’t drop down into a 3 point stance but a majority of run downs he is coming up field. Smith should beat the piss out of Thomas in the run game…I expect Heath Miller and Tuman have some chances for downblocks on Thomas; they must finish every block again this week. The Steelers Te’s were dominant in the run game last week and they need to have that type game again this week. Thomas is hell on wheels rushing the passer…By the second quarter he has the Qb’s cadence down and attacks up field like a bat out of hell. Ben needs to vary the count and Smith must throw Thomas a beating in the run game if they want to slow him down.
Faneca on Ngata- Faneca did ok last week Vs. Jenkins…Ngata is no where near the player Jenkins is. Faneca must get movement in the run game…THAT SIMPLE. Onto Pass pro Faneca needs to keep his head on a swivel and keep his weight back so he doesn’t over extend. Faneca needs to have a “pro bowl” type of performance this week.
Jeff Hartings on Kelly Gregg- I love this matchup. Gregg maybe a fine wrestler …This isn’t wrestling. Hartings will not only control Gregg he will dominate Gregg. Ngata and Gregg cover the interior gaps to protect Ray Lewis from blockers… If you can block both players man up leaves one free “big” blocker on Lewis…And Lewis struggles to beat blocks.
Simmons to the second level….This is ideal for the Steelers. Simmons is good in space, His job will be to flow to the second level and block under sized inside linebackers. Bart Scott blew up Simmons last game…Simmons was embarrassed and he has played a lot better since…I think my boy Kendall plays a great game this week(Can you ****ing believe you just read that)
Willie Colon on Trevor Pryce- Oh boy are the Steelers ****ed. Colon actually is decent in Pass pro…That’s the good news; he’s ****ing awful in the run game. Pryce is a very good football player…There is no bigger mismatch in the game….I have no clue how the Steelers will attempt to block Pryce…Steelers best hope is Pryce gets sick in the next few days.
Terell Suggs Vs Colon in nickel dime pass rushing schemes- This matchup intrigues me. I feel Pryce is one of the best D linemen in the NFL. Suggs is not….He is very limited by his size and lack of strength. If Suggs runs through Colon like a turn stile could be a real long game.
Steelers Wrs and Te’s against the Ravens Dbs and backers.
The Ravens will bring 6 or 7 and try to confuse the Steelers blocking scheme that’s obvious. Most people would counter act this with max protect…I would not; I would help Colon… and expose the Blitzer’s…The Ravens drop Suggs and Gregg into coverage a ton…Steelers need to run defenders out of the zones and get favorable matchups in space an example would be Parker on Suggs in the flat or Gregg on Miller in space. The Steelers must control the line of scrimmage, only way to do that is to back the Ravens out of the box. The Ravens Corners are good…Both have lost a step. Ed Reed is a ball hawk he wants no parts of tackling. The Ravens defense is like a vice if you allow them they will tighten and tighten until they squeeze the life out of you. Holmes should run nothing but vertical routes…Ward nothing but ball control routes and I would sneak Washington down the seam. Heath Miller could be key in many ways this game…IF he can make the down blocks that would be plenty enough for me…I have a feeling he makes the blocks and a ton of plays in the passing game. Tuman will help Colon…I would sneak him out as a check down…5 yard gains can be wins for this offense.
Willie attack the hole protect the ball...Biggest thing…Know who to block in pass pro. Parker is a great back with the ball in his hands…The other aspects of his game need to be refined.
Ben- Don’t be greedy…Hopefully you can audible out of some bad plays. Ben must vary the count and protect the ball. Ben has looked great throwing the ball recently and I feel he plays his best game of the year.
Krieder wont play much…Which is a good thing…He must be replaced this off season.
I don’t fear the Ravens defense. Steelers have plenty of play makers…The way you beat an attacking 4-6 defense is simple…You pound the ball at the gaps and take advantage of the over aggressiveness in the passing game...Force the Ravens to make plays in space in the open field.
Vary the count
No dumb penalties
Play with passion…Like the entire season depends on this game
Get the crowd into the game and feed off them
The Steelers improved of late, but still suck…The Ravens are pretty damn good
Watching MNF with hope
Courtesy of the man, the myth, the legend ... FC!