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fordfixer
10-14-2009, 12:26 AM
Conference call: Steelers chasing Bengals, Ravens
By F. Dale Lolley, Staff writer, dlolley@observer-reporter.com
http://www.observer-reporter.com/or/loc ... Lions-wrap (http://www.observer-reporter.com/or/localsports/10-13-Steelers-Lions-wrap)


A surprising Sunday has left the AFC North in a jumbled mess.

As things currently stand, Cincinnati (4-1) sits alone in first place after a 17-14 upset of the Ravens in Baltimore.

The Steelers and Ravens, both at 3-2, are a game back, but the Bengals own wins over each of them and are 3-0 in the division.

Instead of the two-team race expected between the Steelers and Ravens, the Bengals have forced their way into the conversation in the AFC North.

"We didn't deserve to be talked about. Pittsburgh and Baltimore were both in the AFC championship game, and they should receive all the attention," quarterback Carson Palmer said after leading the Bengals on a last-minute touchdown drive against the Ravens.

"Sometimes, it's good to be the underdogs. It takes the pressure off you. People don't expect much from you and you come out and surprise people and hit them in the mouth. That's what we've done this year."

It's certainly made things more interesting for the Steelers, who finally won two games in a row and got their first road win of the season with their 28-20 win in Detroit.

It was a far-from-perfect victory, but Pittsburgh's first road victory this season was a step in the right direction.

"We were yet to win a road game this year and of course we were five weeks into this thing and hadn't had back-to-back victories," Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said. "With a victorious performance, we were able to accomplish some of those things. (It was) far from perfect, we acknowledge that, and we'll get back in the lab and evaluate. But on Sundays we play, we don't evaluate. We'll continue to search for the seal on some areas that need improvement, and that's OK. As long as we acknowledge that and continue to work at it and find ways to win along the way, we'll accept that."

One thing that has gone right is Ben Roethlisberger's emergence as one of the best quarterback in the NFL as well.

Roethlisberger leads the NFL in completion percentage at 73.8 and is seventh in the league in quarterback rating at 102.6. His 1,470 yards passing trail only Indianapolis' Peyton Manning.

Roethlisberger isn't satisfied.

"I don't feel like I'm playing well," he said.

Roethlisberger has thrown five interceptions, two of which have been returned for touchdowns. Those two interceptions for touchdowns have come in the past two games.

It's another one of those things the Steelers are going to have to solve if they hope to overtake the surprising Bengals and outlast the Ravens in the AFC North.

"We've got to play the Steelers and Ravens again, and I know they're going to be (ticked) off," Palmer said. "Those games are going to be very tough."

Odds and end zones

After his three-sack day against the Lions, linebacker James Harrison is tied for third in the NFL with six. ... Hines Ward ranks fourth in the NFL in receiving yards with 440. ... With their seven sacks Sunday, the Steelers are third in the NFL with 15, trailing Minnesota and Denver.

JTP53609
10-14-2009, 07:36 AM
i know im not a coach so im okay to do this, looking at our games before baltimore...
browns- win, if we dont than we dont deserve to win the division
vikings- i see them as 6-0 and ready to lose, adrian peterson just got 25 more yds with the absence of smith, but i feel we put our best foot forward and win this game
bye- no way do we lose, i bet my house
broncos- coming off a bye, we are healthy (other than smith) and we get back at them after they already beat us 2 yrs ago in primetime. we win
bungholes- no way do they escape pittsburgh with their second win against us, we win
chiefs- TRAP, TRAP, TRAP, after playing 3 tough teams in a row we get a "rest" against a bad team, look out, K.C is hard to play in, this would not shock me if we lost this, I think we win but this is the game I am scared of...

i really do see us at 8-2 maybe 7-3, not to bad for not being healthy for a good part of the year....

Oviedo
10-14-2009, 08:15 AM
I prefer the Steelers being the "hunters" versus the "hunted." It should keep them focused.


My biggest concern was that they would blow through the early part of the schedule and become complacent. No chance of that happening now.