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SanAntonioSteelerFan
02-04-2011, 12:35 PM
http://fifthdown.blogs.nytimes.com/2011 ... mode=print (http://fifthdown.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/02/04/super-bowl-matchup-how-the-steelers-can-win/?pagemode=print)


The Fifth Down - The New York Times N.F.L. Blog
February 4, 2011, 10:35 am
Super Bowl Matchup: How the Steelers Can Win
By MIKE TANIER
Charles Krupa/Associated Press Steelers linebacker James Harrison pursued Jerricho Cotchery in the A.F.C. championship game.

Four ways the Steelers can gain an advantage over the Packers on Sunday.

Establish the Screen Game
The best way to slow an opponent’s pass rush and open up deep opportunities for wide receivers is to establish the screen passing game. The Steelers used screens effectively to complement their deep passing attack all year. On passes thrown behind the line of scrimmage, Ben Roethlisberger was 58-of-75 for 419 yards, with 13 of those short passes netting more than 10 yards. A screen or two to Mike Wallace or Antonio Brown will bring cornerbacks close to the line of scrimmage and make rushers leery, setting the Packers up for the long pass.

Hide Harrison
James Harrison recorded 11 sacks in the regular season, but he also made 27 plays in pass coverage, chasing down running backs, tight ends and the occasional receiver. Unlike Clay Matthews, who rushes the quarterback on most passing plays, Harrison often fakes a blitz, then drops into coverage. No sh*t, Sherlock -- ask Kurt Warner!!! If the Steelers can disguise Harrison’s assignment until the ball is snapped, they can confuse the Packers’ pass protection.

Stop the Rodgers Draw
Other than Michael Vick, Aaron Rodgers is the best running quarterback in the N.F.L., and he likes to scramble for daylight when the Packers are in the red zone. He rushed 11 times for 48 yards and four touchdowns in the red zone during the regular season. Some of those runs were scrambles, some were draw plays, and one or two were very sneaky “sneaks” (Rodgers sometimes wanders up to the line as if talking to his center, then takes a sudden snap). He scored a bootleg touchdown from a full house backfield in the playoffs. Rodgers is the Packers’ best goal line rushing weapon, and the Steelers cannot assume the Packers are passing just because their backfield is empty.

Holds Barred
The Steelers led the N.F.L. with a whopping 37 holding penalties in the regular season and nine more in the postseason. Those holds resulted in eleven stalled drives in the regular season. Roethlisberger may be one of the best 3rd-and-20 quarterbacks in the league, but he should not have to prove it so often. The Steelers must get a clean game from clutch-and-grab specialists Jonathan Scott (11 penalties, seven holds) and Chris Kemoeatu (ten and six).