Daily Archives: December 21, 2011

Assessing the Obstacles that Stand Between the Steelers and a Postseason Bye

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - DECEMBER 19: Head coach Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers is seen during the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park on December 19, 2011 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Karl Walter/Getty Images)

The odds are quite long for the Pittsburgh Steelers to clinch a bye for the postseason. With two weeks remaining in the regular season, not only do the injury-riddled Steelers need to win out, but they need lots of help along the way. Below, I will preview the obstacles that stand in the way of the Steelers earning that much coveted bye into the second round of the playoffs.

Baltimore Ravens

If the Steelers win out, the Ravens still must lose a game in order for Pittsburgh to clinch the AFC North. Baltimore owns a tiebreaker over Pittsburgh by way of a season sweep of the series. Baltimore finishes up at home against the lowly Browns this week, and then at Cincinnati to close out the regular season. Obviously, the Ravens are undefeated at home this year, so don't look for the Brownies to pull off the upset this week. However, the Bengals are currently 8-6 and could still be alive for a playoff spot in the final game. The Ravens could be playing for better position, but Cincy could be playing for their playoff lives.

Houston Texans

Houston holds the tiebreaker over Pittsburgh because of their 17-10 defeat of the Steelers in week 4. Even if the Steelers win the division, they'll need Houston to lose a game down the stretch in order to earn a bye. The Texans play at the 1-13 Colts tomorrow night, and then finish up at home against the Tennessee Titans. Currently at 7-7, the Titans could still be alive for a playoff spot in the final week, but Houston manhandled Tennessee, 41-7, earlier in the year. Like the Steelers, the Texans are battling the injury bug and are down to using rookie quarterback T.J. Yates after Matt Schaub and Matt Leinart suffered season-ending injuries in back-to-back games. Stud receiver Andre Johnson has also been battling a hamstring injury since the Steeler game, and defensive end Mario Williams is lost for the year. The Texans clinched the first playoff game in team history two weeks ago but fell flat at home to the Carolina Panthers just last week. It's hard to say if the Texans are just satisfied with making the playoffs for the first time, and if they really appreciate the importance of a bye.

New England Patriots

At 11-3, the Patriots are in the drivers seat for the number 1 seed in the AFC. However, the Steelers hold the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Pats, and if the first two obstacles fall for the Steelers, they would have a shot at the number 1 seed if New England stumbles in one of their last two games. Unfortunately, the Patriots have scored 30+ plus points in six-straight games and seem to be running on all cylinders down the stretch (at least on offense). New England closes out their schedule at home against the Dolphins and Bills who are both 5-9. The Patriots took care of Miami in pretty easy fashion in week one, but they lost an exciting game at Buffalo to the Bills in week 4 on a last-second field goal. However, that was back when the Bills were playing exciting and inspired football. After getting off to a surprising hot start, the Bills have fallen back into their usual position as one of the worst teams in the league.

Injuries

This has been another injury-filled season for the Steelers, and they just keep piling up as we head to the finish line. The latest casualties being Mewelde Moore's sprained knee and Rashard Mendenhall's sore ribs. When you couple those with injuries to Ben Roethlisberger and Maurkice Pouncey, as well as Lamar Woodley and even Troy Polamalu, the team, media and fans have been weighing the importance of having a bye vs. having the team's key players as close to 100% as possible when the postseason starts. The biggest injury, of course, is Big Ben's high ankle sprain. There are varying reports about what the Steelers will do with Big Ben over the last two games, and whether or not it's worth the risk to play him. The good news is the Steelers finish up at home against the Rams and on the road against the Browns. One would think the Steelers should still be able to handle their business no matter how they decide to handle their injury problems.

The final two weeks figure to be pretty intriguing, and with still an outside shot at at least a division title, it'll be interesting to see how the Steelers respond.



Source: Behind the Steel Curtain

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Ben Roethlisberger Refutes Report and Is Optimistic About Playing

It was reported earlier that the Steelers do not plan on playing Ben Roethlisberger against the Rams.  Since that report came out earlier Roethlisberger has refuted it and plan on playing this weekend.  He was surprised about the ankle saying, ”It actually feels a lot better than I thought it would.”  Ben wants to get out there and get some reps.  He wants to be ready not only to play this weekend but in the playoffs.
I am against this idea.  He needs a week of rest.  It would do him better then playing against the Rams.  Let his leg get healthy and be ready for the Browns and the playoffs.  The healthier he is the better chance the Steelers have.  We saw what we looked like with him on one leg.  That was not good.  Take a week off.

Source: Yardbarker: Pittsburgh Steelers


Agree to Disagree – vs Rams

Should Ben have played against the 49ers? Is Tim Tebow going to be the opponent in the Wild Card Round? Are injuries all that ail the Steelers? Prisuta and Labriola argue about all of it in this episode of the should-be-award-winning Agree to Disagree

Source: Pittsburgh Steelers : Videos


Ed Bouchette’s Instant Steelers Analysis

PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan) – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Steelers beat writer Ed Bouchette joins Vinnie & Cook for his weekly visit on Sportsradio 93-7 The Fan.

Ed had just finished chatting with Ben Roethlisberger, and he gives us the latest update on that pesky ankle.

Ed admits the Steelers may be tempted to rest Ben Roethlisberger on Saturday against the Rams. But does that mean Ben won’t play? Ed tells us.

Ed also tells us whether Ben’s poor performance in San Francisco is directly due to his ankle, and looks at what else is on the Steelers’ plate this week.

Filed under: Football, Heard on The Fan, Sports, Steelers, Watch + Listen Tagged: Ben Roethlisberger, Ed Bouchette, NFL, Pittsburgh Steelers, Vinnie & Cook

Source: CBS Pittsburgh » Steelers

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NFL Notebook: Ravens have reason to feel good again

Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh arrived for work in a good mood Tuesday morning. The reason: San Francisco 49ers 20, Steelers 3. "He was coming in: 'Did you see that game? Who won?'" quarterback Joe Flacco said of Harbaugh. "OK, we all know who won the game. We know you're way more excited now than you were two days ago. You could definitely tell he was excited, and we should be.

Source: post-gazette.com - Steelers/NFL


Steelers coach is defending Big Ben decision

The Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger didn't leave the game against the 49ers with the outcome decided because, well, he didn't want to.

Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

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Power Company, Stadium Officials Blaming Each Other For Steelers/49ers Blackout MNF Game

As of Wednesday morning, NO ONE KNOWS CLEARLY why San Francisco's Candlestick Park experienced two power outrages during the Monday Night Game between the Pittsburgh Steelers v. San Francisco 49ers game.According to the AP, BOTH SIDES ARE BLAMING EACH OTHER, as the power company isn't for sure what happen to cause the two blackouts which caused fans, players, and TV announcers to WAIT IT OUT, Monday night, for a total of 30 minutes.The power company, PG&E, spokesman Jason King FIRST said that it was the city's own piece of equipment which caused the first of the two blackouts.It's also being reported that the city ISN'T TAKING THE BLAME for the stadium blackouts, as they're saying that the stadium COULDN'T HANDLE the electrical drain the media and ESPN was taking from the stadium.THAT ALONE CAUSED BOTH BLACKOUTS.

Source: Yardbarker: Pittsburgh Steelers


Mike Tomlin Press Conference – 12/20

Source: Pittsburgh Steelers : Videos

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Steelers Safety Ryan Clark Reflects On Loss To 49ers

PITTSBURGH (93-7 The FAN) — Andrew Fillipponi is once again joined live at Nakama by Steelers safety Ryan ClarK. 

Ryan states his case for sticking around for Panthers Preview basketball show which will begin in an hour.  Ryan got back into town at 7:15 a.m. from the loss out in San Fran and he has yet to sleep. 

Ryan maintains that Alex Smith is not on Ben’s level, but Harbaugh puts him in a position to succeed.  Andrew and Ryan agree that it is more than a little suspicious that Candlestick had a couple power outages. 

Ryan’s great passion in life other than football is giving relationship advice.  Ryan sees nothing wrong with breaking off a relationship this time of year.  Ryan is cool with dating multiple people at once. 

Ryan is ready for Christmas and looking forward to home-made gifts from his kids. 

Filed under: Football, Heard on The Fan, Sports, Steelers Tagged: Football, NFL, Pittsburgh Steelers

Source: CBS Pittsburgh » Steelers


Sticking with Ben

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger not only started against the 49ers, but played the entire game despite a high ankle sprain suffered against the Cleveland Browns on Dec. 8.“He is a competitor and I a...

Source: Pittsburgh Steelers : News

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