Game Preview: Pittsburgh Steelers

Today Big Blue View takes a look at the Steelers in preparation for their game against the Giants. Please note, because I forgot to do this last night, this preview was prepared while sitting in the back seat of my car, traveling 75 MPH up I-95, and under the watchful eye of my daughter next to me in her car seat. If there are any errors, blame her.

Steelers_medium

Steelers logo circa 1945 (Thanks to Chris Creamer's Sports Logo Page)

2008 Record: 5-1 (First place AFC North)

Head Coach: Mike Tomlin

Last time they met: The Steelers defeated the Giants 33-30 at Giants Stadium in 2004

OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR: Bruce Arians

DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR: Dick Lebeau

KEY ADDITIONS: QB Dennis Dixon (5th Round, Oregon), QB Byron Leftwich (from Falcons), RB Rashard Mendenhall (1st Round, Illinois), RB Mewelde Moore (from Vikings), WR Limas Sweed (2nd Round, Texas), C Justin Hartwig (from Panthers), DE Orpheus Roye (from Browns), OLB Bruce Davis (3rd Round, UCLA), RS Eddie Drummond (from Chiefs), P Mitch Berger (from Cardinals), P Paul Ernster (from Lions)

KEY DEPARTURES: QB Brian St. Pierre (to Cardinals), RB Najeh Davenport (released), FB Dan Kreider (to Rams), TE Jerame Tuman (to Cardinals), WR Cedrick Wilson (released), G Alan Faneca (to Jets), LB Clark Haggans (to Cardinals), LB Clint Kriewaldt (released), RS/CB Allen Rossum (to 49ers), P Daniel Sepulveda (out for season/injured)

NOTES AND QUOTES:

  • The Steelers have allowed 89 points, second in the NFL to Tennessee's 66. They are No. 1 on defense, allowing 228.3 yards per game -- No. 1 vs. the pass at 158.7 and No. 2 vs. the run at 69.7.
  • Ray Anderson, the NFL's VP of football operations, paid the Steelers a visit to talk to them about recent comments regarding the league and fines his office has passed out to Pittsburgh players recently.He also said the league is investigating claims by Baltimore DE Terrell Suggs that the Ravens put out bounties on Steelers RB Rashard Mendenhall and Hines Ward.
  • WR Plaxico Burress makes his first visit to Heinz Field since he left the Steelers as a free agent in 2005. They won a Super Bowl the next season without him, but he finally got his two years later. He played one season with QB Ben Roethlisberger.
  • "I think Plax was phenomenal when he was here so it's hard for me to say he's gotten any better," Roethlisberger said. "He just continues to make plays and doesn't surprise me because I know how good he was."

BY THE NUMBERS: 13-3 -- Steelers record against NFC teams in their past 16 games, dating back to 2003.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "It was a legal block. The guy was getting ready to make the tackle. I think we're making too much out of this. Next question." -- Coach Mike Tomlin, on Hines Ward's block that broke the jaw of Bengals LB Keith Rivers


AFC North Standings

W L T PF PA
Pittsburgh 5 1 0 141 89
Baltimore 3 3 0 105 100
Cleveland 2 4 0 92 106
Cincinnati 0 7 0 98 182

(updated 10.21.2008 at 12:11 PM EDT)



Injuries: Pittsburgh Steelers

Questionable

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Aaron Smith personal 10.24.2008

Doubtful

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Willie Parker knee 10.24.2008

Out (IR / Out / Suspended / Physically unvailable)

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Charlie Batch collarbone 8.30.2008
Arnold Harrison knee 8.30.2008
Kendall Simmons Achilles 10.1.2008
Rashard Mendenhall shoulder 10.1.2008
Daniel Sepulveda knee 8.25.2008


Team Stats - Game Averages

Pts Yrds Pass Rush
Off 23.5 298.8 (25th) 189.5 (21st) 109.3 (18th)
Def 14.8 228.3 (1st) 158.7 (1st) 69.7 (2nd)

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