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Thread: Even with a loss, Steelers might not be a lost cause

      
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    Default Even with a loss, Steelers might not be a lost cause

    November 29, 2009
    Even with a loss, Steelers might not be a lost cause
    BY JIM WEXELL
    For The Tribune-Democrat

    PITTSBURGH — Time to get out the abacus and the NFL tiebreaker formulas, because it appears the Pittsburgh Steelers will need to make the playoffs the hard way, particularly with an expected loss tonight to the Baltimore Ravens.

    A loss is expected because the Steelers will play without their best playmakers on each side of the ball.

    Safety Troy Polamalu was declared out earlier in the week, and the Steelers will also sit quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who’ll miss tonight’s game due to “exercise-induced headaches as the week progressed,” according to Fox Sports’ NFL reporter Jay Glazer.

    The Steelers wouldn’t confirm the report – in the hope it might keep the Ravens off-balance – but other sources have confirmed that the Steelers’ plan to sit Roethlisberger, who suffered what coach Mike Tomlin termed “a mild concussion” last Sunday in Kansas City.

    With backup Charlie Batch also sidelined, the Steelers will give second-year quarterback Dennis Dixon his first start.

    Dixon was the Steelers’ fifth-round draft pick in 2008 after guiding the University of Oregon to an 8-1 record before injuring his knee. He was the unanimous choice as the Pac-10’s Offensive Player of the Year for his throwing and running skills in the Ducks’ spread offense.

    Dixon saw action in only one NFL game his rookie season. In the 2008 regular-season finale, Dixon was the second replacement for a concussed Roethlisberger and directed the Steelers’ final two series against the Cleveland Browns. He completed his only pass for 3 yards.

    This preseason, Dixon completed 18 of 35 passes for 180 yards without an interception or touchdown. His passer rating of 66.4 was up slightly from the 64.1 rating of his rookie preseason.

    Dixon took the majority of practice reps this week, and was asked what the offense might look like with him at the controls.

    “I don’t think it’ll be exactly the same,” he said. “But (No.) 7 has been in this offense for a while now, so I wouldn’t think the game plan is going to dramatically change. It would be little things to where it would help me.”

    Dixon’s backup will be former Pitt quarterback Tyler Palko, who was signed to the practice squad late Wednesday and will be activated today.

    Of course, these late-week developments make the 6-4 Steelers heavy underdogs against the Ravens, their 5-5 rivals who are looking to avenge three losses to the Steelers last season, including the AFC championship game.

    However, if the Steelers fall to 6-5 as expected, a successful run through their remaining five games (Oakland, at Cleveland, Green Bay, Baltimore, at Miami) would give them an 11-5 record, and only two out of 71 11-5 teams did not make the NFL playoffs.

    One of those two teams was New England last season. The Patriots fell third in line behind the 12-4 Indianapolis Colts and the 11-5 Ravens as playoff wildcards. The Patriots lost their tiebreaker to the Ravens because of a 7-5 conference record.

    The Steelers (4-3 in conference) wouldn’t have to compete with such powerful records for a wild card this season. Only Denver (7-4), Jacksonville (6-4) and Houston (5-5) would be considered threats should the Steelers win their final five games. And the Steelers have beaten Denver, while Jacksonville and Houston play each other and must each play New England and Indianapolis.

    Of course, the Steelers could win tonight behind their top-ranked defense and underutilized-but-talented run game.

    The Steelers are in position to join the 1984-86 Chicago Bears as the only teams in NFL history to lead the league in total defense three consecutive seasons. Tonight, that Steelers defense will go up against a Ravens offense that has scored only four touchdowns in the past four games, or since quarterback Joe Flacco twisted his ankle.

    In the past four games, Flacco has a combined passer rating of 67.2.

    The Steelers’ running game might get help in the form of another injured ankle as the Ravens’ best run-stuffer, Haloti Ngata, has also been playing on an injured ankle.

    Ravens pass-rusher Terrell Suggs has been listed as doubtful with an injured knee, while linebacker Ray Lewis and safety Ed Reed are both questionable with foot injuries.

    The Steelers will also need help from their special teams, which have allowed an NFL record four touchdown returns on kickoffs this season. To shore up the kickoff unit, the Steelers signed Corey Ivy to play the critical “L1” position.

    Ivy last played for the Ravens when both teams were the class of the AFC. Now they’re fighting for a wild-card berth. Of the dramatic change in both teams’ fortunes, Ivy said: “This is the NFL and anything can happen.”

    Even 6-5 teams can end up in the playoffs.

    http://www.tribune-democrat.com/spor...333000939.html
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    Default Re: Even with a loss, Steelers might not be a lost cause





    just...



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    Default Re: Even with a loss, Steelers might not be a lost cause

    Slam the ball down their throats and be done with it.

    We have three capable ball carriers.

    Get all of them a bunch of reps.

    Oh,

    and kill Fucco.

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    Default Re: Even with a loss, Steelers might not be a lost cause

    Quote Originally Posted by BlackJackGold View Post
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    Slam the ball down their throats and be done with it.

    We have three capable ball carriers.

    Get all of them a bunch of reps.

    Oh,

    and kill Fucco.
    I believe this sentiment more than adequately sums it all up.
    'I want rustlers, cut throats, murderers, bounty hunters, desperados, mugs, pugs, thugs, nitwits, halfwits, dimwits, vipers, snipers, con men, Indian agents, Mexican bandits, muggers, buggerers, bushwhackers, hornswogglers, horse thieves, bull dykes, train robbers, bank robbers, ***-kickers, ****-kickers and Methodists.'

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    Default Re: Even with a loss, Steelers might not be a lost cause

    Ravens week tends to bring out the hitters in The Steelers. I look for a lively group of Black'n'Gold assassins tonight.
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    Default Re: Even with a loss, Steelers might not be a lost cause

    Might not be a lost cause. But the Rattards better not be able to move the ball over ten yards at ANY point in the game.

    I have complete confidence in the D. But, ST has to do a better job at clamping down the return. This bull**** that has passed for return coverage ENDS TONIGHT... or, we lose the game.

    And no turnovers. Welcome to the NFL, DDix...just don't **** up at all and we'll be OK. Same goes for Mendy. But, you don't need to be a brain surgeon to appreciate what the Steelers need to do to the Rattards.

    No mistakes + No long gains on D or ST + Control the clock + Establish the run game = Steelers win!
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    Default Re: Even with a loss, Steelers might not be a lost cause

    Tonight is all about the team leaders stepping up and leading the way and rallying around Dixon.
    Tonight is all about playing football like The Steelers know how to play football.
    Tonight is about Brucey getting his head out of his *** for once this year and calling a responsible game(since Ben isn't here to cover his ***).
    Tonight is about pride and professionalism.
    Tonight is about whoopin' some ratbird *** in prime time
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    Default Re: Even with a loss, Steelers might not be a lost cause

    Quote Originally Posted by Steelreign View Post
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    Tonight is all about the team leaders stepping up and leading the way and rallying around Dixon.
    I couldn't agree more....
    "You only have one life, and you will not get out alive. Make the most of your time and have no regrets." - Me.

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    Default Re: Even with a loss, Steelers might not be a lost cause

    Quote Originally Posted by Steelreign View Post
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    Tonight is all about the team leaders stepping up and leading the way and rallying around Dixon.
    I'm not expecting anything less. WE ARE THE PITTSBURGH STEELERS GOD****IT!

    Quote Originally Posted by Steelreign View Post
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    Tonight is all about playing football like The Steelers know how to play football.
    The Steeler Way... know HOW TO WIN, period!

    Quote Originally Posted by Steelreign View Post
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    Tonight is about Brucey getting his head out of his *** for once this year and calling a responsible game(since Ben isn't here to cover his ***).
    Is that possible??? At this point, if the Steelers don't make the playoffs, Bruce Arians should be shoved out of helicopter with a noose around his neck like that informant from "Scarface".

    Quote Originally Posted by Steelreign View Post
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    Tonight is about pride and professionalism.
    Why should any other night be any different? We're the Steelers, not the Clowns.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steelreign View Post
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    Tonight is about whoopin' some ratbird *** in prime time
    HEARD!!!
    buckeyehoppy 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Pick-em' Contest Champion and 2013 Finalist!

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