View Full Version : ESPN.com's Playoff Picture

Iron Shiek
12-05-2008, 11:04 AM
Good stuff on the steelers that I have pasted below, other teams in the link:



Pittsburgh Steelers (9-3, first)

Analysis: The Steelers are well on their way to reversing a trend. Pittsburgh is trying to become just the fourth team out of 13 to make the playoffs when entering the season with -- or tied for -- the NFL's toughest strength of schedule since 2002.

Remaining schedule
Sunday: vs. Dallas
Dec. 14: at Baltimore
Dec. 21: at Tennessee
Dec. 28: vs. Cleveland

The Steelers can clinch a postseason berth in the AFC as early as Sunday with a win over the Dallas Cowboys and losses by the New England Patriots (7-5) and Miami Dolphins (7-5).

Pittsburgh, winner of three straight, is hitting its stride at the right time because in the next three weeks, the Steelers have brutal games against Dallas, at the Baltimore Ravens and at the Tennessee Titans. Those three opponents have a combined record of 27-9. The only "gimme" left on the schedule is Dec. 28 against the Cleveland Browns (4-8), who are down to their third-string quarterback.

The Steelers hold a one-game lead over the New York Jets (8-4) for the coveted No. 2 seed in the AFC, which would give Pittsburgh a first-round bye. With injuries to key players such as quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (shoulder) and tailback Willie Parker (shoulder), a week off in the postseason would be the Steelers' best chance to get to Tampa.

Difference-maker: Few teams have been able to block linebacker James Harrison this season.
Harrison is third in the NFL with 14 sacks. He also has 80 tackles, six forced fumbles and an interception. Not only is Harrison putting up tremendous numbers, but the timing of his plays is changing the momentum of games.

This type of production makes Harrison a strong candidate for defensive player of the year and someone to watch closely in the playoffs.

Ticket to Tampa? As good a chance as anyone.

They apparently have no trouble holding him though...and not getting flagged

12-05-2008, 11:19 AM
There's no other way to block him besides holding him.

He's a midget by NFL standards at barely 6' even.

Most pass rushers can use their reach to keep defenders from holding them. Jimmy doesn't have the reach of the other leading pass rushers. So he gets held.

But his power and leverage are second to none.

The Steelers need to send tapes to the league showing them how often Harrison gets held and force them to make those calls.

This is exactly why shorter defenders struggle in the box.