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Week 14 early game quick slants

Rey Maualuga, Ben Roethlisberger

While the Eagles and Giants smile after watching Sunday’s results, here are your Week 14 early quick slants:

1. The Steelers offense didn’t score a touchdown Sunday.  Their defense was absolutely dominant after giving up a first drive touchdown to the Bengals, but the offensive line is a problem Pittsburgh has yet to solve.

The Bengals hit Ben Roethlisberger repeatedly, whether they sent pressure or not.  Not all opposition will self-destruct like the Bengals.

2. With that negativity out of the way, let’s point out that the Steelers defense was really, really impressive Sunday.  After a bit of a midseason lull, they have put together some impressive performances against the Raiders, Ravens, and Bengals.   Lamarr Woodley had two sacks and a pick six.  Troy Polamalu is back to making big plays weekly.

3. A hat tip to Falcons defensive end John Abraham, who topped ten sacks again with two on Sunday in Carolina.  (He’s at eleven.)  Atlanta’s pass rush usually doesn’t look the same on the road, but they did a great job pressuring the Panthers in a 31-10 win.

The only game that really matters for the Falcons now is Week 16 against the Saints.

4. Mike Shanahan didn’t bench Donovan McNabb and he no longer has Albert Haynesworth to kick around.  The Redskins lost for many reasons, but Shanahan’s brutal clock management at the end of the first half is near the top of the list.

Washington dominated play in the first half, but only led by seven at the break.  Shanahan was one of the biggest reasons why.

5. The Bucs won the battle Sunday in Washington, but they are running dangerously low on defenders.  They lost two more starters — defensive tackle Gerald McCoy and linebacker Quincy Black — for the season.

Still, they have an absolute shot at the playoffs because their next two games are against Detroit and Seattle.  With the Packers and Bears faltering, perhaps 10 wins and some tiebreaks can get the Bucs in.

6. The Jaguars ruined an incredible individual performance by Darren McFadden Sunday.  He put up 209 total yards and three scores, the shortest of which was 36 yards.  McFadden is finishing his runs again.  He’s been a revelation this season.

7. Jacksonville can clinch the division next Sunday in Indianapolis.  Then again, the Colts control their fate if they win.  Regular season games don’t get any bigger.

8. All is not lost for the Packers after their 7-3 loss in Detroit.  After all, the Bears’ remaining schedule is just as tough as Green Bay’s.  With that said, Mike McCarthy has had some troubling “let down” games in his tenure.  It’s embarrassing that offense could only score three points in Detroit.  They didn’t score while Aaron Rodgers was in the game.

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11 Responses to “Week 14 early game quick slants”
  1. brasho says: Dec 12, 2010 6:25 PM

    If the Bucs can manage 10 wins with the league’s youngest and most beat up roster, Raheem Morris MUST be named coach of the year.

  2. johntonioholmes says: Dec 12, 2010 6:28 PM

    Let’s not overlook the fact that Roethlisberger was hit in the head 3 times today and hit late 3 other times.

    The Bengals had 1 offensive holding penalty despite playing against the best pass rushing tandem since the New York sack exchange.

    I don’t believe this but I’m going to say it anyway; the NFL is rigging the game for gambling purposes.

  3. tiffpats4eva says: Dec 12, 2010 6:33 PM

    Brasho,

    Belichick is the real coach of he year.

  4. bucforever says: Dec 12, 2010 7:27 PM

    At this rate ,if the Bucs get to the playoffs they probably will have all of the starting defence on IR. What a season this has been! Raheem seems to keep plugging in young players that so far have carried the load. Coach of the year? Top candidate in my book.

  5. holeinone09 says: Dec 12, 2010 7:52 PM

    Steelers defense is playing really well. Only a short while ago, some were suggesting that Troy lost a step. Not now, huh?

    The offense is having trouble getting TDs. They move the ball reasonably well in the middle of the field, then get stopped. Suisham, their new FG kicker, is doing very well. The OL was troublesome before most of them were injured. They can’t protect Ben very well or open up big holes for the backs. But I believe they will get back on track as the playoffs approach and put some TDs on the board.

    Nonetheless, the lack of penalties being called for late/illegal hits to Ben is getting ridiculous. Hits to the head of the QB, intentional or not, are penalties, period. The refs have missed a ton on Ben in the past 2 games. But they sure as heck watch the Steelers OL for holding, don’t they?

    No matter, the good teams find a way to win, and the Steelers are 10-3. They have a very good team. I like our chances to win it all this year. All you can ask for in the NFL is a chance. It could be a lot worse–you could be a Bengal fan this year.

    GO STEELERS!!

  6. mrhappy2000 says: Dec 12, 2010 10:50 PM

    It’s not hard to stop the Steelers when the league and the refs give you carte blanche to hit their quarterback in the head before or after the play.

  7. mashoaf says: Dec 13, 2010 3:08 AM

    The Buc’s are feeding on crappy teams. Morris would get a nod for coach of the year if their team beat a team that was relevant.

  8. Jack Burton says: Dec 13, 2010 8:19 AM

    The late hits Ben is taking are getting pretty blatant at this point. Any other QB in the league wouldn’t be able to play through half the crap he’s had to deal with this year.

  9. polegojim says: Dec 13, 2010 10:36 AM

    The Lions are a good team, without the services of their starting, or second string QB.

    It’s no surprise that they won and will win more.

    They could easily be in the hunt without Stafford going down.

  10. somesome says: Dec 13, 2010 10:40 AM

    Steelers O is pathetic. No offensive TD in 2 and half games. The TD against Baltimore was because of the D putting them inside the 5.

    as for the cries for penalities this is the worst whining ever. Every penalized hit by Harrison is defended tooth and nail. Many QBs go without getting the flag, MANY. You let the game play out.

    This has nothing to do with Ben’s absolutely pedestrian play and the Steelers O inability to punch it in.

  11. deweyaxewound says: Dec 13, 2010 4:49 PM

    The Bears’ remaining schedule is actually easier than the Pack’s (now that we’ve taken our turn getting sodom-iced by the Pats):

    Bears are @ Minny (wherever that is), home vs. Jets, and @ Pack.

    The Pack go TO New England, home for Giants, home for Bears.

    If the Bears beat the Horn-blowers (quite possible) and the Pack loses in New England (probable, even with Rodgers), Bears lock up the division (via the divisional record tiebreaker), regardless of what happens next.

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