January 4, 2008

Hines Ward Recommends You Drink Heavily...

"If we're not shutting running teams down, we're going to be watching in the playoffs."
- Brett Keisel
First off, before I get into anything today, let me say this - I've sensed over the last week or so that many people are, shall we say, less than optimistic about the Steelers playoff chances (not here at OFTOT of course). Some more than others (PS-click link and watch video for context of post title). I can understand why one might feel that way given the current state of Steeler affairs. But for Christ's sake, what is this, New York Jets country? Steelers fans selling their playoff tickets? No pep rally (coincidentally after KDKA's piece there will be one)? If you can't be a fan when the team is in the playoffs, good chance or not, do us all a favor and become a Patriot douchebag supporter. Because I for one don't want you giving Steeler Nation a bad name.

Still, if we don't win this game, 10 bucks says Domski will trade his Big Ben jersey for a Tom Brady jersey...[see below]...I am kidding of course.

Anyways, yesterday I highlighted the Jaguar playoff hype, and in doing so called out some of the stats that the media are shoving down our throats in order to make the point that Jacksonville is a good football team (like we didn't already know that). First, I mentioned that the Jaguars have won six of their final eight games. Then, I mentioned that over those same eight games, they averaged 32 points.

However, what I did not mention was that those six wins came against the - Titans, Chargers, Bills, Panthers, Steelers and Raiders. If you look at their games against the Bills, Panthers and Raiders (all sub .500 franchises), they scored an average of 40 points. However, if you look at their games against the Titans, Chargers and Steelers (all playoff franchises), they only scored an average of 27 points. While 27 points is not shabby by any means, it's still worth noting.

But being that it is Friday, I'm really here to talk about what the Steelers SHOULD do in order to halt these Jagoffs Jaguars in their tracks. I know I've already mentioned a couple of things this week, and I tend to be long winded. So today I'll try and keep it simple. Check it:

  • Don't Hurt Yourself ~ No I don't mean like injure yourself. I mean don't turn the ball over. As we all well know, turnovers generally equal losses. We just can't expect to win if we don't play disciplined. That's 1...are you timing me?

  • Surprise Us ~ Believe it or not, I don't mean come out and sling the ball like we did in the '05 playoffs. I mean basically Najeh - get us some yards on the ground. I absolutely believe the Steelers can be effective throwing the ball, but when we are able to run the ball effectively, we can use play action effectively. And to me, that is huge. Life is all about balance, grasshoppers. That's 2...this is record time.

  • Understand Your Sitch ~ We're down to the #3 Left Tackle, Sean Mahan is basically a large pile of dogshit, and Willie anal cavity Colon ain't exactly a pro bowler. So it is likely that Ben will have less time than normal. Plus, as discussed, Najeh may/may not be giving him much help. Hence, this may mean having some gadget plays ready. Or at least something in your back pocket to implement if needed. Prepare for everything, hope for the best. Offensive "keys"...SECURED.
  • As If I Have To Even Say It ~ The Jaguars have two running backs. Both are good. They ran for 224 yards last time we met...in the snow. Please someone, stop these guys. One down, two to go.

  • Pressure EVERYONE ~ It's unlikely that field general David Garrard is going to take many shots down the field. Knowing that, press the Jax receivers. No 10 yard cushion. They might be bigger than you Deshea, but you can hold your own. McFadden will help. That said, if/when Garrard does try to play Brett Favre, Safeties - ye shall helpeth. Also, Silverback - David Garrard is your hot boxed lunch. Eat him alive. Two down, one more to go, are we having fun yet?

  • Get Me That Ball ~ We can certainly let history repeat itself in one respect - the last time we saw the Jags, The Prophet nabbed an interception and ran it back 50 yards. We probably won't get too many balls capable of being intercepted, but when we do, it would certainly be nice to see. 11 on the year? Come on guys, you can do better. Playoffs are a great time to start. For the record, I will also graciously accept a Silverback forced fumble. Defensive "keys"...SECURED.
Overall, just play with some balls, some guts, some conviction. Show us you want to win. Show us what we've been missing the past few weeks. No one is going to cry if it looks like you tried as hard as possible and came up short.

Whatever you do, don't lose this game in your head before you even take the field. Tomlin has made damn sure you remember December 16, just as we fans do. Now if that don't sting and make you wanna right that wrong, I don't know what does.

No opponent has ever come to Heinz Field and beat the Steelers twice in one season. Do NOT let the Jacksonville Jaguars become the 1st. Protect this house.


PS - in case you didn't click the link at the beginning, the post title is in reference to a Hines Ward, KDKA interview where he instructed us Steeler fans to come down and drink as many beverages as we can, be as loud as we can, and help them out. Unfortch, I'm separated from the Burgh as usual, but all yinz gahn dahntahn better drink plenty of Ahrns...if not for Hines, for me.

With Steelers on Playoff Run - Fans Silent [KDKA]
Steelers of the South Try to Win Up North [Associated Press] - This one is for Notgomu
Tomlin Ecstatic [SteelCityInsider]
5 Keys for a Steelers Win Saturday [Doubt About It]
Opponent Spotlight: Fred Taylor [Die Hard Steel]
Oh Defense, Where Art Thou? [Behind The Steel Curtain]
Steelers Polamalu to Really Test Knee Today [Tribune-Review]
Steelers Have Advantage with Playoff Expertise [Tribune-Review]
Steelers Fill Gaps in Run Defense [Tribune-Review]
Taylor Has Steelers on the Run [Post-Gazette]
Something to Believe In [One For The Other Thumb]

Ballhype: hype it up!


Anonymous said...

I saw the interview on KDKA last night where they told the players that the playoff atmosphere was a lot more subdued than in previous years here in the Burgh....I'm hoping that provides additional motivation.

I'll be drinking, Hines....just not that nasty Iron City shit.

quiet strength said...

We've heard strength after strength about the Jags. For example, I know that David Garrard hasn't thrown many interceptions. I'd like to focus on a few weaknesses. Like that the team's leading receivers are Reggie Williams and Dennis "I Couldn't Make It in Cleveland" Northcut. For some reason, knowing that Greg Estandia will be on the field for Jacksonville comforts me. Jacksonville only has one player with more than four sacks. And he's listed doubtful. Those of us who had The Great MJD on our fantasy teams remember that he failed to reach 50 rushing hards in 10 games this season. Their team color is teal. I had a friend who used to drive a teal Ford Escort. Total pansy.

Yes, Jacksonville is a good team. But you can only be so good when Reggie Williams plays a vital role...

Joey Porter’s Pit Bulls said...

The Steelers will win this game. That's all I have to say and all you need to know.

Cotter said...

anon ~ No Ahrns? Harsh. Also endorsable, however, are Budweiser, Rolling Rock, and Milwaukee's Best Ice...errr...not that last one...unless you're going to a frat party...and if you are, god help you.

qs ~ I also hear Fred Taylor has super sperm (see yesterday's post).

JPPB ~ Amen brother, preach on.

Tobiathan said...

The main thing we have in our favor is the fact that this is still pretty much the same team that won a Superbowl two years ago.

And, these guys thrive on the underdog role. The fact that they're being pretty much disqualified from the post-season before they even get to play will probably motivate them highly.

I admit i'm mystified about who'll play that tackle position, but maybe it';; even work out for the better. It's about time we had a no-name O-lineman pop up outta nowhere. Not like our starters have been too dominant this year.

And i couldn't agree more about the idea of drafting Owen Schmitt out of WVU this spring. The kid has busted ELEVEN facemasks. That's 11. I've never heard of anybody vreaking more than one. And he can run, catch, and block very well. At 6'3", 260 he's a monster. BTW- he clean-n-presses 500+lbs!!!

So, yeah: this playoff game might just go better than we are all afraid it will. Or it could go terribly wrong. Either way i'm still a Steeler fan at the end of the day.