October 24, 2007

Admit It, You Guys Are Just Jealous of Steely McBeam...

It's been made abundantly clear to me this week that Cincinnati has an unhealthy infatuation with the Steelers (read: man-crush). A number of you have commented about what a hard-on the Bungles fans have for the Steelers, and I ask, who could blame them? Steely McBeam is a sexy man...I mean...Who wouldn't be a closet lover of a squad that has had your team's number 6 out of the last 7 times you've played, not to mention has 5 Super Bowl rings? Exxxxaaacctttlly.

I had already gotten a taste of what Bengals fans think about "Steeler Sunday," back in July. Nonetheless, curiosity got the best of me again and I decided to check out what the local media in Cincinnati is saying now about our upcoming game. Is it really that big of an event? How do they figure to approach one of the league's best defenses? Can they handle FWP? Has anyone seen Kijana Carter recently?

What I found, while not overly surprising, certainly confirmed all the rumors. This game means more to Bungles fans than I'd imagine even the Patriots game did. They want to beat us in a bad bad way. So we should NOT take this match up lightly (assuming the Bengals players feel the same way).

Anyways, thought you might be interested in some of what I found. So here' goes:

  • Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery: The Bengals are thinking smash mouth football on Sunday...yep, you read that correctly. Cincy is so enchanted with the run after finally having some significant success last week against the Jets, that they want to give it another go against the Steelers. But at least they're practical. They know their rushing attack had not exactly been top notch prior to that game, and that running on the Steelers ain't exactly easy like Paris Hilton.

    What I found most interesting was that Marvin Lewis even acknowledged the importance of the run, saying:
    "To have a chance to be successful in our division, you've got to be able to run the football efficiently."
    So then my question is - if you know how important the run is, how come you've emphasized the passing attack so much in the recent past? Seems a little inconsistent to me. Anyways, also included with this article was a nice little table of the last 14 meetings between the Steelers and Bungles, that went a little something like this: Over the last 14 games between them, the Steelers have amassed 2,235 ground yards to Cincy's 1,360, working out to an average of about 160 yards per game for the Steelers and 97 yards per game for the Bungles. Here's to following that trend again on Sunday!

  • Injuries: Advantage Pittsburgh. It's never going to be good when we're missing Aaron Smith, but considering Cincy's injury report, I'd say we're in comparatively good shape. As of yesterday, the Bungles will likely be missing the following come Sunday: OT Willie Anderson, LB Ahmad Brooks (looks like Geathers may still be playing LB after all), S Dexter Jackson, HB Rudi Johnson, and LB Caleb Miller. That's an awful lot of defenders to be missing...not to mention your #1 tailback (though Kenny Watson showed that he was no slouch, netting 177 yards and 3 TDs against the Jets). So again, these circumstances bode very well in the Steelers favor...though I'm cautiously optimistic.

  • Cincy's Poll Question of the Week: Is selling your game tickets to a Steelers fan, or anyone else for that matter, a cardinal sin for Bengals fans? The most popular response, coming in at a hefty 62% is - "Loyalty rules. You’re not a real Bengals fan if you sell your ticket, and you're a loathsome one for selling it to a Steelers fan." It's all about the Steelers, isn't it? Wonder if anyone has tested this out?

  • Cincy Post's call for reader submissions: Your Favorite Bengals-Steelers Memories. Pretty entertaining how Steeler fans are even getting in on the fun...
    Classic Comment #1 = "Get over it...a Steelers player didn't break Carson's knee, and that's not what kept the Bengals out of the playoffs. We've won five Super Bowls, how many have the Bengals won? Learn how to spell too...fear, not feer..."
    Classic Comment #2 = "My favorite memory from my years of living in Cincinnati is how every year when the Steelers come to town it is hailed as "Steelers week." Especially since when the Bengals go to Pittsburgh, nobody there care enough to call it "Bengals week." It's an obvious commentary on how much the Bengals fans envy the Steelers and their long-term success, while the Steelers find the Bengals only mildly interesting."
  • They're even running Ed Bouchette's assessments of the Steelers...how's that for guerilla tactics. Oh and also highlighting how muchKen Anderson has helped Big Ben, AND how much Mike Tomlin "loved" the town when he coached D-backs at the U of Cincy....you know what, I'll just stop there. Why go on?
But there you have it. All the Cincy news that's fit to print...and all of it wreaks of Steeler envy. Let's just hope the Steelers go into "the jungle" and remind these people why they ought to look forward to "Browns Week" a little more.

1 comment:

Tobiathan said...

The Bengals.

This team always scares me. They DO resent/idolize the Steelers and because of that always seem to come out playing hard. That's not to say they win often, but they do always put up a good fight against the Steelers.

At this point in the season, after the Denver loss, i'd say Pittsburgh needs to make a statement in it's intentions toward the post-season. If this is a championship-caliber team here in Pittsburgh it needs to start winning consistently, especially in the division.

Cinci is no slouch. They might have lost a few but they still have the core of their success available to them. The QB and recievers alone are a threat, and if they can establish the run this week it will be a challenge to the Steelers.

I look for the Steelers to get back to basics. To run the ball, complete short, ball-control passes and play solid defense. Of course that might sound obvious but it didn't seem to happen for us last week.

Still i have my questions about Big Ben. Sure, he flashes talent and athleticism, but doesn't use those gifts as consistently as the truly great QBs in the game today. Also, he seems to be reluctant to step up as a leader. I'd like to see him be more emotionally involved in the game. Yelling at people, putting his body on the line. Just TRYING harder. Not tooo much, of course. Just more.

Our defense will be tested this week. A couple of big deficiencies have shown up in our losses and that makes me think that maybe this team is underachieving a lttle. Most of our defense is experienced. A vast majority were on the Super Bowl roster. There is no reason they should struggle, even in the face of injured starters.

And- why not play Brett Keisel at outside LB? He's got the athleticism and speed as well as plenty of smarts. A guy his size could truly ruin those short swing-pass plays and shut down the outside run. I'm sure we have more depth at end than LB. Chris Hoke could easily start at DE in any other town.

Of course, Woodley has flashed of greatness in his limited playing time and i think Timmons will be a contributor eventually. But for now finding ways to use Keisel could create some match-up problems for opposing TEs and help shut down an opponents run game.

The offensive line has also looked a little off-kilter this season. I can't quite put my finger on it, but something seems off. Maybe it's the change from Hartings to Mahan. Or the new coaching staff. Or both. Any way about it we need better play from the front five on offense.

Cinci is a dangerous team in this position- a string of losses and mounting pressure from fans- and they could put up quite a fight. I hope the Stillers are ready for it.

I know it sounds like i'm getting down on the Steelers lately, but they haven't been playing the way the could, or should. They know it. Still, i think once the few problems we have get ironed out we'll be fine. The good thing about struggling early is that we should hit our stride as the end of the season rols around. Better to be on the upswing then.

There have been A LOT of changes in Steeltown this off-season. All things considered the team has handled it all very well. If we, as fans, forget about the anomolous Pats and Colts and focus on what the Steelers have done so far there is a lot to be proud of.

A solid game this week can put us exactly where we need to be. I feel good about it, especially coming off a frustrating loss in Denver. In the long run these couple losses will do us more good than harm. Better to struggle early, be reminded that you CAN lose than go all year feeling like you're unbeatable and losing in the playoffs.

Sooooo....let those "other" guys be the media darlings. Let them run up scores, keep on winning. As long as we make the post season we'll be fine. Then it's one game at a time and regular season records mean zero.

I sure pepped myself up. Hope it helps somebody else ;-)

Go Stillers.