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fordfixer
01-23-2009, 04:09 AM
Prisuta: Offense must produce for Steelers to become Super

By Mike Prisuta, TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Friday, January 23, 2009

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... 08430.html (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_608430.html)

By now, it's something of a laughing matter on the South Side, and one the Steelers have good-naturedly broached at wide receiver Limas Sweed's expense.

"Little, friendly jokes," Sweed said, "something about 'Stickum.'

"You gotta expect that, especially in the NFL."

Sweed appeared to be in dire need of the long-since outlawed substance made famous by the likes of Fred Biletnikoff and Lester Hayes after dropping a Ben Roethlisberger pass that should have gone for a 50-yard touchdown in the second quarter of last Sunday's AFC Championship Game.

It was a memorable gaffe, and it helped the Ravens hang around long enough to a point where they had the ball and were still within a field goal of winning the game with less than five minutes remaining.

But that was far from the only time the Steelers' offense dropped the ball.

Wide receiver Santonio Holmes lost possession trying to stretch what should have been a 23-yard gain to the Baltimore 1-yard line into a touchdown, and the play was ultimately replay-reviewed into an incompletion. The Steelers settled for a field goal rather than a touchdown.

None of that would have mattered had running back Willie Parker not dropped another perfectly placed Roethlisberger pass that probably would have found the end zone on the first snap of the same first-quarter series.

And the Steelers would have had at least three in the wake of Sweed's misplay had they done something other than what they did on second-and-10 from the Baltimore 16 with 16 seconds left until halftime, which was complete an underneath pass to running back Mewelde Moore, who didn't get to the ground in time for the Steelers to prevent the clock from running out.

That's a lot of points to leave out on the field with so much at stake.

A week from Sunday in Tampa, Fla., the stakes will be even greater.

And it'll be incumbent upon the Steelers' offense not to leave so much potential value lying around the Raymond James Stadium turf.

It's Kurt Warner the Steelers will be trying to pressure in Super Bowl XLIII, not Joe Flacco.

And it's Larry Fitzgerald they'll be trying to cover, not Derrick Mason.

The Cardinals are going to score some points.

To win the game, the Steelers are going to have to outscore them.

The offense met its minimum standard against Baltimore by kicking field goals and avoiding hideous turnovers that wound up in the Steelers' end zone.

But against Arizona, one offensive touchdown isn't going to cut it.

They'll need more from Parker, especially on the ground and potentially through the air.

They'll need more from Holmes, who, with the exception of the play that got away against the Ravens, has been delivering in the playoffs at a higher level than he did all season.

They'll need more from tight end Heath Miller, who remains a reliable if somewhat under-utilized weapon on the receiving end of passes.

If they get all of the above, Roethlisberger may well emerge as the 10th QB to win at least two Super Bowls.

All of that can happen, as long as they don't drop the ball.

Steeler Shades
01-23-2009, 08:27 AM
"The Cardinals are going to score some points.

To win the game, the Steelers are going to have to outscore them.

The offense met its minimum standard against Baltimore by kicking field goals and avoiding hideous turnovers that wound up in the Steelers' end zone.

But against Arizona, one offensive touchdown isn't going to cut it."