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Author Topic: Week 14 - Dec. 7 vs. Dallas  (Read 11029 times)
jonzr
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« Reply #10 on: Dec 03, 2008 at 11:34 »

After the holiday jingle I posted on the front page, they simply have to win.
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« Reply #11 on: Dec 03, 2008 at 14:47 »

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My fear is, we're a game up on the Ratties.  Not that we have a comfortable margin over them, but we're not in a "must-win" situation.

Dallas is.  At 8-4, they trail Atlanta and Carolina for a WC spot.

Funniest thing about that link?

Oakland is not yet mathematically eliminated.
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« Reply #12 on: Dec 04, 2008 at 12:28 »

Steelers 27 Cowboys 13 -  D 4 sacks, Ben 2 TDs Ward and Miller, Parker TD. 
I am also going to call a Washington upset on Balt 21-17.
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« Reply #13 on: Dec 04, 2008 at 13:02 »

I'm gonna go out on a limb here and predict that this game will be the "easiest" of this 3 game stretch.

Initially, I was gonna say that Pittsburgh pitches a shutout, something like 24-0, but I figured that would be giving Dallas zero respect.  So, I'll bump it up a bit to 24-6...24-9.  Dallas doesn't get into the EZ all afternoon.

Steelers get out to an early 10-0, 14-0, lead and start to turtle it a little too soon.  Dallas gets on the scoreboard with a late 2nd quarter FG to take the bagel off the board.  The Cowgirls then come out and receive the kickoff in the 3rd and proceed to march downfield and get bogged down in the RZ.  Another FG.

Pittsburgh gets it going again and answers with a nice, clock consuming drive pushing the lead to 21-6.  Dallas spends the rest of the game try to play "catch up" which results in a lot of Romo drop backs and his getting dropped.  A late 4th INT by Pittsburgh results in a another FG after a couple Washington and Holmes drops putting them up by 3 scores.  Dallas does into full desperation mode and gets some garbage yards, but ends up ultimately giving it away deep in Pittsburgh territory on a Taylor (yes, he finally manages to catch one...) INT.
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« Reply #14 on: Dec 04, 2008 at 14:31 »

Wow, aj.  Wish I shared your confidence.  I see a Dallas team that is not exactly in synch, but is nowhere near as bad as it was in the Brad J. tailspin.  The offense may have peaked in the first few weeks, but they still have guys who can win matchups.  I know, they played Seattle and San Fran, and didn't do much against Washington, so the Pitt D and Heinz field conditions will be a cold, hard slap in the face.  But I do think they'll move the ball better than NE did, because they'll have Romo not taking the sacks like that clown Cassell.  He'll scramble and find guys like Crayton and Austin if his primaries are covered.  And I do expect at least one obligatory TO or Witten TD.

If we follow the standard defensive blueprint (shut down the run, force the passing game into errors), I can see holding the Cowboys to 10-17.  If things go very well, under 10; if this game gets away from us, over 20.  But most reasonably, 10-17.

Our O is still not clicking, although I've seen some glimpses of the Ben of old (running, eluding the rush), and even glimmers of competence from BA.  The running game may be a committee of the gimpy (FWP), the under-utilized (MM), and the tank (GR), but it seems to be getting into a groove.  Now, the passing game is still a question mark, and consistently converting 3rd downs has been a plague upon the house of Arians all year.  The Dallas D isn't much once you get past the DL, but I have a feeling they're well aware of what the Eagles did, and will try to ape that.  In case anyone's not aware, Demarcus Ware leads Joey Porter and our own James Harrison in sacks this year, and their other DL aren't bad either: Chris Canty, Jay Ratliffe, and situational guy Jason Hatcher.  I think they'll bring corner blitzes, safety blitzes, anything to sack Ben and force longs. 

It's going to take a patient gameplan, and as much as I'd like to see the passing game catch fire, I think we have to run the ball steadily.  Get FWP and MM into the second level, and just keep with it.  So I'll say the game goes something like this...

1Q.  Both teams trying to establish early dominance and battle conditions.  Dallas gets off a successful long pass play to seal an early scoring drive, maybe TO getting by blown coverage by Ike.  Pitt climbs right back in with a time-consuming drive with plenty of rushing, but settles for 3, too familiarly.  Dallas 7, Pitt 3.
2Q.  Romo starts to find fewer passing options; lots of scrambles to find no open receivers.  Barber grinds out a few, but the Cowboys start punting and trying to win FP.  Steelers find some moderate success in the passing game.  Ben spreading the ball around well to 86, 10, 85, and 83.  Halftime, Pitt 13, Dallas 10.
3Q.  Both teams turn up the pass rush.  Ben gets sacked twice in the first half, but 3 times in the 3rd quarter.  Harrison and Woodley chip in 2 sacks of their own.  A couple of FGs.  Pitt 16, Dallas 13.
4Q.  Still anybody's game, until Pitt gets back to the run.  Dallas's offense sputters out.  They just can't do jack.  The snow is reminiscent of the Steelers-Bears game that re-established our 05 season, when Bettis trucked Urlacher.  Steelers dominate TOP here and add a couple of scores to make it seem worse than it was.  Pitt 30, Dallas 16.

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« Reply #15 on: Dec 04, 2008 at 14:37 »

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In case anyone's not aware, Demarcus Ware leads Joey Porter and our own James Harrison in sacks this year

Believe Ware and Barber are both day-to-day in Cowgirls' injury report.  Perhaps they will at least be slowed, if not out altogether.
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« Reply #16 on: Dec 04, 2008 at 14:43 »

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In case anyone's not aware, Demarcus Ware leads Joey Porter and our own James Harrison in sacks this year

Believe Ware and Barber are both day-to-day in Cowgirls' injury report.  Perhaps they will at least be slowed, if not out altogether.
That could be a difference-maker. 
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« Reply #17 on: Dec 05, 2008 at 18:35 »

I was off this afternoon and listening to Colin Cowherd, which I never do.  He was breaking down the Cowboys-Stillers, and his theory is that the Cowboys win (whatever) and are helped by Barber being out.  Why, you ask?  Well, his comparison went thusly: the Cowboys, sans a meaningful run game (Barber, Felix Jones) will come out throwing on first, second, and third down.  And, as Cowherd so thoughtfully pointed out, the Steelers had difficulty defending the non-stop pass attack of the Raiders when Rich Gannon was QB. 

Because we have "the same style of defense."

As the one we fielded on Sept. 15, 2002. 

As best I can recall, we had Farrior and Hampton on that squad, and Townshend and Keisel as backups.  I don't even think we have ANYONE else leftover from that D.

Do Brent Alexander, Lee Flowers, Chad Scott and DeWayne Washington ring any bells?  Sure.  They are  utterly interchangeable with Troy Polamalu, Ryan Clark, Ike Taylor, and Bryant McFadden/Deshea Townshend.

I had to pull off to the side of the road and wipe away the tears.

Is there a reason I don't ever listen to this guy?
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« Reply #18 on: Dec 06, 2008 at 15:32 »

Barber is out.
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jonzr
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« Reply #19 on: Dec 06, 2008 at 16:23 »

Barber is out.

That's a damn shame.
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