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Friday, November 26, 2010

Who I like, Buffalo version

Many people are looking at Sunday's game between the Steelers and Bills as a possible trap game for Pittsburgh with a game against Baltimore coming up next week.

Having been in that locker room this week, I don't see it happening.

The memory of last season's collapse is still very fresh with this team and even if it wasn't, it has been brought up time and again by reporters.

Buffalo's defense, particularly its run defense, is awful.

The Steelers haven't gotten a 100-yard game out of Rashard Mendenhall since Ben Roethlisberger's return from suspension and will look to change that this week in an effort to get Mendenhall rolling into the game against Baltimore.

The Steelers have also faced Ryan Fitzpatrick on two occasions, holding him under 170 yards passing in both games. Yes, that was at Cincinnati in 2008, but the Steelers also sacked him seven times in those games and forced three fumbles.

They have a pretty good idea how to rattle him.

Take the Steelers, 27-13


Anonymous said...

I hope they give Redman the ball. He just scored his first NFL touchdown and he is hungry for more. That Thanksgiving meal only whetted his appetite and now he is hungry for Buffalo linebackers and safties who he wants to devour buffet style on his way to the endzone. Of course, we hope Mendy gets a few carries too. I predict 500 yards in total rushing and for Bruce Arians to explode in grief over the death of his offensive philosphy.

Mrs. Isaac Redman

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure Fitzpatrick will pass for a whole lot of yards (he's done that against all team's he's faced so far) but won't produce too many too many points

their running game will go nowhere, and while Fitz is good, he wont't be able to beat the defense himself

Anonymous said...

This is one area I think Tomlin has improved as a coach. He really seems to have this team focused and dialed into the moment.

But I can't say I'm sure of how he's doing it. Last year he publically challenged his team with his unleash hell bit, and they left him twisting. This year he brings back some very good lockerroom types (but of little apparent use beyond that). This was already a very veteran team, so I don't know if or why that would help.

With the Roethlisberger offseason flap, and suspension thru the quarterpole, Tomlin really had this team focused and driven since mini's. Now he's taking some fan flap for not dressing down the officiating in either of his subsequent PCs, like he doesn't have his player's backs. I thought he had it right, in keeping the focus on this week and the Bills, moving on rather than lingering on last week. And you can hear Tomlin in his player's quotes this week. And I agree, this team doesn't appear to be a team looking past anyone. And I do credit Tomlin for that. I just don't know why the team is buying in this year when they didn't last year. I'd like to think it's player pride, and not wanting to repeat the embarrassment of last season. But that pride was conspicuously absent during that 5 game skid thru the league's landfill.

Is it as simple as the Steelers were coming off a Super Bowl, didn't have the offseason focus or drive which carried over to the season and they couldn't ever turn it on? Versus having an offseason crisis which forces the team to rally itself on the backdrop of an embarrassing season, and that's now carrying thru the season.

I don't know if it's circumstances or Tomlin using the circumstances to dial in his team's attention. Whatever he's doing, it's working. Though I seriously doubt bringing back lockerroom All-Pros/field jags like Foote and El is what helped rally this team together. But who knows, Cowher points to a game of flashlight tag in a blacked out Miami lobby in 05 as the moment they came together and became a true team.

Robbie said...

Flashlight tag was in 2004, Ben's first start.

But yeah, I too am fascinated by the relationship of psychology and on-field performance. It's impossible to quantify.

Sometimes it seems like talent and scheme are the only things that matter. However, sometimes it seems like teams win purely on team chemistry and motivation.

It's pretty much the crux of the debate over the Santonio trade. Were his on-field contributions enough to outweigh his negative impact in the locker room? The Steelers obviously didn't think so. The fans have no insider access and only see his on-field performance, so they have a different opinion.

Anonymous said...

Looks like we don't need Santonio anymore. We have rolled three cherries on the draft slot machine with Wallace, Sanders, and Brown. Ward still looks great too. I think Santonio is talented, but like Faneca, let the Jets have him and his attitude. There are plenty of good players who are cancers on their team. Look at T.O. spouting his mouth off every week. (calling Ben soft) Like Cincinnati needs to give the Steelers any more incentive to erase them from the field. Players like this are a dime a dozen. Give me a team of Hines Wards any time over a team of T.O.'s, Moss's, and Plexico's. Better recievers than Ward, perhaps. Better football players. No way.

Mrs. Isaac Redman