September 28, 2007

Step 3 - Address Thine Enemy's "Five Things to Watch"...

Where did Steps 1 & 2 go? I don't know, just trying to come up with pithy headlines. Cut me some slack, this bloggin' shit is harder than it looks.

Anyways, in the spirit of Sunday's matchup against Pittsburgh West, aka Whisengrimm's Wild Ride, I went in search of what the other side was saying. I've read a lot of analysis on what the Steelers have to do to achieve victory, but I was curious to see-

a. if anyone in Arizona thinks the Cardinals will actually win
b. if so, what are the specific things they are saying?
The result (one of them) was - "5 Things to Watch" from this morning's Arizona Republic. Not that these are like "keys to victory" or anything, but according to the Republic's Kent Somers, these are 5 things we may/may not see on Sunday (like that non-denial denial?...think about it):
  1. If Anquan Boldin and Hines Ward play. The two receivers are very similar -- tough guys who can run after the catch and block. Both are hurt. Boldin has a hip bruise and Ward has a sprained knee.
  2. Ken Whisenhunt, a former Steelers assistant, knows the Steelers defense as well as anyone. Can he find a way to attack it and score points?
  3. Can Matt Leinart handle the pressure? He hasn't played well against teams that have blitzed and disguised coverages, and the Steelers will do both.
  4. Can Edgerrin James gain 100 yards rushing against Pittsburgh? No one back has done it since James had 124 against them in 2005. The Steelers have played 28 games since.
  5. How often will the Cardinals use the no-huddle, if they do at all? Kurt Warner, the backup QB, runs it and it was effective last week but will it be a part of the game plan every week? Doubtful.
Disclaimer: I feel at this point it's only right that I tell you -- anything I say below, I say mostly for entertainment purposes and is how I feel about Sunday's game taken to an extreme. If you asked me straight out what I thought of the game, I'd tell you that every game matters and that there are is no such thing as an easy win (until the game has been played of course). Arizona has struggled for the past, um, how long have they been in the league? But that doesn't mean that this year, and this Sunday in particular, they can't achieve a win. We have to be just as sharp against them as we would be against Indy or New England.

So keep in mind when you're reading what is below that I'm exaggerating toward one end of the spectrum in the interest of saying something entertaining. Now here comes the
  1. Hines Ward out, moot point. Boldin, yes, gotta worry about a dude who could easily steamroll any and all of your Corners. Good news for the Steelers is that's why we have talented Safeties. Watch Ryan Clark and Polamalu take care of business...
  2. Wait, Ken Whisenhunt knows what? The Defense? May I remind you, Whis coached the Offense for the Steelers, and called plays from the box. I'm willing to bet he didn't pay much attention to Defensive Master Dick LeBeau and his schemes at all. Besides, even if he did. LeBeau knows better than to show Whisenhunt the same shit we threw at teams last year or the year before. He'll have a fully stocked gameplan of new and/or different looks ready to go on Sunday, mark my words.
  3. No, Leinart probably cannot. But I will say he gives them their best chance to win. Benching your would be starter for a dinosaur like Kurt Warner is not exactly a vote of confidence, Ken. But still, the one thing Leinart does have, two things actually, are Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald. Those guys will help him get his job done. Nonetheless, Leinart = moot point. Warner or Leinart, Steelers will be all over whoever gets the nod.
  4. See #3. No Edgerrin James will not gain over 100 yards against the Steelers. He didn't eclipse that mark against the 49ers or Ravens. So I don't see it happening against the Steelers. Nonetheless, stranger things have happened...
  5. Maybe we'll see the Cardinals in the no huddle, but will it matter? Do we think they'll be in the no huddle because they're in any position to win the game? Or just because the feel like throwing us a curve? Frankly, I don't think the Cardinals no huddle offense is "something to watch for," but that's just me...
So there you have it. Point, Counter-Point. What else is coming out of Arizona? See below...

- "Improved Pass Protection Has Been Key"
- "Coaching Intrigue Adds Spice"
- "Steelers Continue Winning Ways"
- "Steelers No Big Deal?"
- "Leinart's Confidence Still Intact"
- "No Huddle Offense Here to Stay"

1 comment:

The Chief said...

No matter which way you slice it, this is gonna be a good game. I think Steelers fans will be given a first-hand look as to why Dan Rooney made the right decision in Tomlin. Sure, Whisenhunt accepted the Cardinals job BEFORE the Steelers were done interviewing but consider some things:

He obviously had some doubt in his mind - for whatever reason - that Rooney wasn't making him a shoe-in and...

The Rooney's didn't just jump at Whisenhunt. Sure, he was the "golden child" of OC's that were candidates for head coaching jobs but the Steelers have always gone their own way!