November 30, 2007

Beware 85 - The Sandman Cometh...

If anybody comes across the middle, if they don’t duck, I’m going to make something happen.
- Anthony "Sandman" Smith
Cue Metallica! Hey 8-5, remember 2-7? That's right, the man that messed your day up on October 28 is waiting for you again with baited breath. Watch your back, and stay away from the middle, 'cause the Sandman Cometh...

Well friends, it's Friday, and you know what that means. Time for a little talk about what the Steelers should do to be successful against the Bungles Sunday evening. I don't know about you guys, but I'm pretty psyched to be playing in prime time yet again, despite the Steelers dubious record in past Sunday night games. And who better to go head to head with than the division rival Bungles?

But before we even get that far, I think it's important to talk about the number of "milestones" that could be reached in Sunday's game. These being:
  1. A win will make Mike Tomlin the 2nd Steelers Head Coach to post a winning record in his rookie season (yes the other is Cowher)
  2. Two more Touchdowns and/or one more 100-yard receiving game and Hines Ward can take over sole possesion of those all-time team records (currently held by Stallworth and Louis Lipps respectively)
  3. One more touchdown pass and Big Ben will move into a tie for 3rd all time (24 - Terry Bradshaw) in terms of touchdowns in a single season
Just a few things you all should know, so you can keep those on your radar as you're watching Sunday's action.

And now for the fun stuff. If you read this blog with regularity, you know that I do this every week, and every week these keys seem to look a lot alike. So I apologize in advance if you think I'm repeating myself. But as you all well know, football is a relatively simple game, and thus the keys, aren't going to be rocket science. Nonetheless, check 'em out, enjoy 'em, digest 'em, shit 'em out. Too much? Yeah probably...let's just get to it. Here are the keys that I see on both sides of the ball:

  • 867-5309 ~ Bruce Arians and Big Ben this is for you - let's dial the right numbers in this game, shall we? I've defended Arians lately because I don't think he's been getting a fair shake from most fans. But that doesn't mean I don't think our play calling hasn't been suspect at times. Call the plays that will move the ball. There's no need to get cute too often. This is the Bengals Defense. They can't stop the run. They can't stop the pass. Stick to a balanced but not overly predictable game plan. Let FWP do his thing. Spread the ball around. Take what they're giving you and get 7 points off your drives. I know we like field goals a lot lately, but 4 more points would be pretty nice if you guys think you can handle that...

  • Heath. Miller. Touchdown. ~ And not just because he needs one more score to achieve a new season high mark for his short career. But when the Steelers Star Tight End catches a touchdown, the team is 11-4. I like those odds. Of course, I'm the 1st to admit numbers don't make realities. But when Miller is a factor in games, that presents just one more threat for the opposing defense to account for. Plus, this gives me an excuse to scream "It's Miller Time" all day whilst drinking a half case of Rolling Rock "nips" (Aside: Does anyone know what the story is there? Why the hell are these things called "nips" and not "ponies?" If you've got answers, email me. I must know).

  • Get Your Willie Parker On ~ Over the past four games, FWP has only 280 total yards rushing, an average of 70 per game. Not exactly the pro bowl numbers we've grown to expect from our favorite undrafted stud. So I think you'll all agree with me when I say - FWP has to be a big part of Sunday's game. In case you hadn't heard, the Bengals Offense is quite good, and while I have confidence that we can contain them, the less they see of the field, the better. In order to keep them on the sidelines, however, we'll need to be able to control the game when OUR offense has the ball. Vis-a-vis, ipso facto, Willie Parker needs 22+ carries. Maybe throw a little Najeh in there once or twice as well. This might prove to be a little more difficult without Dan Kreider, but we've been trying Carey Davis at FB all year. Sooner or later, FWP is just going to have to get used to life without Kreider. Sad as it may make him...and me...sometimes I cry when I think about losing Dan Kreider...oh, here I go again...see what you made me do.

  • Cornhole Carson Palmer ~ If you don't know what that's in reference to, click the link or search that on Google. I'm not just some sick least not because of this. Anyways, what I mean is - just as we did so well on Monday night, get in the QB's face. Make him force throws, take sacks, maybe even toss Ike a pick or two. The Bungles passing extravaganza has been good enough this season to be ranked #3 in the league. That's pretty dern good. And we all heard about what a great outing Ocho Cinco had last week. So principally, to neutralize this, we have to neutralize the man with the ball in his hands. If you don't give Carson Palmer time to find an open Chad, TJ or Chris, how can he throw to them? However, no Kimo von Oelhoffen treatment please...we don't need to win that way...not again at least.

  • Screw Rudi Johnson ~ This really doesn't have a ton to do with our Defense actually. Fact is, Rudi Johnson has averaged only 2.7 yards per carry when outdoors on the road (thus far in 2007). Sounds like a nice combination to me. Beyond being his own worst enemy however, I think it'd be nice if we could focus on tackling. Johnson is a north-south back with a low center of gravity, and he can run it up the middle just as well as any in the league. Our line may have to do some extra leg work on this, but it's nothing we can't handle. I also wouldn't mind seeing James Harrison force a Rudi Johnson fumble or two. He's already coughed it up three times outdoors this season, losing two of those, so you never know. Sort him out Silverback.

  • Put Chris Henry On Lockdown ~ He ought to be used to this by now anyhow...but I digress. I simply mean, over the last two games Henry has played against the Steelers he's averaged 81.6 yards receiving, including THREE touchdowns. Over those same two games, Ocho Cinco has averaged 32 yards receiving with ZERO scores and TJ "Douchemanzadeh" (credit = Joey Porter's Pit Bulls) has averaged 69 yards with TWO scores (coming in the same game). So it would seem that we need to keep a collective eye on Chris Henry. After all, the stadium security is only so numerous. Tis a dirty job but somebody's gotta do it. I can't wait to see what Henry thinks of The Sandman...

I'm not going to get into "Special" Teams this week because (A) We already know the problems that could arise there, (B) They actually played a pretty good game on Monday and (C) It's 1AM right now and I'm tired. Hence, I deem that there's no need to discuss them separately here...or something...

So there they are. Los llaves a victoria (keys to victory...I think...either that or "I love dinosaurs"). Now that I've shared with you all, let's have a little reciprocation. What do YOU think will be important to a Steelers victory on Sunday? Will Chris Henry make it to Kickoff without finding his way into a pair of handcuffs? Will TJ Douchemanzadeh run into Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake and get his ponytail cut? Will the Steelers Defense bring new meaning to the Carson Palmer Cornhole Classic?

PS - The one thing I actually do like about Cincinnati?...the Ben-Gals...

For A Good Time, Also Read:
Fair Warning [SteelCityInsider]
Steelers vs. Bengals - A Pivotal Matchup [Behind The Steel Curtain]
Steelers vs. Bengals By The Numbers [Behind The Steel Curtain]
Bengals Primer Against The Pittsburgh Steelers [Cincy Jungle]
Steelers-Bengals: What To Look For [WPXI]
Bengals Say They're Ready for Heinz Field [KDKA]

Ballhype: hype it up!


domski43 said...

dont like the bengals coming into this game with nothing to lose. they know the steelers really well and always play a tough game. steelers better bring their "a" game for 60 minutes vs bengals and the refs.

Dear Coach Tomlin,

Watch for the bengals to go for fourth downs (when in steelers territory), watch for onside kicks, watch for fake punts/field goals, trick plays (ala jets game)


El Duderino

f the cheatriots!

Anonymous said...

Domski's on track with his thoughts: this is yet another trap game. Cinncicrappi will be looking for this win to help validate an otherwise worthless season. And they doubtless know that a loss in our division could be painful come playoff-time(assuming, of course, we hold up and get TO the playoffs!).

Thanks to our three embarrassing losses we have a lot on the line in these last few weeks of the season.
I pray we don't give the Bun-gals any fuel for their fire. Do the Stelers *really* wanna see Carson, Douchemanzilly, and Ocho-Pinko celebrating after the game? I think NOT!

BTW- Hey Cotter brudda: a "nip" is a drink, a shot, a snort, a chort, a chug, a guzzle, sip, or snoot. It could also refer to the concept of "putting a nipple on it" because you drink teeny, tiny little bottles/cans of beer like a nervous teenage joshin'..You're a great Steeler-blogger(just take it easy on yer commas, huh? they're only for lists and comparisons according to my ex-GF the schoolteacher :-))

As to your question about the hotties in Bungal-dom: that region is known as "Ohio-tucky-ana" and has some of the finest Scotch-Irish mamas in the whole, wide world. If ya ain't been, ya outta. They're reeeeaaallll friendly down thar...

I'm with ya on the BA bit. I don't get why he seems so insistent on goofy, tricky stuff. I've wondered for years why we don't use the dink-dunk pass game more effectively. In fact, maybe because our O *doesn't* use it much is the reason our D has trouble defending it. Ya can't always make big plays. In fact, three-five yarders consistently eat up a lot of clock and wear down opposing defenses. Look into it, Bruce! I know you're reading this. If ya ain't ya oughtta. Dammit.

OK. I'm done.

Go Stillers! Eat cat! Er.. Pound the p....naw, better not.

Steve said...

As a Steelers fan in Indy, the prime time games rock. Also, the Bengals defense blows - we're all aware of that - but they have some nice pass rushers and Geathers is moving back to DE. So if we could protect Ben, that would be super duper. Perhaps even super dooper duper.

Cotter said...

Domski - I'm on to you. I know you have to search Google just to get to the blog...bookmarks, dude. The interweb is watching.

T - What? You don't like run on sentences, with way too much information, separated by commas, because I write my blog entries at 12:30 AM and I'm completely exhausted while doing so? Haha, yeah man. I have a little grammar problem sometimes. That's the downside to not having an editor. Oh, also, I know what a nip is, but I'm trying to figure out why they don't call it a "pony" like every other mini beer bottle I've ever seen...tis an enigma.

quiet strength - Thanks for the comment, welcome to OFTOT! Protecting Ben will indeed be paramount. Geathers is good. Justin Smith is good. John Thornton ain't bad. The numbers don't show it but they've got some playmakers fo' sho'.

tecmo said...

Heath will score. Write that down.

Joey Porter’s Pit Bulls said...

Not too worried about this game. The Bungles have a way of psyching themselves out in games like this. Plus, Carson Palmer's a pussy.

Cotter said...

I believe Palmer prefers the term "snatch," but yes, he does quite resemble a vaginal cavity.

Anonymous said...

Coter, can i, get you a, tissue?...

Muwhahahaa....just jokin' brudda!

Carson Palmer is a camel-toe. And he likes wienies. I can't link it cuz i'm stupid, but if ya don't know what i'm talking about look up Carson Palmer Hot-Dog Commercial. It's him deep-throating a donkey-sized wiener in a bun(w/ mustard, you sick turds!)

tecmo said...


Can I call him a twat?

Cotter said...

The Constitution of the United States of America says you can call Carson Palmer whatever slang term for vagina your heart desires.

IE - Yes - twat is acceptable.

Anonymous said...

JPPB made a good poibt about the Bun-gals getting themselves too psyched-out for these big games. They always come out fighting, talking smack but usually get worn down by the third quarter. By then they're all weezing and standing around.

Kinda like Ray "Stabby" Lewis and his big-time, sh*t-talking long-winded speeches and chants before games. Such a shame to get the adrenaline all pumped up before the game even starts and then be exhausted by the end of three...

No... i think Cinci will come out fast, get a few first downs and start screwing the pooch before halftime, especially if they try too hard or if Carson (c*ck)Palmer gets hit much in the first quarter.

I hate to say it(sorta...) but ol' Kimo might have ruined Palmer's career that day in '05. He ain't been the same since.

Go Stillers! Beat Cincy and sh*tty officials!

Joey Porter’s Pit Bulls said...

Spot-on prediction, Tobiathan. Spot-on.

Cotter said...

Yeah man, prophetic and shit.