Blog Entry

My Game of the Year

Posted on: November 9, 2008 5:21 am
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It's finally here, the Sunday I waited two years to watch.  It was the one game that I had contemplated getting tickets and driving to Pittsburgh to see.  It's the game that I got all excited about when I saw the Colts on the Steelers schedule, and at Heinz Field, no less.  I talked about it in pre-season, I mentioned it during the regular season and at 2 am this morning I was talking about this game.  I could say that I was excited because I wanted to see how the Steelers running game would excel against a questionable rush defense, or how the Steelers corners would react to the offensive weapons of Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts.  I could say it's about matchups, but to be honest, this is the game of the year because...well, my husband is a Colts fan. 

So this morning, in the darkness, while we were watching the NFL Network and various shows talking about the Colts/Steelers matchup, my husband muttered "this is going to be ugly" and "I'm going to have to hear about it for the next two years".   Of course my response was filled with humility...not...instead of being sympathetic, I couldn't resist coming back with "yeah, with Marlin Jackson being out, Moore's going to run all over your butt".  Only a heavy sigh in response.  But was there an inaudible mumble about how he was waiting to see Ike Taylor eating Marvin Harrison's dust?  Okay, so it tends to be fun in our household. 

Alright, I'd really believe that the Steelers would have the ability to run the ball up and down the field against a run-suspect defense, if Bob Sanders were out.  Unfortunately for the Steelers, Sanders is playing so it's not going to be as easy as one might think.  In eight games the Colts have given up 1149 yards on the ground, however, Sanders  

Not only will the Steelers offense have to deal with Sanders, but there's the Freeney/Mathis factors.  Two defensive ends that have made their careers in their ability to get off the line quickly and get to the quarterback.  Given Ben's propensity for holding the ball too long and the questionable oline, the Steelers offense will have to hide that bullseye on the chest of whoever the Steelers deem to be their quarterback, whether it's Roethlisberger or Leftwich.

Steelers defense doesn't exactly have an easy job in front of them either.  Peyton Manning just has too many weapons in the form of Reggie Wayne, Anthony Gonzalez and Marvin Harrison, not to mention Dallas Clark, and still has the ability to be lethal in the air.  Add Rhodes and Addai and well, it could be a long day for the Steelers defense, but I see the number one defense in the NFL being disruptive against the high powered offense of the Colts.  An added plus is the return of Safety Ryan Clark to the Steelers defense.  The combination of Clark and Polamalu have helped disrupt, or at least keep in check offenses this season.

Pittsburgh is not a kind place for the Colts to play, whether they were in Baltimore or in Indianapolis.  Steelers lead the series 10-1 against the Colts for games played in Pittsburgh.  I don't see this game being kind to them either, especially since the Steelers are looking to maintain their lead in the AFC North, trying to keep the Ravens off their heels.  It also doesn't help the Colts that the Steelers are 5-0 against AFC teams this year either. 

I expect to see some great defense coming out for the Steelers (what can I say, I'm a Steelers homer).  The only question I'm going to really have...Bruce, what do you have plan to ensure that you actually do open up the ground game and keep Mathis and Freeney off of Ben?
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Comments

Since: Sep 9, 2006
Posted on: November 9, 2008 1:30 pm
 

My Game of the Year

SirCheeks,

The Colts offense with Dallas Clark is definitely different then the Colts offense without Dallas Clark.  No doubt his presence makes the Colts arial offense lethal.  I see more of a problem with the Steelers corners playing too soft.

As far as the Steelers run offense, I'm really not that worried about the backups.  Mewelde Moore has been excellent in filling in when Parker is out.  In the three games he started he ran for 99 yds against the Jags and 120 yds against Cincinatti.  So, against teams that actually have okay or suspect run defenses, even with the backups, the running game hasn't suffered. 

Alot of people question the abilities of the Steelers rushing offense this year because they "haven't seemed to have been able to get anything done".  I think the one thing that people tend to forget is that the Steelers have been up against the some of the stingiest run defenses in the league this year.  The Ravens, Eagles, Giants and Redskins are all top 10 rush defenses which have given up an average of less then 90 yds per game.  Now given at the time of play, these teams were actually in the top five, no one was being productive against them on the ground.  That's half of the Steelers games this year.

I don't forsee the Steelers running up and down the field on Colts all day because Bob Sanders is back, but without Marlin Jackson, I don't see the Colts keeping the Steelers running game under 100 yds. 





Since: Oct 19, 2007
Posted on: November 9, 2008 1:04 pm
 

My Game of the Year

Fear,

It's not much different in my house.  The wife and daughter are upstairs may flip on the game every once in a while, but every time I go up there is some girly show on TV.  Even when my son was home last football season he would be upstairs playing on his computer.  I am a football widower. 

The girls love skating.  To me, it is dull as watching grass grow.  I took them to stars on ice at Quicken Loans Arena (where the Cavs play) a couple of years ago, and they loved it.  As you know, there are always benefits in making the wife and daughter happy.  It's not that triple jumps and the other stuff they do is easy, it just doesn't do much for me.   




Since: Jan 18, 2008
Posted on: November 9, 2008 12:30 pm
 

My Game of the Year

momluvs -

My wife lived in Dallas for 2 years when she was a kid, and adopted the Cowboys as her team. Simply because she thought Danny White was cute; she also rooted for Gary Hogeboom on "Survivor", but that's where her allegiance and interest in football ends. Whenever I think it would be nice if my wife had the same passion for football as I do - like you and your husband do - I remember that she could be have made my life pretty miserable over the past 17 years. But it's nice to see you have that connection and can have fun with it.

The Colts are in trouble today. After watching them beat up on Washington last week, and knowing what a struggle the Giants had trying to move the ball on them, the Steelers are  just too physical for them. Indy is giving up over 140 yards a game on the ground, which means they get a whole lot "Moore" of Mewelde today. And I hate to say it, but Dungy is struggling this year - is he still retiring after the season, as he had announced? If so, all the more reason to think the fire in his belly isn't raging like it used to. Manning has 9 picks on the year and this game reeks of at least two more interceptions.

One thing the colts have been able to do is defend the pass, but they don't have many sacks which should mean Roethlisberger will have plenty of time to pick and choose who he'll go to. Manning will come out firing but won't have much time to get rid of the ball. I like the Steelers to prevail at home with the ground game and maybe an interception return for a TD, 31 - 20. 




Since: Sep 23, 2008
Posted on: November 9, 2008 11:30 am
 

My Game of the Year

The Bills versus Patriots game is for a lot of the marbles in the AFC East. Both teams are reeling with numerous, significant injuries, so it will be a test of character and coaching. The Patriots have totally owned the Bills since Gutenberg invented the press.

My wife absolutely despises football. She is insanely possessive over me, and regards football as "the other woman". Of course, she's been having a torrid affair with figure skating for years. I wish you all could hear her jabbering and yelling  at the TV monitor during a skating competition. She lets it all out. It's amazing to hear the flowery music coming out of the TV, drowned out by Susie's far less flowery analysis of events. Hilarious or cute or both.



Since: Feb 9, 2007
Posted on: November 9, 2008 11:21 am
 

My Game of the Year

Mom,

Good luck to your Steelers! No offense to your husband, but I don't know him.  I hope Mewelde Moore runs all over the place--he is starting for my fantasy team.  I also have Reggie Wayne starting, so mixed feelings there.

It should be a great game.  If I were betting, I would pick your Steelers.




Since: Oct 12, 2007
Posted on: November 9, 2008 11:08 am
 

My Game of the Year

mom -- this will be a fun one to watch.

This is a "need to win" game for the Colts. They are not quite at "must win" status, but they are close. Their play so far this year has not been up to snuff. I agree with sircheeks -- something is up with Peyton Manning this year, I just haven't figured out what. The Colts needs to win to keep pace with the Titans in the AFC South and to stay in the playoff race. They also could use the psychological boost of beating one of their all-time nemeses. Each loss from here on out for them makes the Colts less relevant.

For the Steelers, this is another chance to assert dominance in the AFC and another potential step toward winning the AFC North. I think they'd rather have Roethlisberger under center, but Leftwich showed last week that he is ready to stand in, if necessary. I suppose I was a bit surprised with the release of Najeh Davenport yesterday, but the Steelers are a smart team, so I tend to think they were comfortable enough with their current depth at running back to let him go. I've become a Mewelde Moore fan, so I wouldn't mind seeing him get some more work.

Here's to a good game!




Since: Oct 19, 2007
Posted on: November 9, 2008 10:57 am
 

My Game of the Year

So Mom, are you and hubby going to watch the game in separate rooms, or should we call 911 now before the fight breaks out?  I'm still pissed at Indy for not playing it's starters or even calling its last time out against Tennessee on last year's Sunday night finale.  It cost the Browns a chance at the playoffs, and that doesn't happen very often.  Now that the Browns have a fork in them, I hope Pittsburgh plays it's best game tonight.  Pittsburgh has more class then what Indy showed last year.

I agree the Steelers O-line is one of the keys.  I'm surprised to read Roesthlisberger is probable for today.  The guy can takes a beating and keeps on ticking.  But whether it's him or Leftwich, they will need protection.  Before the season is over with Charlie Batch on IR for the season, I wouldn't be surprised to see rookie Dennis Dixon getting a few snaps. 

The Steelers are one of the most effective blitzing teams.  Keeping the pressure on Payton Manning will make him and his offense less effective and prone to critical mistakes.   BTW, how many night games are the Steelers playing this year?  Seems like every other week they have one... not that it seems to bother them.... at least on Monday night they never seem to lose.

 




Since: Jan 21, 2008
Posted on: November 9, 2008 9:59 am
 

My Game of the Year

after the demise of my beloved SKINS last week at the hands of the STEELERS, not only do i forsee  a loss for the COLTS today,  but maybe ben wont get sacked as much also, handing off so much to moore..i want it to be a high scoring game,(ive got wayne in ff) but just dont see that happening either..just remember MOM,,that marrige is a cival union..lol... 



Since: Jun 30, 2008
Posted on: November 9, 2008 9:17 am
 

My Game of the Year

MLF,

Peyton Manning has not looked like the quarterback we are accustomed to seeing over the past few seasons. For whatever reason his timing and dare I say accuracy have not been what they once were. Despite this, he will find a way to keep the Colts in the game.

The biggest addition to the Colts' offense is a healthy Dallas Clark. Clark's presence over the middle has eliminated the necessity for Manning to throw outside on every series. He and Anthony Gonzalez working together has helped Peyton regain that offensive consistency he has had the last couple NFL seasons.

On defense the Colts are soft as a baby's bottom. They just cannot stop the run. Normally this would play to the Steelers' strength, but the accumulation of injuries at that position makes me think otherwise.

Field and weather conditions will ultimately decide this game. If Peyton Manning, Joseph Addai, Robert Mathis and company can find solid tracking, they will perform above expectations. The closer the conditions are to ideal, the better the Colts will play.

This should be a great game and I'm looking forward to watching it this evening.


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