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costanza2k1
12-28-2008, 10:10 PM
http://nflfromthesidelines.blogspot.com/

Sunday, December 28, 2008
Post-Cleveland thoughts
The big news coming out of this one is, of course, Ben Roethlisberger's injury. Word is that Roethlisberger is expected to be just fine, however.

He should be ready to go in two weeks when the Steelers host their AFC Divisional playoff game, probably against Indianapolis. At least that's my best guess at this point.

After a slow start, you could see Willie Parker start to gain confidence Sunday. He had just 22 yards on his first 10 carries and finished with 116 on 23 attempts.

That was what the Steelers really wanted to accomplish in this one.

Parker's knee is fine, but he didn't have a lot of confidence making the cuts he needed to be effective.

He does now.

So what if it was against the Browns. The Steelers need the threat of a running game to be effective in the playoffs. And a confident Parker gives them that.

The Steelers really wanted to lead the league in scoring, total, rushing and passing defense but will have to settle for three of the four.

That's not bad. And considering that the Browns really made no attempt to throw the ball Sunday, it's not all that bad.

The Steelers allowed 156.9 yards passing per game this season, their best since 1990 when they gave up 156.3 per game.

For a team whose weakness was supposed to be the secondary, that's not bad.

Would I have played Roethlisberger Sunday? You bet.

Roethlisberger was coming off a four-turnover game and needed some positive plays as well heading into the playoffs.
Posted by Dale Lolley at 8:48 PM

TallyStiller
12-29-2008, 10:59 AM
:Agree

Willie getting healthy and gaining confidence is the best thing that could possibly have happened for this team. We played a succession of very stout run defenses in December, and he was never able to re - establish himself. I predict the run game is going to be WAY more effective in the playoffs, kind of like Indy's run D in '06... 32nd in the league in the regular season, then stout in the post season.

Ben needed to play for the same reason. Our O was in general battered and lacking confidence after the games it played against the #10, 8, 2, and 4 defenses in the league in succession. No chance to fix any of the problems because we were getting stifled by worthy opponents week in, week out. The Clowns #26 defense was just what the doctor ordered, and I have no problem with Ben being in the game to work out the kinks.

NorthCoast
12-29-2008, 11:22 AM
Well it can go both ways here. Ben did need to play, but I would not call his game stellar before he was injured. And this was against one of the worst Ds in the league. So what does that do for one's confidence?

What I have been seeing the last few games is some indecisiveness on Ben's part when trying to pass. We have been thinking the pump fakes were to try to force separation with the WR but maybe some of it has been indecision. Several times yesterday Ben seemed late delivering the ball. This will be a killer in the playoffs when the Ds really pick it up.

Starting to wonder if all the picks are beginning to hurt his confidence? Ben will need help to win in the playoffs and FWP's showing yesterday should be just what the doctor ordered. At the same time, it goes without saying Ben needs to avoid the give-aways.