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Steelers vs. Lions Pre-Game Report

December 21, 2001 by Guest

Guest Column: Steelers vs. Lions Pre-Game Report (by JB in the Big Steel Apple)

Respect. The Steelers craved it for weeks. Many of the players will publicly tell you that only after the huge win last week did media outlets consider this team Super Bowl worthy. But, I think privately they will tell you, this team has had respect from the other NFL teams since winning at a hungry, desperate Cleveland.

This issue of respect turns out to be the prime factor this Sunday. Only, this time as per the holidays, it is better to give than receive. Pittsburgh has the respect. Detroit doesn�t. And history mandates that those who have gained respect must now respect all others to remain on top. Once a team ignores this rule, they fall victim to scares, upsets and sometimes blowouts. Anyone that needs an example need only be reminded of Baltimore�s attitude last week.

It�s becoming holiday season and the Steelers must give respect to Detroit, but that�s where the giving must end.

Now, Keys to the Game:

  1. Steelers LB�s vs. Mike McMahon�s Legs: Typically, the Steelers defense has been susceptible to a QB with good mobility. The last thing this defense wants to do is allow McMahon to take off for some easy first downs. I�m not saying we need a shadow for this McMahon, but it will be good for the LB Corps to respect his mobility.
  2. Blitz, Blitz, Blitz: The Steelers need to blitz repeatedly to confuse this rookie QB. If they don�t come after him fiercely, I�d be really surprised. Look for them to unleash a few goodies this week that might show up late in the playoffs.
  3. Steelers Offense vs. The Red Zone: This would be a prime game to continue the touchdown production from last week or more importantly, touchdown production that occurs while in the red zone. The Steelers reached the red zone 4 times last week and the results:1 TD, 2 FG and 1 Missed FG. Average numbers against a bend/don�t break type of defense, but awfully pathetic numbers against a bend/always break Lions defense. Remember this ratio: 1:2. One touchdown for every two trips to the red zone. That should be a reasonable, achievable and necessary goal for this offense.

Thoughts to keep in mind while going to the fridge for a beer.

  1. Anyone that wants a good example of �Billy Ball� needs to look at Herman Edwards and the Jets.
  2. Factoid of the week: if Seattle wins out the rest of their schedule, Baltimore must win out also to make the playoffs.
  3. I�m going to put my Strong-as-Steel Playoff Picks below. With three weeks left and a strong lack of premiere match-ups the rest of the way, I think we can begin to assume the teams sticking around for the Post-season.
  4. You know, I�m noticing teams aren�t taking shots at the Rams wide outs at the line of scrimmage. They seem to run unimpeded where they want, when they want. If I were a defensive coordinator, I play them aggressively and brutally. What�s the worse they could do? Score a touchdown? They�d do that regardless.
  5. I told you. I told you. I told you. The Miami Dolphins aren�t anything special.
  6. I think it�s a safe assumption that the Rams will get home field advantage. That�s too bad too because only one of the two teams that have a shot at beating them will make the playoffs (New Orleans or Tampa Bay)
  7. Here�s my take on Bettis� injury: I think the coaching staff is telling the truth that it�s not a Fred Taylor-type injury. BUT! I think they are concerned that it will become a Fred Taylor-type injury if he�s rushed back without properly letting it heal. Remember in Taylor�s injury the muscle tendon actually separated from the bone. So don�t expect to see the Bus until at least next week. And even then it will be a limited role.
  8. Just a thought on the pathetic displays by New Orleans and Cleveland fans last week: Is it any wonder that these two teams and fans have never seen ultimate victory?
  9. A note on Mill�s Loose Slag Article: I disagree with Mill on the Offensive line. Come on Mill, how on earth would a team that�s 11-2 be that strong with half of the offensive line giving pathetic displays? I know your articles are on the shock value side. with well-analyzed material and solid synopsis, but you really lost me on the Tylski/Ross/Smith analysis. I think your searching for something that�s not there. The special teams and lack of Porter/Gildon production? Now there�s something to pick on.

* Last Week�s "Missed Prime Opportunity" score: Pittsburgh 3 Baltimore 5

Note: Team gains a point with each "prime opportunity" they miss.

*-- A "Missed Prime Opportunity" is one in when a team fails to score while in scoring range or doesn�t take advantage of major swings in momentum (i.e. major penalties/turnovers/settling for field goals in successive series/inability to seal a game with first downs). These are killer because a team only gets so many. A great example is the Giants vs. Eagles on Monday night this year. Although thoroughly ass whipping the Eagles in every category, the Giants inability to capitalize on Prime Opportunities causes the Eagles to take the lead with less than 2 minutes left. This gave the Giants at least 4 MPO�s in the first half. Those MPO�s came back to haunt the Giants. The Eagles cause Kerry Collins (The most overrated QB in the NFL) to fumble leading to an improbable Eagles victory in New York.


Division Winners   AFC   NFC

Pittsburgh  St. Louis

Oakland  Chicago

Miami  Philadelphia

Wild Cards    New England San Francisco

Baltimore  Green Bay

NY Jets  New Orleans 

 Sunday�s Outlook

    Not much surprise here�

    Steelers 24 Lions 10

    Go STEELERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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