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Author Topic: Steelers vs Cards (how we stack up)  (Read 2502 times)
ben2hines4six
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« on: Jan 19, 2009 at 22:16 »

Hey guys, just a quick breakdown of the game and some early thoughts. Would love to hear everyone else's opinions and predictions as well.

QB- The Matchup: Ben vs Warner
The Verdict: EVEN. Ben for his intangibles and ability to keep the play alive, Warner for his dependability and quick release. Both have proven that they can produce in the big games (check out their playoff records, Ben is 7-2 and Kurt is 8-1, I believe)

HB- The Matchup: Parker and Moore vs. James and Hightower.
The Verdict: Advantage CARDS (slight advantage). The Cards' backs have been more productive for longer stretches, and appear to be overall healthier (Moore got dinged up a bit in our last game). Though Parker was extremely productive vs the Browns and the Chargers, I trust the run play calling and the consistency of the Cards backs a little bit more.

WR- The Matchup: Ward and Holmes and Washington vs. Fitzgerald and Boldin and Breaston
The Verdict: Advantage CARDS. Ward is dinged up (status up in the air) and so is Boldin. So it is Fitz and Breaston vs. Holmes and Washington. Got to go with the big play ability of Fitz in the Cards offense.

TE- The Matchup: Miller and Spaeth vs. Spach and Pope
The Verdict: Advantage STEELERS. We all know what Heath has to offer in the passing and running game, and Spaeth has proven capable when given the opportunity (especially as a pass catcher).

0-Line: The Matchup: Us vs. them (not naming all the players)
The Verdict: Advantage CARDS. I think we all know why.

D-Line: The Matchup: Kiesel and Smith and Hampton vs. Smith and Leboy and Dockett and Robinson
The Verdict: Advantage STEELERS. Although the D-line for the Cards has played better and been very productive in the playoffs, the Steeler D-line has the edge here. Also Leboy has a bicep issue going into this game.

LB- The Matchup: Harrison and Foote and Farrior and Woodley and Timmons vs. Okafor and Hayes and Dansby
The Verdict: Advantage STEELERS (big). So many big plays by this group, and the potential to make a game changing play at any moment. Steelers hold a noticeable edge here.

DB- The Matchup: Polamalu and Clark and Taylor and Mcfadden vs. Wilson and Rolle and Cromartie and Hood
The Verdict: Advantage STEELERS. Wilson and Cromartie are great players, but Cromartie is green and we may be able to get him to bite on a double move as he has a tendency to bite and go for the pick. Steelers have big play ability in Troy, and a slew of productive players and quality depth.

K- The Matchup: Reed vs. Rackers.
The Matchup: EVEN. Both are quality kickers.

P- The Matchup: Berger vs. Johnson.
The Matchup: Advantage CARDS. Don't know much about their punter, but I cannot see anyway he is worse then ours.

Coaching: The Matchup: Tomlin vs. Whisenhunt
The Verdict: EVEN (maybe slight advantage Cards). For the simple reason that he knows the Steelers well, and is able to call a game changing trick play at any moment. Whiz has also proven his ability to adjust strategy as required, something the Steelers staff lacks much of the time.

Intangibles: The Verdict: EVEN. Steelers are hungry for number six and have a lot of veteran leaders, the Cards have been impressive and would love to get their first title.



THE SCORE: Fitzgerald is a match-up nightmare, and Ward's injury is a cause for concern. Provided we can get something out of Hines and limit the big play of the Cards (and rattle Warner a little bit), I see us just edging out this game. Perhaps a 4th quarter drive led by Ben AGAIN. The Cards will score their share of points though, so the Offense better be ready to play. Final score - Steelers 27 Cards 23.






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Preacherman0
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« Reply #1 on: Jan 19, 2009 at 22:26 »

Good analysis, but do the matchups in a different way.  As in...our offensive line vs. their dline; their receivers vs. our DBs; etc.

Quote
I see us just edging out this game. Perhaps a 4th quarter drive led by Ben AGAIN. The Cards will score their share of points though, so the Offense better be ready to play. Final score - Steelers 27 Cards 23.

Wouldn't be at all surprised to see it.  Or the opposite--Warner trying to lead a drive vs. our defense.  But you're absolutely right, our offense is going to have to step it up to win this game.  We left a good 13 points or more on the field Sunday, and that is eventually going to cost us, big-time.

I always feel like we are a half-step away from being a machine on offense.  IF Limus catches the ball...IF Holmes doesn't drop it at the goal-line...IF Willie gets one more yard and doesn't give Arians the chance to go empty set on 3rd and 1...IF Ben leads SanAntonio on the slant instead of getting it slightly behind him...

We need to pick up that extra half-step for XLIII.  If we get that, then we will have a chance to keep this from even being a game.  However, I am not hopeful that Arians can do it.  Maybe an extra week of Tomlin in his ear will get us doing what we did vs. the Chargers.
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ben2hines4six
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« Reply #2 on: Jan 19, 2009 at 22:35 »

Thought about that Preach, but it would be a bit more complicated.

For example, I would have to do Ben vs Dbs, Ben vs. Lbs, etc. Or RB's vs D-line and RB's vs LBs. Thought it was easier to just compare each unit as a separate entity.
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steelerfaninCO
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« Reply #3 on: Jan 19, 2009 at 22:50 »

Mostly agree... except for a couple of things,

I think the Steelers have the advantage at RB. When FWP isn't playing teams from Baltimore, he can be explosive. 'Zona doesn't have a game changing RB like FWP, nor a defense capable of shutting him down. James and Hightower are solid, but neither are a threat to take it to the hizzy. Who has the longest run in SB history?

I also wouldn't say Whisencunt has an advantage over Tomlin (*if you throw out BA). Both are 2nd year coaches, and sure Ken knows the Steeler personnel, but that goes both ways. LeBeau is familiar with Whiz's play calling tendencies, and if you remember, there was a lot of bitching about the play calling before the magic carpet ride of '05. Whiz basically has done the same thing he did for the '05 playoffs but in reverse. In '05, people thought he would run the ball, and he came out throwing. This year everyone thought they would throw it a ton, but he came out running the ball. They won't surprise anyone with their trick plays. Lebeau vs Whiz? I'm taking DL.

And lastly, I think the intangibles heavily favor Pittsburgh. The Steelers have 20 players on the roster with SB experience. The Cards counter with 5. The Steelers played a tough schedule and have been sharpened by the best teams in the league. The Cards play in the NFC West. They just haven't faced the competition Pittsburgh has, and I just don't think they have an idea about just how hard the Steelers hit and how physical they are. ........They are who we thought they were...
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ben2hines4six
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« Reply #4 on: Jan 19, 2009 at 22:59 »

Good points, steelerfaninCO.

Though I do agree Parker is a threat, I just feel currently the form of the Cards RB's is better. Also consider that James (along with Fred Taylor) is one of the only RB's that can give the Steelers fits.

For coaching, I should have elaborated that I meant to include the staff's as a whole. DL is a genius no doubt, but BA is an asshat. That kind of cancels the other out. I do basically feel the staffs are EVEN when considering it from all angles. Steelers DC is superior, Cards OC is superior, the HC's are pretty much even.

You may have successfully swayed my opinion about the intangibles, however. They have been playing a cake schedule all year, where as our competition has been tougher. They certainly have not faced a D like ours, but have we faced an O like theirs? Perhaps SD or Indy, but I feel at least on current form the Cards are much better. Plus, Warner (in the playoffs) has always scared me more then Philip Cry ME A Rivers or Peyton Manning.

Having said that, I probably do agree with you upon further consideration that the intangibles do favor the Steelers.
« Last Edit: Jan 19, 2009 at 23:01 by ben2hines4six » Logged
steelerfaninCO
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« Reply #5 on: Jan 19, 2009 at 23:56 »


Though I do agree Parker is a threat, I just feel currently the form of the Cards RB's is better. Also consider that James (along with Fred Taylor) is one of the only RB's that can give the Steelers fits.

We'll have to agree to disagree on this one. 'Zona rushed for an average of 73 yards a game this season, 30 yards fewer then the Steeler's less than stellar run game. Edge was their leading rusher with 514 yards. Its not like they have tore it up in the playoffs either, as James led the way with 73 yards against Philly, Hightower with 76 against Carolina, and James with 73 against the Falcons. They have just run more than people thought they would. Also, Edge isn't the same runner he was in '05(when he broke the 100 yard rusher streak for the D). Can he churn out 60-70 yards? Sure, but he's not going for 125 anymore, and more importantly the Steeler D can handle him without stacking the box. A luxury the Cards can't afford when defending Willie....Speaking of Willie, he put up 146 on Chargers, who probably have a better D than the Cards. Yes, he was stuffed by Balty, but BA decided to run at Ngata all night. Not a particularly smart move. Willie has the potential to out gain both James and Hightower combined, and it wouldn't surprise me at all to see him do it. People are talking about the Steeler D vs the 'Zona O, without thinking about the flip side. The Steeler offense could very well dominate the Cards D and it will start with Willie. If he can run effectively, the Cards D will have a very hard time defending play action......and I just believe the Stillers will have an easier time running the ball then 'Zona.
« Last Edit: Jan 20, 2009 at 00:01 by steelerfaninCO » Logged
JackSplat
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« Reply #6 on: Jan 20, 2009 at 00:30 »

.and I just believe the Stillers will have an easier time running the ball then 'Zona.

you got that right.  If a team doesnt have a top 10 run stopping D, the steelers will expose it heavily.  They averaged 130 yards on the ground against inferior run stopping teams.  the only exceptions to this were the Indy(24th) and dallas(12th) games.  parker sat out against indy, but played against dallas.

Zona was 15th against the run in the reg. season...
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« Reply #7 on: Jan 20, 2009 at 07:51 »

I think it was obvious in the Philly game that Edge has lost a step or two.  He can no doubt out run Big Snacks, but that's about it.
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« Reply #8 on: Jan 20, 2009 at 08:13 »

My power rankings math shit predicted the playoffs pretty well, 4-4 in the WC, 3-4 in the DP, and picking the Steelers over the Ravens.  (Had Panthers beating Cards, Eagles beating Panthers.)

One thing I found really interesting was the O and D unit breakouts.  In both cases, the Cards' O and D were rated just slightly lower than the final rankings for the Chargers.  So if you think of the Cards as a similar prep to the WC weekend, I can see us putting some points on the board and shutting these cards down.

I'm still gonna be nervous about some aspects -- Larry Fitz, Whiz going biz-nutty in the playoff playcalling, special teams gaffes, the loss last year to the Cards -- but all in all, we should match up pretty well here.
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« Reply #9 on: Jan 20, 2009 at 08:52 »

Another intangible: Tomlin wanting to prove to the Rooneys that they hired the correct guy; Whisenhunt want to prove to them they hired the wrong guy.

Advantage: The ever-so-disciplined Tomlin who, no doubt, approaches this game with his utmost professionalism (which, for a guy does this almost every single day, says a lot).
« Last Edit: Jan 20, 2009 at 09:24 by Joetorious » Logged

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