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Friday, September 25, 2015

Who I like, Steelers vs. Rams

Guess who's back? No, not just Le'Veon Bell, but Todd Gurley as well. That's the only reason I can figure the line moving this week from the Steelers being favored by 2 1/2 to this being a pick-em game.

Then again, the Steelers' offense over the past two seasons hasn't been as prolific on the road as it has been at home.

Ben Roethlisberger has thrown 26 TD passes and four interceptions in his past nine home games. On the road over the past nine games, those numbers are 10 an 6.

For this Steelers team to truly be a Super Bowl contender - and I believe they are - they have to get more even performances from Roethlisberger in his home-road splits.

This week would be a good time to start.

As mentioned, the Steelers get Bell back. That should be a huge boost. He's yet another difference maker in an offense loaded with them.

But the Rams will see Gurley make his debut. The top back selected in this year's draft, Gurley was the best running back in college last year before tearing his ACL.

As we have seen, however, even when a player returns from an ACL injury, it typically takes some time to round into form.

St. Louis can get after the quarterback, but the Steelers have done a nice job protecting the passer and the insertion of Bell into the equation should only help that. Opponents have to be aware of where he is at all times.

If the Steelers can continue to protect Roethlisberger as they have - he's been hit an NFL-low five times in two weeks - they should win this one going away. The Steelers have done a nice job thus far of stopping the run and I don't see how the Rams keep up unless Pittsburgh turns it over two or three times.

I like the Steelers to win this one, 31-17.

The Dale Lolley Steelers podcast


Anonymous said...

For some reason, I’m not as comfortable with this game as I was with SF one. I just liked the logistics: long week for the Steelers, short week for SF traveling across the country.

I don’t know what the Steelers record was against Tennessee when Fisher was coach but I don’t recall looking forward to playing them. I know, a different era, no more McNair or George and the Steelers offense is better.
I think the Ram’s defense is underrated and Fisher will have a good game plan. I’ll go Rams 24-17.

Funny part of trying to pick scores now is factoring the two point conversion. With two point conversions, I’ll go 22-18. /sarc

Anonymous said...

Until these "new look" Steelers prove otherwise, I'll never feel confident against an (on paper) inferior opponent. We've laid too many eggs in past seasons.

And how did Shazier go from "just a stinger, he'll be fine" to out of the game???

Anonymous said...

Is it time to panic that Shazier might need surgery? No reports yet but I'm worried about a "stinger" keeping him out all week even through walk-thrus..

marc said...

dale, any insight to shazier would be awesome. kind of surprised to see he's ruled out this weekend. precautionary with thursday game coming up?

DD said...

I think it is dangerous, but hopefully they are just rolling the dice that the D can do enough to get by with the O doing its thing then have him for Thursday nite. If he is hurt long term, D is screwed.

Dale Lolley said...

I think they're comfortable enough with Vince Williams that they're not going to rush Shazier.

There's also the fact that they were ticked last year when they felt he milked his initial injury, noting coming back until much later than they felt he would.

And then there's this, he sat out practices last week until Friday and then went out and had a big game. Tomlin has always had a rule with young players that if they don't practice, they don't play. He kind of went away from that last week. It paid off, but you don't want other young guys pointing to that and saying, 'Shazier did it.' So they take the hard line this week.

But mostly, it's the first thing. They're comfortable with Williams, especially against a run-heavy team.

marc said...

is this the norm with shazier? does he have a tough time playing with injury?

Anonymous said...

Thanks Dale that makes a lot more sense now. Also I am sure they really want to make sure he is available for that Ravens game next week on a short week. If he misses that game there's a major red flag IMO.

Anonymous said...

That sounds like such childish nonsense. Do they really think so little of his competitive spirit that he'd bench himself because of a bruise or stomach ache? Do they think he's so selfish that he can fake his way out of practicing while his teammates do it, because he doesn't wanna? Shazier doesn't seem like a baby to me, or an a-hole. Maybe he's smart enough to know when he'll do more harm than good, possibly by injuring himself further.

I like that the Steelers don't bend on certain policies (like negotiating during the season or before certain points in the contract), but this rule of Tomlin's makes no sense. If he thinks the young player will struggle because he won't be prepared enough, that's fine. If it's to ward off guys faking injuries to get out of practice, he's got bigger problems. Personally, I think Shazier on the field will be better than one of the backups no matter how ill-prepared he is, and I think Tomlin knows that, too.

Either Shazier is really still hurt, or Tomlin's an idiot.

Anonymous said...

Ben may not have his best games on the road but Bell certainly does. Bengals titans and panthers in 2014, packers in 2013, ravens in 2013. Does bode well for sunday!

Anonymous said...

I think this is a good move by the Steelers. Ryan Shazier has shown in flashes that he can be an incredible player in this league. It is really early in the season, so they are giving him the week off to get right before the Ravens on a short week. Also, ILB just happens to be the deepest position on the team. The are extremely comfortable with Williams/Spence. And oh by the way, the Rams lost to the Redskins. I know they beat the Seahawks, but looking at this team, I think they are confident that the offense can win them the game, and they will have Shazier a full go for Ravens.

Anonymous Brian said...

Hopefully just being dinged up combined with the short turnaround next week. The milking injury / lesson-teaching scenario would be a pretty messed up situation for a number of reasons.

I had this game as a loss when the schedule came out for no particular reason. Maybe Fisher giving Steelers problems back in the day, special teams, turnovers, etc. Now I'm leaning toward Steelers winning with the O-line holding its own and giving Ben enough time as the game goes on...

LexingtonLegend said...

After re-watching some of the 49ers game it was very apparent how involved Shazier was in getting guys into a position to make a play.. I hope there isn't much falloff against the Rams with the other guys. There were pictures of Shazier at practice earlier this week. He's started to wear sweats like Deebo.

ibygeorge said...

I agree with Dale's prediction but with a little more Steeler points. Dumping off to Bell I think will be big. Too bad about Shazier, his 49ers game was a breakout. When he was taken out of that game with the shoulder injury, he was not acting happy on the sidelines.

ibygeorge said...

I agree with Dale's prediction but with a little more Steeler points. Dumping off to Bell I think will be big. Too bad about Shazier, his 49ers game was a breakout. When he was taken out of that game with the shoulder injury, he was not acting happy on the sidelines.

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