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Sunday, January 04, 2009

Steelers-Chargers initial thoughts

The Steelers rolled up 410 yards to 213 for the Chargers and held the ball for more than 36 minutes in an 11-10 victory.

Yet the Chargers talked after the game as if they had dominated the Steelers.

That could come back to haunt them.

I don't expect LaDanian Tomlinson to play, which means Darren Sproules will have to carry the load. I don't think he'll have a lot of success against this Pittsburgh defense, which does a great job of closing down gaps.

Sproules could hurt Pittsburgh on some swing passes, though. He's very fast when he gets the ball on the edge.

Punter Mike Scrifres is also a weapon. He only punted twice the first time, but pinned the Steelers at the 6 and 15. He's a guy who changes field position every game.

But at this point, I like the Steelers, 24-13.

They'll get after Phillip Rivers and Willie Parker had 115 yards rushing in the first meeting. It's a good matchup for the Steelers.


SC Steeler said...


With your accuracy in predicting the wild card round, I like our chance to advance to the AFC Championship, where I think we'll be hosting Baltimore.

What do you think the offensive gameplan will be? Come out throwing to set up the run or play conservative with the run and hope our defense keeps us in the game?

adamg said...

Temps should be about 15 degrees around game time. I'm sure that will please the Chargers.

Anonymous said...

People discount punting all of the time. The fact is, we will be on a full field and SD will have a short field all day long and that could be the demise.

Dale Lolley said...

People are being too harsh on the punter. He's been fine the past few games. He went through a tough stretch with his hamstring problems. And Ernster was horrible. And he struggled in his first couple of games back, but he's been good since.
That said, San Diego's punter is one of the best and a true weapon.

The Chargers will fold in the cold.

Patrick said...

I'd be surprised to see any more than 10-14 points put up by the Chargers.

The offense just needs to control the clock, hopefully run the ball semi effectively and not turn the ball over. They'll get their points and the Steelers should win.

I will say either Baltimore or Tennesee is a tough match, but I don't want the AFC Champ game to be the Ravens for a 3rd time after barely beating them twice. I'm cheering for Tennessee.

Junior3 said...

I remember another playoff year when I felt quite confident that the Chargers would fold in the Pittsburgh cold. I think it was '94.

Dale Lolley said...

Different teams. Different era.
Apples and oranges.

Ben said...

Dale, I agree with you. I think Tomlin runs a different kind of ship than Cowher did.

That said, I got a little sick reading the article in the PG this morning. They're (the media, not the team) writing off the Chargers and already talking about the conference championship.

They simply cannot let that happen. There is a very tough, capable opponent facing the Steelers this Sunday -- it wont be a walk in the park.

Ben said...

Also, congratulations to James Harrison! Defensive Player of the Year, by a landslide, and deservedly so.

Anonymous said...

Dale your wildcard picks were great. Wow.

You predict that the steelers will score 24 points against the chargers. . . I was wondering how many of those points will be scored by the steelers O?

Dale Lolley said...

They did roll up 410 yards against SD the first time. The penalties (13) helped keep them out of the end zone - though Reed missed a field goal and Mewelde Moore got stuffed on a fourth-and-one from the goal.

But Moore isn't running those short ones any longer, Gary Russell is.

Parker had 115 yards against the Chargers on the ground. Roethlisberger had 300 yards passing.

The question shouldn't be about how the Steelers will score. It should be, how will San Diego?

Anonymous said...

Without LT and with Gates not at full health either, I could see this D being able to put a serious hurting on the Bolts. They are rested...focused...and I think ready to hit someone. If they can keep from overpursuit in the 1st quarter and the O can get them some points...and by that I mean 3, I truly believe they will make it stand up no matter what the O does the rest of the game.