Avenger-in-Chief from Chargers blog Avenging Jack Murphy and I decided to swap ruminations on Sunday night's Chargers-Steelers tilt, and boy, don't we sound like the Pollyannaish pair in our appraisal of our teams' respective chances? Mr. AIC gives Steelers fans a host of reasons to buck up and feel good about Sunday night's game, and I do some hand-wringing of my own. If you want to read my breakdown, visit here. What follows is Avenger's take on the game.
Greetings Steeler Nation,
I'm sure the Steeler faithful enter week 4 against the Chargers with legitimate concerns...but hey, this Bolt Fan is here to tell you that 1-2 with a superstar injured ain't that bad!
We start each and every season with a bountiful shitting of the bed yet somehow find ourselves in playoff contention. Praise be the geographic Gods and our placement in the AFC West! This is a luxury, that unfortunately, you don't have Steeler Fan. But that's OK because you're the Champs! I'll try and give you a healthy dose of optimism for Week 4...
So your vaunted defense isn't quite gettin' the rush on? The Chargers' offensive line may be the elixir for that which ails you. Our line has been decimated with injuries; Pro Bowler Nick Hardwick is out but rookie Luis Vazquez may be returning this week. That's right...I said rookie. We eagerly await a rookie drafted in the 4th round to provide stability in the trenches. Regardless of the personnel, Phillip Rivers has been getting knocked around each game. A reasonable solution to our problems would be for Norv to make an adjustment; save Marmalard by calling for three-step drops with quick reads and releases to our surplus of 6' 5" receivers. But that's just not how Norv rolls...and I yell at the TV!
The Chargers will make it easy on you with the run game. LaToeinjury will more than likely be held out an additional week with the bye coming in Week 5. This means you get the little fella, Darren Sproles, all day long. Of course after the Steelers watch the game film they will realize that not only is he still a midget, Norv continues to run him up the gut like he's Earl Campbell. This just tires the little fella out and consequently he's not as effective on special teams. We do have Michael Bennett though and when he runs, he goes for a nice little average per carry. He's clearly had sex with Norv's daughter though, as he sees far too little time in the backfield.
After the San Diego District Attorney dropped the battery charges against Shawne Merriman, Tila Tequilla sought vengeance on #56 via the crotch of a voodoo doll. Alas, The Rape-asuarus will more than likely sit this one out with a groin injury. I suppose that's good news for you and bad news for us....although it's been so long since a healthy Merriman played we've grown accustomed to his absence. So do we have a pass rush? Ehhh...better than last year. We've only got three sacks but we have been bringing a little bit of pressure this year so we'll see.
It's difficult to evaluate our pass defense because we haven't been thrown on too much. Did I mention that we're absolutely woeful at stopping the run? Maybe that's why Antonio Cromartie hasn't looked-a-fool yet. (I need a more solid assessment of Cro' before I start bashing him this season, so can you tell Big Ben to pick on him a bit? In all seriousness, Antonio Cromartie is a physical specimen who's easily distracted by the thought of providing for his many illegitimate children......if he's got any offspring in Pittsburgh, your passing attack should be solid.)
Back to the run: we didn't look too good when ALL Pro Jamal Williams was in there and now he's on IR for the year.....so I would suggest to Mike Tomlin a healthy dose of the power running game.....how 'bout Fast Willie Parker? (he plays for my Fantasy team, The Tila Tequila Choke Slam, and I'd be obliged if I had a consistent #2 running back. Maybe this could be the game?)
Our punter's name is Mike Scifres; he's got a sick leg. Our kicker's name is Nate Kaeding; he just kicks like he's sick...H1N1...who knows? Tiny Darren will be tired from endless runs into the hulking Steeler D-line so fear not the Charger return game.
I hope this report, with all of its blatant negativity, has given you some optimism to get yourselves back to .500 at the quarter mark of the '09 season. In reality though, I don't know who the Chargers are or who they'll become by season's end. I'd venture a guess that Steeler fans probably feel the same about their own prospects. As a fan, I'm just looking for consistency and the Bolts are the model of consistency when visiting western Pennsylvania during the regular season; losses every time. Maybe this trend will finally end.
Polamalu's out, right?