Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Tuesday Tomlin

Once again, not much injury news to speak of at the Tomlin PC today.

Brett Keisel will try to go this week, which would give the Steelers their healthiest lineup since opening day.

Marvel Smith is still out - and Carey Davis is questionable with a calf injury - so they won't have everybody back.

But considering how much they use Davis and the fact that Smith hasn't played in two months, it's about as healthy as they could be.

It's a good thing, too, with the Ravens up next.

Even a loss in this game doesn't hurt the Steelers all that badly, though.

As I laid out in today's Observer-Reporter, the Steelers have a good shot at winning the division and the No. 2 seed in the AFC even if they lose to Baltimore and Tennessee.

The Ravens would need to go to Dallas and win - something they probably have a 10 percent chance of accomplishing - if the Steelers lose to Tennessee - which isn't a given.

Both teams will win their finales - Pittsburgh versus Cleveland, Baltimore against Jacksonville.

But if they finish in a tie, the Steelers have beaten teams with better records - assuming San Diego finishes with a better record than Oakland and New England at least matches Miami.

The two teams currently have identical schedules except for those games - though the Ravens own a win over Philadelphia, a team that beat Pittsburgh.

The Steelers own a win over Dallas, however, that would pretty much cancel that out.

10 comments:

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Mohammed said...

I'll tell one thing that can make all these crazy scenarios go away. Win against Baltimore, Tennessee and Cleveland, period. Heck, we could even wind up with the #1 if the Titans can't handle the HOT Colts. They're probably the only team I would not want to play against in January, even if it's in Pittsburgh. Thoughts?

Anonymous said...

Also, if PIT loses to BAL, and TEN beats HOU, TEN will clinch the #1 seed. So, they might be phoning it in or resting guys when PIT comes into town.

Patrick said...

they need to just win. Even if they beat Balt and Tenn, and have only Cleveland in a pointless game, I think the halfway between starters and back ups should be the plan. But I don't think anyone should be resting or looking ahead against Baltimore and Tennessee, no matter the situation.

Momentum builds and this team thrives on it. I hope they play every game tough even if things are set for them.

Roger said...

Dale, slightly off topic, but have been wondering ...

The NFL instituted the helmet radio for one defensive player on the field. Much was made of this innovation before the season, an innovation that cost $28K per team.

Now, after the season began, and after more than a dozen games, nothing is even mentioned about the defensive radio system. The initial claim is that it would help the defense, it was needed, blah, blah, ... blah.

What is the team buzz about the effectiveness, usefulness, or even if it was a good idea? Is there anything else around the league that has made an assessment of this innovation?

From an bystander at 50 paces, nothing has changed.

Dale Lolley said...

The helmet radio was put in so defenses wouldn't have to signal in their plays and put the defenses on an even playing field with offenses, which have had the helmet radios for years.
I don't know that it's an effectiveness thing as much as it cuts down on another possible spygate.

Winning out would take care of all problems, but this week will be tough down there. They've lost five in a row, but Roethlisberger has only started one of those games.

Jeff Fisher has said he will play his starters throughout regardless of what happens, but we'll see if/when he's clinched if he holds to that.

Anonymous said...

Dale,
Any word on whether Keisel was able to practice today?

datruth4life said...

Dale,

What do you make of FWP's comments that this team has gotten away from "Steelers Football" and that he'd like to use the FB more to run behind? How much of a dig is that against Bruce Arians and Tomlin and how much of a dig is it against our subpar OL?

I've watched every play from this team the past 2 seasons and I just think our OL is not good enough to run the ball consistently. I still think upgrades are needed at RT and LG (Sorry, Chris K., but teams are feasting on his side when it comes to blitzing the A gap and running stunts).

It's a little sickening to know that this team's D is playing so well, but yet you know this OL (and Ben's propensity to hang on to the ball and take sacks) will come back to bite them soon.

It reminds me of the aura the team had during the Cohwer years -- good, physical O, good, physical D, but pitiful special teams. Those special teams caused this team to lose 2 AFC championship games. I have the feeling that this OL and Ben's holding the ball will come back to bite us in a big way this year.

Thoughts?

Anonymous said...

datruth4life,
I understand your concern with our running game, however look at it like this. #1 FWP has not and is not 100% he might be 80%. #2 look at the "D" he have played against. Eagles "In there prime" Ravens, Jags "Before they fell apart" Giants, Redskins, Colts, Chargers, New England, Dallas. All at the time we palyed them were top ten "D". Look back at the running backs other than FWP that ran against these teams. How many games out of these teams has FWP played? Yes he doesn't have the yards, and he isn't getting the carries. I don't think he can handle the carries right now. Coach is trying not to run the wheels off FWP. This doesn't concern me at all. The red zone should be everyone's concern. IMO
Zeke

adamg said...

I'm really surprised Parker pretty much came out and said what many of us think - Arians is simply not committed to the running game. OL like Hartwig have alluded to it, too.

This has to bother Tomlin since his players are calling out the OC, and by association, him.

I wonder if in the off season Parker or Arians will be gone. It should be interesting.