Sunday, September 18, 2011

5 Things to Watch as Steelers Face the Seahawks

Have the She-hawk fans stopped whining about Super Bowl XL yet?

Here are some quick hitters before you watch today's game. 

1) Who starts at CB?--Bryant McFadden has been hobbled by a hamstring this week.  It will be interesting to see if he or William Gay starts (or if McFadden is able to play the entire game or at all).

2) Marcus Gilbert--In his first start at right tackle, can he establish himself as the answer?  The Steeler offensive line was thoroughly dominated last week vs the Ravens.  Can they get a rhythm going and impose their will on the defense?  There are times when a boy becomes a man--think of today as Marcus Gilbert's Bar Mitzvah.

3) Can the offensive line establish the run and give Ben enough time to get rid of the ball?--Mendenhall had a few decent runs last week (I wish they would work Redman into the lineup more often when the O-line struggles) but overall, the Steelers never established the run game.  Everyone knows that there are times when Ben holds the ball too long.  Last week, there were times when Ben barely had the snap and a defender was in his face.

4) Will Ben protect the ball?--Ben floated a few passes into the Ravens secondary last week, 2 landing in the hands of Ed Reed.  Throwing the ball away is better than lofting passes into the secondary or taking a sack.  I'm just sayin'.

5) Will the Steeler defense look old or youthful today?--There were tons of pundits and fans claiming that the Steeler defense looked old and slow last week.  I can not deny that statement, but Ray Rice has a knack for doing that to opposing defenses.  Marshawn Lynch is more of a punishing runner, not a speedster.  Expect the Steeler D to shut down the running game and force Tarvaris Jackson to win it through the air.

photo courtesy of


  1. So what are folks thoughts on the chop blocking issue? not whether it's currently legal or not... but whether it should be made illegal in all cases. Honestly I find it hard to believe that it's ok to chop block an engaged defender at any time. I don't get why being only one lineman spot away makes it ok. These guys all weigh over 300 pounds. Believe I read that Seattle does this as well, so I wonder how that will all go today...

  2. If there was ever an example of a defenseless player then it is a 330lb nosetackle engaged with a 305lb center and a 305lb guard hits the NT in the knees or ankles. But I think after what we have seen in the last couple of years, it is pretty evident that Roger GODell doesn't want to see good defense, he wants as many points as possible. If the trend continues, the NFL will become a Lacrosse match where there is minimal hitting and lots of points scored.

  3. There's an article in the Baltimore Sun about the issue - said that it was only a matter of time before teams started complaining about it, and feels could lead to a rule change. I'm thinkin it will take people getting hurt before they even think about changing the rule. If I'm a d-lineman and teams start doing that to me, I'm keeping a knife in my sock and slashing some hammies when I'm at the bottom of the pile.