No one expected this match-up between Denver and Pittsburgh to be so close and no one (with the exception of Broncos fans and Tebow-Maniacs) thought Denver would be the winner at Mile High Stadium today. But Tebow pulled off the seemingly impossible with an impressive win over the favored Steelers in an OT thriller. (more)
The New England Patriots are rested and healthy after their week 7 bye, currently sitting atop the AFC East Division at 5-1 with the AFC North leading Pittsburgh Steelers waiting to challenge them next. The Steelers are consistently recognized as one of the league’s top defenses, but have yet to prove it against Patriots QB Tom Brady. (more)
The Pittsburgh Steelers will look to advance to their third Super Bowl in six years when they host the New York Jets at Heinz Field on Sunday evening. The Steelers are fresh off of a hard fought victory over the Baltimore Ravens, 31-24, on Saturday. The Steelers pulled off the victory the same way they always do in January; with great defense and clutch offense. Pittsburgh held Baltimore to 126 total net yards, only 2.4 per play, and kept the Ravens out of the end zone for the entire second half.
This week we can expect much of the same from the Steelers, as they will face the New York Jets, who will undoubtedly try to establish their running game and control the clock. The Jets, who are fresh off of an upset of the Super Bowl favorite New England Patriots, are also where they are because of defense. Like the Steelers, they have a great pass rush that attempts to force their opponents to throw the ball downfield to create offense.
However, the Jets differ from the Steelers once you get to that second level. They have Darrelle Revis, one of the few elite shutdown corners in the NFL, who can eliminate any receiver from the game. On the opposite side is Antonio Cromartie, who is the playmaking corner who gets more than his share of opportunities to come down with turnovers. But Cromartie is also prone to mistakes, especially over the middle of the field. Whichever Steelers receiver, either Hines Ward or Mike Wallace, is matched up with Cromartie could have a big game and ultimately, could be the key to a Steelers victory. (more)
If you are a football fan, you have heard the old phrase “defense wins championships.” The Baltimore Ravens really made that a point when they won the Super Bowl in 2000 behind what some call the best defense in league history and a borderline inept offense. Now, more than a decade later, the league has migrated to a more offensive style. Passing numbers have never been as high, and various league records have fallen in recent years, many right here in New England.
But even with these offensive trends, it is still a great defense that will bring home a championship under most circumstances. Just look at the final four teams remaining this season. They are all ranked in the top six for points allowed, with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers being the top two. As for total yardage allowed, which is the criteria by which NFL defenses are ranked, only the Chicago Bears, who are ranked ninth, were outside the top five.
So knowing that defense is still what wins in the NFL, is it any surprise that the top seeds in each conference will be watching the championship games on Sunday? Both the Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots had great scoring defenses, in fact, they are the two who are missing from the top six, but when you look deeper you will find that they are not nearly as strong as the others.
In yardage allowed the Falcons and Patriots ranked 16th and 25th respectively, which will not get the job done in the playoffs in most years. They were both teams who relied on turnovers and employed the “bend but don’t break” strategy. Defenses like that have won before, such as the New Orleans Saints last season, but most of the time it takes a truly strong defense, one that can stop the league’s best offenses in their tracks, to win a championship. Neither the Falcons nor the Patriots had that. Now they have to sit at home and watch four teams that do fight for a chance to play in the Super Bowl.
The New England Patriots once again proved that the road to the AFC East runs through them following Monday’s 45-3 romping over the New York Jets. Matt Ryan and his Falcons were able to score 14 points in the fourth quarter to get past the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, ranking Atlanta as only team to match the Pats with a 10-2 regular season record. The Pittsburgh Steelers came up big with a win over the Baltimore Ravens to take control of the AFC South. Check for all NFL Week 13 scores!
Thursday, December 2, 2010Philadelphia Eagles 34, Houston Texans 24 – Michael Vick led his Eagles downfield for two touchdowns in the final block to win at home.
Sunday, December 5, 2010New Orleans Saints 34, Cincinnati Bengals 30 – The Saints caught Cincinnati’s D-line off guard on fourth and 2 with 34 seconds left en route to scoring their game winning TD.
Chicago Bears 24, Detroit Lions 20 – Chicago scored in all four quarters to notch their ninth win of the season.
Green Bay Packers 34, San Francisco 49ers 16 – Aaron Rogers completed 21 passes for 298 yards and three touchdowns. (more)
The 2010 NFL playoff race has become even tighter in light of this week’s results with ties featured in five Divisions. The AFC East is still undecided between the 9-2 New England Patriots and New York Jets following their Thanksgiving Day victories over the Detroit Lions and Cincinnati Bengals. The Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens lead the AFC North at 8-3 after defeating the Buffalo Bills and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. View all NFL Week 12 scores below!
Thursday, November 25, 2010New England Patriots 45, Detroit Lions 24 – Tom Brady racked up 21 completions for 341 yards and four touchdowns to earn a perfect passer rating.
New Orleans Saints 30, Dallas Cowboys 27 – Drew Brees hit Lance Moore for the go-ahead TD from 12 yards out with under two minutes left in regulation.
New York Jets 26, Cincinnati Bengals 10 – Brad Smith broke out for a 53 yard touchdown run in the third quarter and returned a kickoff in the following block to put the Jets on top. (more)
The Patriots will look to bounce back after a disappointing loss to the 3-5 Cleveland Browns when they travel to Pittsburgh to face the Steelers on Sunday night.
The Patriots (6-2) are coming off of one of the worst losses in recent memory after being thoroughly dominated in a game that conventional wisdom said they “should have won.”
New England looked horrific on both sides of the ball, averaging only 3.4 yards-per-carry and completing only 50 percent of their passes while turning the ball over three times.
“We were out of sync all day,” Tom Brady said to reporters after the game. “It was not a good day at all. As an offense, we didn’t do much to advance the ball, and that includes the quarterback. If we play like we played today we are not going to beat anybody,” Brady added.
Wide receiver Deion Branch doesn’t expect the effects of the Cleveland game to linger. “It’s going to be a different team; I will tell you all that right now,” Branch told reporters on Monday.
It will need to be a different team if the Patriots are going to be able to put up a fight against the league’s best defense.
The Steelers come into the game allowing only 15.4 points-per-game and an absurd 58.3 yards rushing. Both are the best in the NFL.
If the Steelers defense is going to be beat it will have to be done through the air. They are giving up an average 240 passing yards, which is 24th in the NFL.
This game will be a huge test for the Patriots’ wide receivers, which have been almost non-existent since the departure of Randy Moss. Many of the team’s recent offensive problems have rooted from the poor play of the receivers and their inability to get open consistently, especially last week in Cleveland.
Most conspicuous by his absence is Wes Welker, who hasn’t produced at his typical level since Moss left. Welker has only 18 catches for 138 yards with no touchdowns in the four post-Moss games.
On the other side of the ball, look for the Patriots to see a large dose of Rashard Mendenhall. The Steelers workhorse is a powerful runner, much like Hillis, but he also has the breakaway speed that Hillis lacks once he gets into the open field. If they can at least slow Mendenhall down, the Patriots will have a much better chance of containing Ben Roethlisberger and will be less vulnerable to the big play action pass to the explosive Mike Wallace. If Mendenhall is running free and the safeties have to creep up to stop him, Wallace could have a big day.
Overall, this could be the toughest game the Patriots have all season, but it is still a game they can win. They have the advantage of having faced Cleveland a week ago, who beat them the same way the Steelers will try to; with a power running game and a physical defense.
This looks like a game that the Steelers “should win,” but the Patriots heard the same thing when they walked into Cleveland last week. Expect the Patriots to bounce back and have a chance to win the game.
by: Mark Feury
The 2010 NFL regular season has reached the halfway point and a number of teams are still neck and neck within their respective divisions. The New England Patriots and New York Jets are currently competing atop the AFC East at 6-2. The Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers also hold a 6-2 record in the AFC North. The AFC South has the Tennessee Titans and Indianapolis Colts at 5-3 with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Houston Texans not far behind. This week’s bye teams were Denver, Tennessee, St. Louis, San Francisco, Washington and Jacksonville. Monday night’s contest showcased the Steelers beating out the 2-6 Bengals 27-21 at Paul Brown Stadium. Check all NFL Week 9 scores below!
Sunday, November 7, 2010Atlanta Falcons 27, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 21 – Michael Turner rushed for 107 yards and two touchdowns from 24 carries to keep the Falcons ahead in the NFC South.
Chicago Bears 22, Buffalo Bills 19 – Jay Cutler drove the Bears downfield, hitting Earl Bennett for the go-ahead score with 6:41 left in regulation.
New York Jets 23, Detroit Lions 20 – The Jets rallied back with an overtime field goal to recapture the AFC East lead. (more)
The defending NFL Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers may be down and out four weeks from now, following their most recent 13-6 loss to the Cleveland Browns Thursday night. Ben Roethlisberger was sacked eight times in the midst of their dismal efforts. Pittsburgh will likely need to find another form of motivation to finish out their 2009 regular season campaign.
“To lose five straight coming off a Super Bowl from last year is embarrassing,” said WR Hines Ward. “There’s nothing fun about losing games, especially five in a row. We’re better than that. We should play better than that. With three games left, you’re going to see who really wants to go out here and play for the pride of this organization and this city and who doesn’t want to be around here.”
Cleveland produced all 13 total points in the first half. From there the Steelers couldn’t get anything going offensively, settling with just two field goals to end the second and third quarters. Yesterday’s game marked the Browns second win, giving players and fans alike a better sense of accomplishment this season. Pittsburgh will next matchup against the Green Bay Packers Sunday, December 20th as the Browns travel to Kansas City to meet up with the Chiefs.