Visit NFL from the sidelines on the new Observer-Reporter site:

Friday, October 28, 2011

Who I like, New England version

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is on a bit of a roll in the past three games, with a Tom Brady-like eight touchdown passes.

Sunday, he'll get another opportunity to go head to head with the real thing when Brady and the Patriots come to Heinz Field.

This has been a traditionally tough matchup for the Steelers due to Brady's ability to pick apart zone defenses.

And that has led to Brady compiling a 6-1 record against the Steelers.

But Roethlisberger has had some success against New England's defense as well. He owns a 2-3 mark against the Patriots, though one of those wins came against Matt Cassell.

These Steelers are better suited to match up against New England in a point-for-point battle.

The Steelers showed some of that in 2010 when they rallied against New England before dropping a 39-26 decision, with the big difference being an interception and touchdown in the middle of the fourth quarter by the Patriots.

The Pittsburgh receivers are a year older and wiser, which will make a difference, but it likely won't be enough.

Brady gets into these kind of shootouts on a weekly basis, while the Steelers still have to get comfortable doing so.

New England is a three-point favorite and I think the Patriots will win, but they won't cover.

Take New England, 33-31.

© The Steelers on Saturday released defensive lineman Corbin Bryant and signed linebacker Mortty Ivy off their practice squad.

Bryant will likely be re-signed to the practice squad after he clears waivers.

The activation of Ivy is a sign that the Steelers aren't all too sure about the status of James Farrior, who is questionable to play Sunday with a calf injury.


marc said...

I just don't see how the steelers pressure Brady the way we need to with our current personnel. He should have time in the pocket and will be more than willing to dink and dunk down the field against the Steeler's defense. I hope the defense comes out with something unique - but traditionally that has not been the case. I look for the Pat's TE's to have a very good game.

The Steeler's offense has been too inconsistent to rely on them for this game. Beating up on the Card's is nothing to brag about. Ball control is the way to limit the Pats offense. Whether with short passes or running the ball, it doesn't really matter.

In the end, Steelers lose 31-20.

Anonymous said...

I like the Steelers here on sunday. I know the Patriots have always had our number in the past, but I have a hunch, this sunday will be a good day for the steelers, as long as we have NO turnovers!!

Man, I would love to see our D get to Brady and put him on the ground a few times......

Homegrown Misanthropist said...

Ben has had 9 TD passes in the last three games. In order for us to come with a win this must be a Great Game by the Offense, meaning no turnovers and possession, while getting TD's and not FG's. If the Defense can create one or two TO's we might be able to win it, just keep them under 30 points.

I just got the tickets for the Baltimore game, really hyped up!!!!!

emac2 said...

I think we are going to match up better with the changes forced on the defense by injury and as long as Ben doesn't give the ball away I like the Steelers to roll on offense and control the Pats offense.

38-28 Steelers

Dale Lolley said...

If he's dinking and dunking, Marc, they won't pressure him. They can't pressure him on two and three-step drops.

And the Cardinals' defense is better than New England's.

Anonymous said...

Get a couple turnovers, don't turn the ball over yourself, hold them to three two times, make them punt 3 times, Ben play great, and Steelers win. It's so simple.

For no reason I can think of I say it will be... Steelers 29-23 in OT. Troy steals the handoff on a run blitz for a TD.

Patrick said...

with the schedule the Steelers have, barring a 2009 style breakdown, if they win the next two games they are a practical lock to be the 1 or 2 seed. Maybe I'm stupid for thinking they can pull it off given some of the ugly games this season, but I feel like that is every season lately and in 2004 no one thought they would rip apart NE/Philly like they did.

I'm also of the mind that eventually NE's offensive domination has to end. Its about time LeBeau cooks up something up that at least slows down that offense. I think this week is it and I expect Troy to be a big part of it. Like everyone says, the D has to get some off turnovers and the O has to take advantage of them.

On offense, Belichick's MO is taking away your best player and at the moment thats Wallace. I don't expect him to have a big game and it will be stupid of BA to keep throwing bombs that won't be there. But what should be there is plenty of short stuff to Miller, Sanders, Brown and possibly Cotchery. I really hope Ben/BA are willing to take whats there for them and don't force the Wallace bombs.

Call me crazy I like the Steelers 27-23, but with the Steelers getting the ball last. I'm really sick of watching Brady win games as the clock expires. (not against the Steelers since its usually a blowout, but in general)

Robert K said...

I we lose by a touchdown I'll be impressed.

I hear all this talk about how New England's defense is terrible but it was terrible last year too and our offense still couldn't do anything until they went into a prevent in garbage time.

I'd love to be wrong though. I freaking HATE TOM BRADY!!!!!!!!!

James said...

I will take Pittsburgh 27-20 over New England, because the New England secondary and pass rush is ineffective. Plus I hate Tom Brady b/c he is that good.

marc said...

Dale, the Steeler's DB's will play off and Brady will take the easy throws underneath. I don't expect the Steeler's will get much pressue on Brady to force him into any poor throws. Thus, dink and dunk.

adamg said...

I'm looking forward to the curse of the Bungles, in the person of Chad Johnson-Ochocinco, biting the Pats. :)

BTW, I understand Leigh Bodden was waived by NE. The Steelers should pick him up for just this one game.

Dale Lolley said...

He wasn't released until late in the week. Plus, he would have to clear waivers first, otherwise you'd have to pick up that ridiculous contract New England signed him to.

Anonymous said...

Assume the cheatriots are listening in on our sideline to helmet communications and institute counter measures and we win; don't and we lose. Simple as that. Or do you think they would NEVER do that. That's waaay worse then fiming signals.

Anonymous said...

Since the patriots stopped cheating, they havent won a superbowl.

I am expecting a spirited game from the Steelers, and this one could go either way. Woodley may need to be triple teamed.

Homegrown Misanthropist said...

Didn't know Sylvester was going to start. We finally get to see what he's made of.

Homegrown Misanthropist said...

Wow!! The secondary is stepping up to the challenge, really tight coverage!

Anonymous said...

And there it is! Ben making dumbass plays! I don't think I can watch the 2nd half. Bellichik always seems to adjust... We on the other hand, don't.

Patrick said...

what would you like the Steelers to adjust?

The only mistake the entire half was Ben's pick. They are playing lights out.

adamg said...

Check down Ben, brilliant. Sandlot Ben, sets NE up for a TD.

The defense is playing really well. Not sure what NE can do except try and establish the run to reset their short passing game.

Anonymous said...

Nice call on the score Dale.

Got to admit I didn't see this dominating performance coming either though. I haven't seen a defense shut down Brady like that in a long time.

Patrick said...

Jets in the playoffs last year?

They were probably more impressive than the Steelers were today. Though I'm not taking away from the Steelers D - they were fantastic

Anonymous said...

Imagine if they had woodley for the whole game and Debo

Anonymous said...

I had a serious scare watching Ike Taylor lay there lifeless on the ground with a group of our guys waving for the trainers to come check him out.

Patrick said...

Nice to see the much maligned Steelers secondary play man-to-man and slow down Tom Brady. Guess they aren't as bad as the haters want everyone to think.