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Pittsburgh Steelers

Stadium: Heinz Field | Coach: Mike Tomlin
Team RankingOverallRushingPassing
Offense6th113.0 (18th)289.0 (5th)
Defense20th170.0 (27th)186.0 (6th)

Steelers report: Strategy and personnel

The Sports Xchange
 
Strategy and personnel · Notes, quotes · Inside slant
 

PLAYER NOTES

--SS Troy Polamalu (Achilles strain) did not practice on Wednesday and likely will not practice on Thursday. It's a routine he's followed the past three weeks and he has played spectacularly in the past two games.

--TE Matt Spaeth, who did not play in Buffalo, passed his concussion test Wednesday morning and went through a full practice. All of Spaeth's five catches came in his previous five games.

--WR Antwaan Randle El is well on his way to the lowest production of his nine-year career. He has 17 receptions for 205 yards. His career lows are 37 for 364 in his second season, 2003 with the Steelers. He's had no catches in his past two games, only the second time he's been shut out in two straight game.

--QB Ben Roethlisberger has gone two games without an interception and has not thrown two in a game this season. He's never gone through a season not having at least two interceptions in a game. He has four playing in seven games.

--LB James Harrison is having another outstanding season overshadowed by his $125,000 in fines. He leads the Steelers with 10 sacks, 22 quarterback pressures and six forced fumbles. He also is tied for second with two interceptions and has a fumble recovery.

GAME PLAN
The Steelers want to run on offense but realize that they likely will have to throw on the Ravens in order to move the ball. They had little success doing either in their 17-14 loss in the fourth game of the season. On defense, they will do what they did in the first game by stopping the run and forcing Joe Flacco to pass. Flacco did not have success until his final series when the Steelers laid back and he toasted them on four pass plays that covered 40 yards for the winning touchdown.

MATCHUPS TO WATCH
Steelers rookie C Maurkice Pouncey and RG Ramon Foster vs. Ravens Pro Bowl DT Haloti Ngata. "He's a disruptive force, one that we have to reckon with in some form or fashion. Usually that's going to require multiple men," said coach Mike Tomlin.

Steelers S Troy Polamalu vs. Ravens S Ed Reed. They don't face each other but it's a matchup of the two best safeties in the game and the outcome could hinge on one of them making a big play.

Ravens OLB Terrell Suggs vs. Steelers LT Jonathan Scott, playing for injured Max Starks and not doing a good job of it.

INJURY IMPACT
The Steelers are relatively healthy and all of these players should be on the field Sunday: QB Ben Roethlisberger (foot), S Troy Polamalu (Achilles), DE Brett Keisel (hamstring), CB Bryant McFadden (hamstring), DE Nick Eason (knee) and OT Flozell Adams (back). DE Aaron Smith (triceps) remains out and Ziggy Hood will start for him.

Copyright (C) 2010 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.

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