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Friday, December 21, 2012

Who I like, Cincinnati version part II

I find it interesting that so many of the experts are picking the Cincinnati Bengals to beat the Steelers.

Looking back at the last meeting between these two teams in Cincinnati, the Steelers thoroughly dominated the game, outgaining the Bengals, 431-185, in total yards.

The Ravens pounded them 44-13 in Week 1. Yet when you call up ESPN's web site today, the headline reads "Cincy's standing up to AFC North bullies this season"


Sure, the Steelers are coming off back-to-back defeats and have lost four of five, but three of those games were played without quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

Roethlisberger has played the past two weeks and though the Steelers have lost both of those games, it's just the second time since the 2007 season that the team has lost back-to-back games with Roethlisberger at quarterback.

Considering the kind of competitor Roethlisberger is - bordering on the ridiculous - and that he feels like he lost the game last weekend in Dallas, I expect him to come out more focused than ever on Sunday.

Roethlisberger is 14-4 against the Bengals, compared to counterpart Andy Dalton's 0-3 record versus the Steelers.

The mid-week knee injury to cornerback Keenan Lewis is concerning, but Lewis returned to practice on a limited basis Friday and is probable to play Sunday.

The Steelers will double wideout A.J. Green and force Dalton to throw the ball elsewhere. Considering Dalton didn't complete a pass to another wide receiver in Cincinnati's 34-13 win at Philadelphia last week - a game that was closer than the final score would indicate - it's a good theory.

The Steelers are favored by 3 1/2 points in this one and I think that Roethlisberger finds a way to get it done at home.

Take Pittsburgh, 26-21


Anonymous said...

Sorry Dale, I'd like to agree with you, but I can't and for one reason only: Steelers aren't playing with heart or intensity. When I look at the defense, silverback and troy play with intensity, though both are past their prime. Timmons and Woodley flash intensity but tend to be streaky. On the offense, Dwyer and Redman play with intensity, but unfortunately, we haven't had a running game in a long time, maybe since the last Cinn or NYG game. Know what the turning point was in the last Pitt-Cinn matchup? When Colon pancaked Burfect to the ground, then started humping him. WTF, that was intensity, but Willie's out, so who's going to step up their game? The "money crew" act like they're flipping burgers in the kitchen at McD's while waking and baking.... oops, dropped another....hahahaha. Didn't hands of stone drop 4 in the last Cinn game? Dude's already packed it in, thinking someone is going to offer him a ton of money, which they probably will. And he could of thought to make a little effort to touch the guy after the BR interception in Dallas. Speaking of Dallas, AB left his heart or his head there, maybe both. No chance, Steelers just don't have the fire in the belly to beat the Bungals.

Dale Lolley said...

That's why they play the games. I saw plenty of heart and intensity in Dallas. Guess we watched a different game.

Whack said...

what a Pufta...

What a shame anonymous didn't have the guts to sign a name to that drama...


Anonymous said...

I think most of our players are fine in terms of intensity or effort. We just aren't quite as talented as in years past.

The only guys whose intensity I question are Woodley, Wallace and Mendenhall. Woodley always seems out of shape and it effects his play. Wallace doesn't like to get physical, hence why he sat back and didn't tackle that dallas DB who intercepted Ben. Mendenhall is more interested in contemplating how smart he wishes he was than being a good football player.

ibygeorge said...

I think they have the heart, especially BB, but he's banged up and how much it effects his play is anyone's guess. Even with his aches, I would put money on that he has a big game. It interesting how well DeCastro is playing, he has to be psyched for this game. There is a large opportunity for Wallace to get some negotiating creed if he can outplay Green. Especially if Wallace is a big factor in extending the season, so he can do some showcasing of his skills on the national stage, to downplay his average year.
I noticed Polamalu is going after the ball lately. He and Clark should be back to their old tricks.

ibygeorge said...

Tomlin said its moments like these;

Anonymous Brian said...

I dunno, the Keenan Lewis injury makes me think they're cursed. It sounds like he'll give it a go but that's a pretty thin secondary. I don't think Dalton's anything special but this teams has lost to worse quarterbacks.

Anyway I mostly keep thinking, Someone Somehow Will Mess It Up. Like, tomorrow is Suisham's turn, etc.

Still, I'll agree with Dale that Ben pulls this one out. Really needs to earn his money and make up for last week's game-loser (he did play very well for alot of the game, but still).

I think anything there's 3 receivers on the field, Cotchery needs to be one of them. All three of the preening youngsters have earned a little less time. Any chance of that happening? It's not like Cotchery is the Ward of last year, old and unable to get open.

Anonymous said...

Before I start, let me say, I did see some fire in the belly from the defense yesterday. Loved the intensity shown by Troy, Timmons, Allen. The defense allowed 6 points, they are ranked number 1 in YPG, so let’s absolve them right now. The fact that they got 3 turnovers was lost on the offense. And I apologize to AB, he came to play. Was Wallace inactive yesterday… oh wait, he did have 1 catch…. told you he packed it in long ago. On to the offense:

1. Ben is an elite quarterback. If we consider Manning/Brady as tier 1, Ben is on the second tier with Rodgers, Brees, in spite of the interceptions.

2. Wallace may be the fastest receiver in the league, wasn’t he 1 or 2 in yards per catch last year? AB is one of the best shake and bake runners in the league. Cotchery is clutch. Sanders is an excellent number 3. Heath Miller is elite and under appreciated outside of da burgh.

3. Rashard has had a couple of 1000 yard seasons. Both Dwyer and Redman are bowling balls.

4. The offensive line is average, but has the potential to be special.

With a number 1 defense and excellent players on offense, how could the Steelers have a losing record? Part of it could be injuries but every team deals with injuries, its football not badminton. The intensity level/heart wasn’t there for some games and let me expand that a little, let’s include mojo, attitude, whatever you want to call it, it wasn’t there this year, particularly for the offense. It’s the coach’s job to put the players in a position to win. One of those positions, beyond plays and skill, is psychological, give them the swagger, you know, like Ike.

What’s so ironic about this mess is that the Steelers fire Arians after going 12-4, then go 7-8 while Arians has the Colts in the playoffs. Tomlin’s not going anywhere, the Rooney’s are smarter than that. But there are issues on the offensive side of the ball that need to be worked out. Also mention to Tomlin, that football is like chess, plan your moves, don’t always go for it, like my wife who always wants to go for it on fourth down. He saw the Bengals kicker miss a long field goal and the benefit that was to the Steelers. Think cost/benefit, negative/positive of each decision before making it. Yes a field goal wins the game, but so does field position. BTW, speaking of fourth down, what was Marvin Lewis thinking, 4th and 22 and he goes for it, so Tomlin isn’t the only guilty coach.