The Steelers can lose today and still make the playoffs, but it won’t be as easily accomplished as many want you to think. Lose today and they drop to 6-6. As long as the Miami Dolphins don’t win out, the Steelers should be able to make the playoffs and they won’t have to win their final four. They could do it by winning three of the four to go 9-7 – provided they beat Cincinnati in the next-to-last game of the season.
That would give them two wins over the Bengals and the first tiebreaker. It also would give Cincinnati at least six losses, so unless the Bengals win their other four games, including today’s, the Steelers would get in over them.
That doesn’t mean today’s game is meaningless to the Steelers. A victory today would allow them to split their final four games and still make the playoffs with a victory over the Bengals.
I don’t see them winning today, but stranger things have happened. I’ll pick the Ravens, 17-10. It’s not just the quarterback change, it’s the offensive line. I really don’t like that matchup against Baltimore’s front seven that includes haloti Ngata, Terrell Suggs and Paul Kruger, who savaged Mike Adams two weeks ago at Heinz Field.
Onto some stuff:
--- Gorgeous afternoon here in Baltimore after the area was shrouded in fog this morning. One of my favorite cities to visit.
--- Ike Taylor on why this game is such a good rivalry: “Two similar-style teams, defense wins championships. It’s either us or Baltimore, division-wise or even the NFL when it comes down to defense. Both known for their running game, big, tall, strong quarterbacks. Both teams have the tight ends.
The recipe is pretty much the same when you go down the depth chart, when you look at the physicality, when you look at the blueprint.”
--- Larry Foote said he does not mind playing the Ravens twice in three games. This could have been an epic game today. Had the Steelers won the past two, the teams would have met today with identical 8-3 records.
“They lived up to their end of the bargain, we didn’t live up to ours,’’ Foote said. “It definitely takes a little off it.”
Scheduling one of the best rivalries in the NFL twice in a three-game span, though, gambles that some key injuries for either team could take them out of two games such as the one to Ben Roethlisberger.
“Yeah, but you don’t look at it like that,’’ Foote said. “Injuries are part of it. It’s tough for us that it came at this time when we play our rival. But we lost three games without our third string or second string quarterback [meaning with Ben]. It’s a game of inches.”
As for preparing, “I think it’s easier on the coaches and us as far as the scouting, extra homework and the breakdown.”
--- Casey Hampton on the fans in Baltimore: “They’re tough. They talk just as bad as anybody else, but I’ve already heard every fat joke in the world so it doesn’t really bother me too much, know what I mean. Sticks and stones. I know I’m fat, it’s no big deal to me.”
--- Hampton on whether this rivalry has gotten “too nice,’’ especially in light of Ryan Clark entering the Ravens’ locker room at Heinz Field after Baltimore’s 13-10 victory two weeks ago:
“It’s never too nice. When you play people so many times, you definitely are going to get to know guys and things like that. Bad talking is between certain people. Certain people are cool with guys. Ryan might be cool with this person but this person he can’t stand. It just depends on who the person is.”
--- Hampton on Rice’s 29-yard run in San Diego on fourth-and-29 last week:
“That’s tough right there, that’s bad defense right there, real bad defense. I saw it, you can’t help but see it, they showed it on Sports Center 1,000 times. But that’s bad defense, man, there’s no way you can let that happen. But it’s the NFL and Ray Rice is a good player.
“When it’s going your way, it’s going your way.”
|< Prev||Next >|
You must be a registered user to post. Commenting system instructions