Force turnovers and score on those mistakes.
Win Sunday clinching the Division.
Finish out the season with just three losses – which means winning straight through to the Super Bowl.
What remains in the way is Balitmore and their defense.Â Since 2002, Pittsburgh has not won in Baltimore.Â We need to win this game and wrap up the AFC North gaining that first round bye spot.
What does the defense need to do?
Like I said in my last post.Â Crush Baltimore’s offense.Â Make Flacco land on his back a few times and shake him up.Â Who can do that?Â None other than James Harrison.Â He’s already got 15 sacks this season – third in the league behind Joey Porter and Demarcus Ware.Â LaMarr Woodley isnt far behind with 11.5 sacks this season.Â Between the two, they will be coming to get Flacco for sure.
Pittsburgh’s defense depends on speed, agility, aggressiveness and most importantly, disguise. You never know where they are going to come from.Â They constantly pressure in order to force turnovers – make the QB pass before he’s really ready.Â While Baltimore leads the NFL in interceptions – at 22, Pittsburgh has 16 and Troy Polamalu has 7 of those himself.
I predicted a low scoring game with field goals all the way.Â I’m going to fine tune this again and say that it may have a few TDs thrown in there too (literally).Â I think the score will be a lot like it was back in September when the Steelers won in overtime 23-20.Â I’m gong to hope for a better buffer though, and say 23-17 – Steelers.
The difference from last week
That’s simple for me.Â I think the offense heard the complaints loud and clear.Â You gotta move the ball.Â Whether it’s Mewelde Moore, Willie Parker or even Hines Ward.Â MOVE the ball.Â Last week Hines Ward caught one ball for 2 yards.Â (Probably a career low, or close to it!) In 14 games against Balitmore over his career, HInesÂ has 75 catches, 844 yards and 4 TDs.Â Let’s work on bettering those numbers this week, specifically the last one – especially since both Bart Scott and Terrell Suggs have some kind of death wish for Hines.Â Just do it.
The key for Pittsburgh is to keep the ball away from Ed Reed.Â Ben will certainly get hit.Â Ray Lewis and the Baltimore defense is crazy.Â He’s gonna be on his back.Â My note to Ben – AVOID TURNOVERS at all cost.Â Baltimore has 6 defensive TDs this season.Â I would like nothing better than to NOT help them improve that stat.
At the end of the day, that’s the deal – Defense keep on doing what you do.Â Offense – avoid mistakes.Â Protect the ball and it will be a victory.
Do me a favor and help keep my blood pressure low.