1.03.2008

Steelers Not Only Team Ravaged By Injuries

Well, at least not entirely. The Jiggywires will once again be missing linebacker Mike Peterson, who missed the final six regular season games, including their first visit to Heinz Field. Knowing the Steelers offensive line woes, it's a boon not to have Jacksonville's D coming at them any stronger than they were the first time around.

Willie Parker's absence, coupled with Trai Essex as a liability in run blocking means that the Steelers will probably rely heavily on the pass, a strategy not alien to them early in games this season. Roethlisberger played well down the stretch in the first contest to tie the game, but they still had the benefit of a solid performance from Willie Parker keeping the Jacksonville defense honest.

Of course, for a game that isn't likely to be a shoot-out, more import is going to be placed on whether the Steelers run defense can finally find its bearings again. Bear in mind, it was this Jaguars team that ran all over Indianapolis - 375 yards on the ground - late in the regular season last year before the Colts' defensive unit got their act together in the postseason. Is that indicative of a Steelers' turn-around? But if that can't spur one, it's not coming.

3 comments:

sides said...

http://www.postgazette.com/pg/08003/846278-66.stm

Steeler killin' since '95...

I'll be sure to throw up a DC Steeler Nation sign at Heinz this Saturday.

Christmas Ape said...

Yeah, but if you wanna go down that road, the Jags have a dismal recent playoff history of their own, whereas the Steelers haven't lost a playoff game since the '04 season.

sides said...

No argument there, the Jags...err Fred Taylor and Mark Brunell...just love beating the Black n Gold.

Also, we know what happens many times when Pittsburgh hosts playoff games. They're either woefully under prepared mentally/physically and barely manage a victory or lay an egg and shit on my heart for the next six or so months.

I go into Saturday's game prepared for the worst. That way I can't be disappointed (hypothetically).

Trai Essex.