Sunday, September 20, 2009

Game Day 2 - Pittsburgh @ Chicago

Well here we are. After 10 days off the Steelers will be back on the field to face off against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field in Chicago, IL. I don't know about you but I am geeked up for this game and this should be a good one. Which Jay Cutler will show up? The one that always killed the Steelers in Denver, or the one that will throw 10 picks and put his team behind the eight ball all game?


Here is the results from last weeks games:


Passing: Roethlisberger, 33-43, 363 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: Parker, 13 carries, 19 yards
Rec: Holmes, 9 rec, 131 yards, 1 TD
Green Bay 21, Chicago 15
Passing: Cutler, 17-36, 277 yards, 1 TD, 4 INT
Rushing: Forte, 25 carries, 55 yards
Rec: Hester, 4 rec, 90 yads, 1 TD
Lets take a look at the numbers for the teams:
Offense (rank in NFL)
Total Offense

Pittsburgh: 357 yards/game (10th)
Chicago: 352 yards/game (11th)
Passing

Pittsburgh: 321 yards/game (4th)
Chicago: 266 yards/game (10th)

Rushing

Pittsburgh: 36 yards/game (29th)
Chicago: 86 yards/game

Points

Pittsburgh: 13 points/game (24th)
Chicago: 15 points/game (22nd)

Defense

Total Defense

Pittsburgh: 320 yards/game (20th)
Chicago: 226 yards/game (5th)

Rush

Pittsburgh: 86 yards/game (15th)
Chicago: 76 yards/game (11th)

Pass

Pittsburgh: 234 yards/game (19th)
Chicago: 150 yards/game (6th)

Points

Pittsburgh: 10 points/game (5th)
Chicago: 21 points/game (18th)

Now taking a look at last week we see the one main point. The Steelers won and the Bears lost. We also see that Jay Cutler threw four picks. Joke.

The big news is that the big guns on both teams defense is out for this week, and longer. Troy Polomalu is out for 3-6 weeks with a knee injury and Bears inside linebacker Brian Urlacher is out for the season with a busted up wrist that he had to have surgery on. I have a feeling that will have a significant effect on how these teams go forward. Urlacher is the heart and sole of that defensive unit and is a really solid players. On the flip side Polomalu is out, but not for the season, for a few weeks. It will simplify the Steelers defense but they are still nasty so I imagine the Steelers being better off.

On other injury news Limas Sweed will be out of the ball game with an injury and Lawrence Timmons will be back after letting us know on Friday afternoon via his blog. Interesting.

Can the Steelers running game get going? The line is taking a huge hit on this from everyone and Willie Parker has stepped up and took some of the blame for it. The reality is that it is a little bit of everyone. They need to get it going and a 100 yard rusher would calm a lot of peoples nerves.
The Bears are going to have to get the ball to Matt Forte to have a decent chance to win the ball game. Forte is a horse when it comes to the Bears offense. He was on the field for something like 70% of their plays last year on offense. He is a very capable back catching the football out of hte backfield so that will be a key. Can LT get on Forte in the flat and eliminate that. That will be a huge key.

What has not been talked about as much as it probably should have is the special teams battle that will take place Sunday. Devin Hester is a dynamic returner both on kick returns and punt returns. It will be up to Jeff Reed and Danny S to get the ball into a place where Hester only has a few choices. The Steelers need to force Hester to run where the Steelers want him to run and give him no creases to run through.

Big Ben threw 43 times last week. I doubt he really has to do that this much against the Bears but I would not be surprised if he did. A few seasons ago, hell even last year, I would have been nervous if you told be Ben was going to have to throw 40+ times in a game. Now I am ok with that. I understand he is going to take some sacks but I am ok with that because the good outweighs the bad.

Do I think the Steelers will go 2-0? Yea. I think the Steelers will get to Cutler dispite Troy not being in the game. I don't care what Trent Dilfer says. There are way more play makers on this team than just Troy. I give the edge to the Steelers and the win 24-14.

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