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Thread: Game 7 : Steelers @ Saints : 10.31.10

      
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    Default Game 7 : Steelers @ Saints : 10.31.10


    Last edited by Kipper; Oct-07-2012 at 11:38 PM.

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    Default Re: Game 7 : Steelers @ Saints : 10.30.10

    It's GAMEDAY!......... But man, do I hate waiting all day for it to start!............




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    Default Re: Game 7 : Steelers @ Saints : 10.31.10

    Steelers-Saints Preview
    STATS LLC



    Considering they followed up both of their championships in the past five years by missing the playoffs, the Pittsburgh Steelers are no strangers to the supposed Super Bowl hangover.

    The New Orleans Saints might be the latest team to feel its effects.

    Turnovers have plagued Drew Brees and the Saints' suddenly stalled offense, a slump that could be tough to shake Sunday night against the visiting Steelers in a showdown of the past two Super Bowl champions.

    Pittsburgh (5-1) finished 8-8 in 2006, a season after winning Super Bowl XL, and didn't make the playoffs again the year after its victory in Super Bowl XLIII.

    The Steelers again look capable of a return to championship form, but the Saints (4-3) are the latest example of a title team to struggle the following season. New Orleans has committed 14 turnovers in its last five games, and lost for the third time in that stretch Sunday against Cleveland as Brees was intercepted four times in a 30-17 defeat at the Superdome.

    "We're all in the midst of trying to put our finger on what exactly is going on," Brees said after throwing his 10th pick in the five-game stretch -- one fewer than he had last season. "We know the type of team we have. We know the type of work ethic we have. The effort is there. Guys want to win. Guys want to be great."

    Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who suffered through the worst season of his career after his first Super Bowl title, can relate to the Saints' struggles.

    "You're going to get everybody's best shot," said Roethlisberger, who's thrown five TDs and posted a 122.4 passer rating since returning from his four-game suspension. "A lot of the hard part about it is your off time is so short. ... There's a lot of expectations on you. You kind of put the pressure on yourself just as much as anyone else does."

    The Steelers have the NFL's top scoring defense at 13.7 points per game and second-best turnover ratio at plus-eight, but may have been more fortunate than anything last week in Miami.

    Down 22-20 late in the fourth quarter, Roethlisberger fumbled as he neared the goal line on a quarterback draw. Though the head linesman signaled a touchdown, a replay review overturned the call -- yet the Steelers maintained position since the officials couldn't determine who recovered the ball.

    Jeff Reed booted an 18-yard field goal and Pittsburgh left with a 23-22 win.

    The victory may have been costly, though. End Aaron Smith, the most significant cog up front in the Steelers' 3-4 defense, tore his left triceps in the first half.

    Smith is likely out until at least late December, if not for the season. It's the third significant injury for Smith in four years, and a look at the team with and without him speaks volumes. In the last 15 games Smith has missed -- postseason included -- the Steelers are 7-8 and have allowed averages of 22.5 points and 114.1 rushing yards.

    With him, they're 23-7, yielding one fewer touchdown per game and 71.4 yards on the ground.

    "There are no excuses," Tomlin said. "Do I expect the guys that take his place to play like Aaron? Or to make similar plays? Maybe not, but they'd better be above the line."

    Ziggy Hood will replace Smith on a defense that could also be without end Brett Keisel and linebacker LaMarr Woodley, who are nursing hamstring injuries.

    Those potential absences would give the pass-happy Saints a good opportunity to gain some yards on the ground, but Reggie Bush (leg) and Pierre Thomas (ankle) missed practice Friday and are listed as out. Without them, Brees will likely attack a Pittsburgh defense that has yielded 273.5 passing yards over the past two weeks.

    Roethlisberger, on the other hand, might have his hands full with a Saints pass defense that's third in the league at 179.7 yards allowed per game.

    Yet New Orleans has only one interception in its past five games, a number it hopes to see rise in its second game since safety Darren Sharper's return. Sharper tied for the NFL lead with nine picks last season, three of which he brought back for touchdowns.

    The Steelers haven't visited New Orleans since a 32-29 loss in 2002. Brees passed for 398 yards when the teams met at Heinz Field on Nov. 12, 2006, but Roethlisberger threw three TDs in Pittsburgh's 38-31 win.

    http://scores.espn.go.com/nfl/nflpre...meId=301031018

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    Default Re: Game 7 : Steelers @ Saints : 10.31.10


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    Default Re: Game 7 : Steelers @ Saints : 10.30.10

    This Week's Line

    2010 Trends (Regular Season)
    The Steelers are 4-2 ATS.
    The Steelers are 2-1 ATS away.
    The Steelers are 2-0 ATS as the underdog.
    The Steelers are 1-0 ATS as an away underdog.
    The Saints are 2-5 ATS.
    The Saints are 1-3 ATS at home.
    The Saints are 2-5 ATS as the favorite.
    The Saints are 1-3 ATS as a home favorite.

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    Default Re: Game 7 : Steelers @ Saints : 10.30.10

    SERIES HISTORY

    The Steelers lead the series 7-6. They’re 3-2 against the Saints in games played in Pittsburgh and 4-4 in New Orleans.

    The Steelers haven’t played the Saints since beating them, 38-31, at Heinz Field on Nov. 12, 2006.

    The Steelers haven’t played in New Orleans since Oct. 6, 2002 when they lost 32-29. In that game, quarterback Tommy Maddox made his first start as a Steeler.

    TONIGHT’S STORYLINE

    The winners of the past two Super Bowls meet on Halloween night in the Superdome. The Steelers (5-1) are trying to maintain their half-game lead over the Ravens (5-2) in the AFC North while the Saints (4-3) are trying to keep pace with the Falcons (5-2) and Buccaneers (4-2) in the NFC South.

    INJURY REPORT

    The Steelers will be without both of their starting defensive ends. Aaron Smith is out indefinitely with a partially torn triceps muscle. Although Brett Keisel is officially listed as doubtful, he’ll miss his second straight game with a hamstring pull. Keisel missed practice Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

    Ziggy Hood will replace Smith at left-end in the starting lineup. Nick Eason will make his second straight at Keisel’s spot at right D-end.

    Right tackle Flozell Adams (ankle) and outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley (hamstring) are listed as probable and will both start.

    Meanwhile, the Saints are banged up at running back. Reggie Bush will miss his fifth straight game with a broken leg. Backup Pierre Thomas (ankle) is also out.

    The Saints also have health issues at cornerback where Jabari Green (shoulder) is doubtful and Tracy Porter (knee) is questionable.

    QUOTEWORTHY

    “We’re used to playing a lot of prime-time games in the Superdome. The Steelers are used to playing a lot of prime-time games. I think it will be a great atmosphere, two very good teams, Halloween night in New Orleans. It should be crazy.”
    - Saints coach Sean Payton

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    Default Re: Game 7 : Steelers @ Saints : 10.30.10

    TONIGHT’S TOP MATCH-UPS

    ROETHLISBERGER vs. BREES

    For the first time this season, the Steelers play a game featuring two elite quarterbacks. Last year, Drew Brees earned MVP honors in Super Bowl XLIV after leading the Saints to their first championship in the franchise’s 43-year history. Two years ago, Ben Roethlisberger threw the game-winning touchdown pass in SB 43 with 35 seconds left to play.

    As he’s done in the past, Brees is putting up prolific numbers this season. He leads the league with 287 attempts and is tied for first with 14 TD passes. But he’s also thrown 10 interceptions already, including four last week in an upset loss to Cleveland. Last year, Brees only threw 11 picks.

    After missing the first four games while on suspension, Roethlisberger is playing well. He has a 122.4 passer rating, the highest-rating among NFL starters .He’s throw five TD passes and only one interception and that came on his first possession in the Oct. 17 win over the Browns.

    The QB who avoids the most mistakes tonight will likely be the one who wins.

    HOOD vs. STINCHCOMB

    Ziggy Hood will never forget tonight’s game for as long as he lives. The Steelers’ first-round pick in last year’s NFL Draft, he’ll make his first pro start in the Superdome, on Halloween night, on national prime-time TV. And he’ll never forget that the man lined up across him will be Saints right tackle Jon Stinchcomb.

    Hood starts at left defensive end due to the injury to veteran Aaron Smith (partially torn triceps).

    “I won’t be able to do the same job as Aaron Smith because he’s a great player,” Hood said. “But if I can do at least half of what he does, I’ll feel I did my job.”

    It’s noble of Hood to heap such praise on Smith. But in reality, playing half as well as Smith won’t be acceptable. Coach Mike Tomin expects the standard to remain high for whoever replaces an injured starter.

    Tonight, Hood will try to do that against a solid veteran tackle who’s started every game since the 2006 season. Now an eighth-year pro, Stinchcomb is coming off his best season that ended with his first Pro Bowl appearance.

    POUNCEY vs. VILMA

    For a team hoping for offensive balance, the Steelers didn’t get it last week in their 23-22 win at Miami. While Ben Roethlisberger threw for 302 yards, the Steelers rushed for only 58. For the running game to get untracked tonight, it will take a better collective effort by the Steelers’ offensive line.

    Specifically, the Steelers need center Maurkice Pouncey to block Saints middle linebacker Jonathan Vilma.

    A former star at Miami (Fla.), Vilma is a former first-round draft pick (12th overall in 2004 by the New York Jets). He was the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year and played in his first Pro Bowl in ’05. He’s been the heart and soul of the Saints defense the past two seasons and went to his second Pro Bowl last year.

    Pouncey, the Steelers’ first-round pick this year, is off to a solid start. He’s really been impressive handling huge nose tackles when the Steelers face 3-4 defenses. Tonight as plays against the Saints 4-3, Pouncey must find way to get a helmet on Vilma and thus allow running back Rashard Mendenhall to be more productive than he was last week.

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    Default Re: Game 7 : Steelers @ Saints : 10.30.10

    FIVE QUESTIONS

    How have the Steelers fared against defending Super Bowl champs? Not very well. Since the NFL/AFL merger in 1970, the Steelers are 6-16 when facing the reigning champions. The last time the Steelers played a defending Super Bowl champ was on Oct. 26, 2008 when they lost to the Giants, 21-14 at Heinz Field.

    What's been the key to the Steelers leading the NFL in fewest points allowed (13.7 ppg)? Last year when the Steelers tied for 12th in scoring defense at 20.2 points per game, they only had 22 takeaways (12 interceptions, 10 fumble recoveries). But this year the Steelers already have 16 takeaways (eight interceptions, eight fumble recoveries). Also, the Steelers allowed four touchdowns on kickoff returns, two TDs on interception returns and two TDs on fumble recoveries last year. So far this year, they have yet to allow a TD on a kick return and they have yet to have an opponent score on an interception or fumble.

    How did Mike Ditka fare in New Orleans when he coached the Saints? Ditka, the Aliquippa native who's now an NFL analyst for ESPN, was the 12th coach in Saints history and suffered through a tough three-year stretch from 1997-99. His teams went 6-10, 6-10 and 3-13. Ditka once said, "Those were the worst three years of my life." Ditka, a Hall of Fame tight end, obviously had much better success when he coached the Bears from 1982-92, going 106-62 with a Super Bowl championship in '85.

    Why do the folks in New Orleans like to say the Superdome is the most famous sports venue in the country? The Superdome has already hosted the Super Bowl six times. That's more than any other stadium. And the Super Bowl returns to the Superdome in 2013. The Sugar Bowl has been played there since 1975, and four times that game has served as the site for the national championship. Also, the Superdome has already hosted men's college basketball's Final Four four times and will do so again in 2012.

    What world record should be broken tonight in the Superdome? A representative from the Guinness Book of World Records will be on hand to see if the game will turn out to be the world's largest-ever Halloween gathering. The Saints' promotions department has gone as far as staging a Halloween costume contest for fans before the game and asking their fans to "Wear your costume and be counted!" One of the rules of the contest is that the costume must be Saints-related. The Guinness record for most people at one Halloween costume event is 508. With a capacity of 68,000 at the Superdome, there are estimates that as many as 10,000 fans attending the game will be in costume.

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    Default Re: Game 7 : Steelers @ Saints : 10.30.10

    When the Saints have the ball: QB Drew Brees is tied for first in the NFL with 14 touchdowns and is third with 2,029 passing yards, but his average yards per attempt is among the lowest in the NFC (7.1). Eight different receivers have 16 or more catches, led by WR Marques Colston (40). But the short passing game has been affected by the absence of RB Reggie Bush, who fractured his fibula in Week 2, and RB Pierre Thomas, the team's leading rusher in 2009, who has missed the past four games with a high-ankle sprain. Both players are not expected to play. Rookie RB Chris Ivory has rushed for 325 yards in their absence. The Saints had three offensive linemen in the Pro Bowl last season -- C Jonathan Goodwin, RG Jahri Evans and RT Jon Stinchcomb -- but the line had problems locating and handling Browns NT Shawn Rodgers in the loss last week.

    When the Steelers have the ball: QB Ben Roethlisberger has passed for 559 yards and five TDs with a passer rating of 122.4 in two games since returning. The biggest benefactor has been WR Hines Ward, who has 12 catches for 185 yards and two touchdowns. The Saints have had problems in the secondary. S Darren Sharper just returned from the physically unable to perform list. CB Tracy Porter has been out for a month with a knee injury and is not expected to play. And CB Jabari Greer might return after missing the previous game with a shoulder injury. That means rookie CB Patrick Robinson will get tested by WR Mike Wallace. Because the Saints haven't been playing with the lead, defensive coordinator Gregg Williams has not blitzed as much this season, resulting in fewer takeaways.

    KEEP AN EYE ON ...

    DE Will Smith ... He has just one of the Saints' 12 sacks, but he led the team with 13 in 2009, second best in the NFL. Since being selected with the 18th overall pick in the '04 draft from Ohio State, Smith has had 491/2 sacks and 16 forced fumbles despite often being double-teamed on the edge. He will line against LT Max Starks in the Saints' 4-3 defensive front.

    INTANGIBLES

    This is the first time the past two Super Bowl champions have met in a regular-season game since Denver (1998 champs) and St. Louis (1999) played Sept. 4, 2000. ... The Steelers have won four consecutive road games, dating to last season, but are 1-2 in the Superdome. They have won three of the past four overall meetings against the Saints since 1990. What's more, the Steelers are 22-4 in their past 26 games against the NFC, including 10-4 under Mike Tomlin. Brees is 8-1 against the AFC since joining the Saints.

    To win, the Saints must ...

    1. Not have Brees freeze. He has been intercepted eight times in the past three games, three of which have been returned for touchdowns.

    2. Not let Mike down the pike. Wallace has five catches of 41 yards or longer and averages a team-best 25.3 yards per catch.

    3. Say it 'Aints so. They have turned the ball over 14 times and had five scoring returns against them in seven games.

    To win, the Steelers must ...

    1. Put some teeth in Ivory. The rookie running back will be facing a defense that hasn't allowed a back more than 48 yards or a gain longer than 14 yards in 2010.

    2. Stay Sharp. It is only his second game back from injury, but Sharper is a defensive playmaker who had three of his career 11 TD interception returns in 2009.

    3. Lance Moore. The Saints' receiver leads the team with four touchdowns, two of which have been for 41 and 80 yards.

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    Default Re: Game 7 : Steelers @ Saints : 10.30.10

    3 reasons why the steelers will win

    1) Ben Roethlisberger — It will be Roethlisberger's first chance to be seen through the national eye in good light and do not think that's not a motivating factor.

    2) Steelers' secondary — The secondary is extremely confident especially after shutting down Brandon Marshall last week. The unit is going to be tested by the Saints' plethora of receivers.

    3) Mike Wallace — Wallace continues to show that receivers can't cover him down the field. Wallace has 11 catches of 40 yards or more over his career including six already this year.

    3 reasons why the steelers will lose

    1) Drew Brees — Brees threw four interceptions in a loss against Cleveland (of all teams) a week ago. Odds tell you that Brees isn't going to have back-to-back stinkers.

    2) Road weary — The Steelers already have made trips to Tampa, Nashville and Miami. All the travel is going to eventually catch up with them.

    3) History — The Steelers never have done very well at all against the defending Super Bowl champion. They are 4-14 lifetime against the previous year's Super Bowl winner.

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    Default Re: Game 7 : Steelers @ Saints : 10.30.10

    Quote Originally Posted by NKySteeler View Post
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    It's GAMEDAY!......... But man, do I hate waiting all day for it to start!............
    I'm trying to look at the bright side of watching the Bungles against the Whining Tuna.

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    Default Re: Game 7 : Steelers @ Saints : 10.30.10

    Quote Originally Posted by War Machine View Post
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    I'm trying to look at the bright side of watching the Bungles against the Whining Tuna.
    ... Scouting for next week's game?......

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    Default Re: Game 7 : Steelers @ Saints : 10.31.10

    ... A win today will take us a good way...

    With Baltimore having their bye, we can cement ourselves a solid game ahead of them, but a loss will put us back into a tie with them owning the current head-to-head.

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    Default Re: Game 7 : Steelers @ Saints : 10.31.10

    Game day graphic is up... took me longer than usual. Have spent hours on the pot today

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    Default Re: Game 7 : Steelers @ Saints : 10.31.10

    Quote Originally Posted by Kipper View Post
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    Have spent hours on the pot today
    More than I needed to know...

    ... You'be been on the pot, and I've been re-arranging pots... The wifey is taking-over my kitchen with all her **** today...

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