Daily Archives: December 24, 2011

Rams at Steelers Week 16 Inactives

St. Louis: QB A.J. Feeley, QB Sam Bradford, TE Mike McNeill, T Kevin Hughes, DE C.J. Ah You, CB Justin King

Pittsburgh: RB Mewelde Moore, WR Emmanuel Sanders, T Jamon Meredith, C Maurkice Pouncey, DL Al Woods, LB Chris Carter, LB LaMarr Woodley

Source: Steelers Gab


Steelers Pitch Second Shuout of Season with Routine 27-0 Win over Rams

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Charlie Batch (16) congratulates running back John Clay after Clay scored a touchdown in the second quarter of an NFL football game against the St. Louis Rams on Saturday, Dec. 24, 2011, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Coming off a Week 15 loss in which not much went right, the Pittsburgh Steelers bounced back in the second to last weekend of the 2011 season with a 24-0 shutout victory over the St. Louis Rams. Pittsburgh entered the week allowing 15.57 points per game, the second fewest in the league. Sunday's shutout, the second of the season (Week 3 vs. SEA), lowered that total to 14.3. A few quick notes on the solid win:

  • Dick LeBeau's defense allowed just 232 yards despite being on the field for 67 plays. 3.7 yards per play allowed is a winning figure.
  • Offensively, the Steelers were balanced and efficient, picking up 169 yards rushing and 208 yards passing for a total of 377 for the afternoon. Rashard Mendenhall eclipsed the 100-yard plateau for just the second time this season. He finished with 116 yards and 1 TD on 18 carries. Isaac Redman (8 att. 35 yards) and John Clay (1 att. 10 yards) also found the endzone. Congratulations to Clay on his first career touchdown. Called up from the practice squad this week, the Wisconsin native scored on his very first regular season NFL touch from 10 yards out.
  • Hats off to Rams RB Steven Jackson for his performance on Sunday and for keeping a quietly remarkable streak alive. Jackson rushed for 103 yards on 24 carries, his fourth game this year with 100 or more ticks on the ground. Jackson needed just 36 yards to reach 1,000 for the sixth consecutive season. He surpassed the milestone and then some in the losing effort.
  • We can thank Josh Brown for the shutout. The Rams' kicker missed from 52 and 33 yards out. Shuan Suisham, meanwhile, rebounded from his crucial miss last week to connect from 49 to put Pittsburgh up by 13 early in the third quarter. Suisham also was true from 21 yards for the game's first points.
  • Welcome back James Harrison. This defense is so much better when he's playing. Harrison registered his ninth sack of the season and finished with four total tackles.
  • Lawrence Timmons was everywhere, taking down Rams a total of ten times, seven unassisted. He also had his first sack of the season. That's four straight games with at least eight tackles for the standout inside linebacker.
  • I guess that's why Mike Tomlin gives Charlie Batch the nod in the rare week that Ben Roethlisberger can't or is not allowed to play. Batch lived up to his cliched reputation as a suitable game manager by 15-of-22 passes for 208 yards. He did not throw a TD pass, but he came awful close late in the game when he connected with Mike Wallace for a 49-yard completion that was initially called a touchdown, but ultimately reversed and spotted down at the 1 yard line. Batch did make one mistake with his pick, but all in all, a job well done by the veteran.

More soon from the rest of the day's action. Go Steelers!



Source: Behind the Steel Curtain

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Steelers Shutout Rams 27-0 Behind Big Day For Defense and Run Game

Cameron Heyward #97 of the Pittsburgh Steelers gets up after sacking Kellen Clemens

If the Steelers defense plays like they did Saturday in the postseason, maybe they don’t need QB Ben Roethlisberger.

Ok, let’s not get crazy.

With that said, it was good Saturday for the Black and Gold to be able to take advantage of a 2-win Rams team that was already looking to clean out their lockers. The defense laid out the Rams all day, and while Steven Jackson had some yards against the Steelers D, it was mostly a solid effort by the defense in the Steelers 27-0 Christmas Eve win.

The victory puts the Steelers at 11-4, and while they are already in the postseason, they still have things to play for next week when they head to Cleveland to play the now 4-11 Browns.

First off, the Ravens have a tough road game at Cincy, and with the Bengals still thinking about the 6th playoff spot, they will play that game 100 percent, meaning if the Ravens lay yet another road egg and the Steelers win, they take home the AFC North and likely the #2 seed in the AFC.

If the above happens and the Patriots happen to lose at home to the Bills, which is unlikely but you never know, the Steelers would actually take home the #1 seed.

In the end, they have a lot to play for, and it was good to see them just five days after the breakdown in San Fran that without Big Ben they could do just about anything they wanted against the awful Rams.

John Clay ran for his first career touchdown, and Charlie Batch was solid on offense, and the run game, was very good with Rashard Mendenhall, all sparking the run away win.

It didn’t start so easy, as the Steelers led just 3-0 after one quarter, and 10-0 at the half. They put the game away in the second half though, as they got a 49-yard field goal from Shaun Suisham, and then Batch hit Mike Wallace with a long pass setting up a Mendenhall one-yard run.

Issac Redmen closed out the scoring with a 2-yard TD with 3:14 left to wrap up the scoring at 27-0.

The Rams had a couple shots to at least get three, but kicker Josh Brown missed two field goals, one from 50 and the other from 33. Jackson led the Rams on the ground with 103 yards, but Clemens was terrible in replace of Sam Bradford, going just 9-for-24 for 91 yards. He was sacked 3 times.

Mendenhall ran for 116 yards and a touchdown and backup quarterback Charlie Batch played efficiently in place of an injured Ben Roethlisberger as the Pittsburgh Steelers pummeled lifeless St. Louis 27-0 on Sunday.

St. Louis managed just 232 yards while getting shut out for the second time this month. It was the 6th straight loss for St.Louis.

Mendenhall ran for 116 yards, and Batch was 15-for-22 for 208 yards with a pick. He wasn’t sacked in the win. Another highlight was Hines Ward, who many felt could have been playing in his final game at Heinz Field. He had 4 grabs for 32 yards.

The Steelers will be in Cleveland on Sunday, January 1st, to close out the regular season with the Browns at 1pm.

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Source: Steelers Gab

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In Depth With Maurkice Pouncey: Dec. 23, 2011

PITTSBURGH (93-7 THE FAN) — Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey joined 93-7 The Fan news anchor Jim Colony for his weekly chat about life, love and everything in between.

This week, Pouncey gives an update on his ankle injury and previews the upcoming game against the St. Louis Rams.

The two also talk about the upcoming holiday weekend, including whether he wants it to snow for Christmas.

Click here to listen to the full interview:

Filed under: Football, Heard on The Fan, Sports, Steelers Tagged: In Depth With Maurkice Pouncey, Maurkice Pouncey, NFL, Pittsburgh Steelers

Source: CBS Pittsburgh » Steelers


Rams at Steelers Halftime Notes

The Steelers take a 10-0 lead into the half.  The Rams are playing well but just can not seem to score.  The Steelers are holding down the Rams but also Batch is playing within himself and has only made one mistake.  On the play both guys slipped on the play.
Halftime Notes:

Stephen Jackson eclipsed 1,000 yards for the season.
John Clay scored his first NFL touchdown.
Rashard Mendenhall has 132 total yards in the first half.
Antonio Brown saved a fourth down fake punt by coming up from his returner position to stop the Rams punter short of the first down.  Great hustle play.
Ike Taylor and Max Starks are struggling again today.

Source: Yardbarker: Pittsburgh Steelers

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Charlie Batch To Start Against St. Louis Rams

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Ben Roethlisberger will not be the starting quarterback when the Steelers face the St. Louis Rams tomorrow.

Instead, veteran Charlie Batch is getting the start.

Batch is not unfamiliar to coming into the lineup and winning for the Steelers.

Last year, when just about everyone felt the Steelers would be hard pressed to split their four games during Roethlisberger’s league suspension, Batch delivered three wins, only one loss and plenty of passing yards.

The assignment tomorrow is the St. Louis Rams who have struggled for the lion’s share of this season.

So, it makes sense to rest Roethlisberger against this team at home.

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Filed under: Football, Sports, Steelers Tagged: Ben Roethlisberger, Charlie Batch, Heinz Field, St. Louis Rams

Source: CBS Pittsburgh » Steelers

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Hines Ward says he’s not thinking about retiring

Last year there was talk late in the season that Steelers receiver Hines Ward might be thinking of calling it quits. Ward decided to come back for 2011, but this year he’s been largely phased out of the Pittsburgh passing game. So does that mean he’s thinking that Saturday could be his final game at…

Source: ProFootballTalk » Pittsburgh Steelers


NFL Week 16 Picks: Playoff Picture Remains Muddled in both AFC and NFC with Just Two Weeks Remaining

It's been a number of weeks since I've had the time to make picks for the upcoming NFL week. I believe I fared poorly in fact last time, but nonetheless am clinging to a winning percentage of above .500 against the spread for the season. So, with two weeks left to play and multiple division and wild card races still in the balance, let's take a crack at this week's odd schedule, which of course started Thursday night with the Indianapolis Colts' last-second win over the Houston Texans.

Cleveland (-115) at Baltimore (-13)
  • Something tells me Baltimore will be focused and on point following their blowout loss at San Diego last Sunday night. But with the Ravens' inability to stretch the field vertically with the passing game (outside of pass interference calls, of course), defenses are able to key in on Ray Rice more exhaustively, both in the running game and in the flat and screen game that Flacco relies on so heavily. Too high a spread in my estimation for a team that's missing their top wide receiving playmaker in Anquan Boldin. Pick: Cleveland
Denver Broncos (-3) at Buffalo Bills (-115)
  • The Tim Tebow parade has been quite fun and interesting to watch, but my sense is the Broncos come crashing down to earth here this next two weeks. That might not be the best guess considering how pathetically Buffalo has played since their solid start to the season. I'd take Buffalo to win this one outright and put Denver in a tough spot heading into their Week 17 matchup with Kansas City. Pick: Buffalo
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Carolina Panthers (-8)
  • Jeez, I absolutely detest the thought of taking this Panthers team by more than a touchdown, but the Buccaneers have clearly packed it in and given up on their head coach Raheem Morris. Their pathetic showing against Dallas two Thursdays ago was disgraceful. Pick: Carolina
Arizona Cardinals at Cincinnati Bengals (-5)

(Find all Week 16 lines and other pertinent information at Top Bet's safe, secure online sportsbook).

  • Cincinnati got a much needed win last week, as well as the help it needed with other AFC wild card contenders losing. But don't be too impressed by their 20-13 road win over a Kellon Clemons led Rams team. A much tougher test awaits Saturday in the form of the surging Cardinals. If this one were being played in Glendale, I'd take Arizona in a heartbeat, but they're not nearly as consistent away from home. So, Cincinnati has a great shot at winning, but I still don't think we're looking at more than a 3 or 4 point margin in either team's favor. Pick: Arizona
Oakland Raiders (+3) at Kansas City Chiefs (+100)
  • All the Chiefs have to do is win their final two games, hope Denver loses its final two, and have San Diego split in order to make the most improbable postseason push in a long time, if not ever. Won't happen most likely, though I do think they can do their part and win this weekend against a Raiders team that's totally lost its way this past month. Pick: Kansas City
Miami Dolphins (+10) at New England Patriots (+100)
  • Tough line. The Pats are awfully beat up, but they've survived just fine up to this point with a shoddy defense. It's not like Miami has the offensive artillery to really expose Bill Belichick's flawed defense. I wouldn't be surprised to see a push here, but I'd lean on the side of New England if I had to. Pick: New England
New York Giants (+3) at New York Jets (+105)
  • The Jets did not match up well at all against the Eagles, and the blowout loss was indicative of that. I think they'll fare much better this week against a desperate Giants team that once again put themselves in a ridiculously precarious position with a puzzling loss in the immediate wake of a huge win. It's do-or-die for the Giants, and though the Jets can feasibly survive a loss out of conference this weekend, Rex Ryan will surely have his team preparing as if their playoffs start this weekend. Pick: New York Jets
St. Louis Rams (+13) at Pittsburgh Steelers (-105)
  • Who knows? Seems like the Rams might be a safe bet with Charlie Batch starting in place of the injured Ben Roethlisberger, no? Maybe not. Perhaps keeping things simple and minimizing the likelihood of turnovers will be all that's needed for Pittsburgh to suffocate St. Louis for a two-touchdown or more victory. Pick: St. Louis
Jacksonville Jaguars (+7.5) at Tennessee Titans (-105)
  • Jacksonville could not have played any worse or less inspired than they did in their Thursday night loss to the Falcons in Week 14. I have never seen a more wretched display of heart and execution all wrapped into one performance as what the Jaguars turned in a little over a week ago. Sure they'll play better this time, but with the Titans coming off a stinker yet still in the mix in the wild card, it's Tennessee who will put their recent fiasco in the rear view mirror. Pick: Tennessee
Minnesota Vikings (+7) at Washington Redskins (-115)
  • Redskins laying seven? No thanks. Nice win last weekend, but Minnesota has, for the most part, hung tough in the majority of their 12 losses. Washington feels a little too good about last week and keeps things more interesting than they should. Christian Ponder has been terrible on the road though, so who knows what unfolds at FedEx Field when these two mediocre squads square off. Pick: Minnesota
San Diego Chargers (+3) at Detroit Lions (+110)
  • Love the Chargers again this week. Was not at all surprised they thrashed Baltimore last Sunday night. A tough road test against a Lions team that's regained its mojo thanks to two close wins the past two weeks. Still, San Diego has it humming right now and I don't see Detroit being able to get away with an inconsistent 60 minutes against them like they've been able to do in wins over Minnesota and Oakland this month. Pick: San Diego
Philadelphia Eagles (+3) at Dallas Cowboys (-105)
  • Great game for fans, particularly those outside of the Eagles and Giants fan tribes who will undoubtedly be on pins and needles hoping their team takes care of business against a rival with so much at stake. Both are coming off impressive Week 15 outings, so it's definitely hard to give one team the edge in terms of momentum. I do think that if the Cowboys don't commit to running the football, they'll play right into Philly's hands and lose. Something tells me they'll do just that. Pick: Philadelphia
San Francisco 49ers (-1.5) at Seattle Seahawks
  • Well, I'll admit I underestimated SF a bit, but the final score on Monday night still doesn't reflect any sort of foundational disparity between the 49ers and the Steelers. Just about everything broke their way, while nothing seemed to work in Pittsburgh's favor. Moving on though. San Francisco has a tough test in Week 16, a road trip to divisional foe, Seattle, who's won five of their previous six games. Marshawn Lynch will have a tough time toting the rock for the second week in a row, but if Tavaris Jackson can continue protecting the football well, I think they'll be able to make a play or two on defense or special teams to win. Pick: Seattle
Atlanta Falcons (+7) at New Orleans Saints (-115)
  • That's a big line considering how often these two teams play close games. I believe at least the previous four meetings have been decided by a field goal or less, two in overtime. So, despite how well New Orleans is clicking at this critical time of the season, I don't think I'd take a position on them covering seven against a Falcons team that's also finding its rhythm down the stretch. Pick: Atlanta



Source: Behind the Steel Curtain

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Talking Steelers Football – 12/22

Bob Labriola and Mike Prisuta host Talkin' Steelers Football.

Source: Pittsburgh Steelers : Audio

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Steelers name Charlie Batch starter against Rams

The Steelers won’t allow for any last minute drama regarding their quarterback decision this week. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review passes along word that Charlie Batch was officially named the starter by the team on Friday. We’ve said all week that it made sense for the Steelers to go all out for a bye against San Francisco.…

Source: ProFootballTalk » Pittsburgh Steelers

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