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Bronco Rob
11-09-2009, 05:04 AM
Aerial attacks could settle Monday Night showdown


Dennis Dillon
Nov. 8, 2009 - 2:01 p.m. ET


DENVER—It's premature to label this a preview of the AFC championship game, but if tonight's game between the Steelers and Broncos doesn't get you pumped you might want to check yourself for a pulse.

The defending Super Bowl champion Steelers (5-2) have won four in a row and come off a bye week. The Broncos (6-1) are hoping to rebound from their first loss of the season. They'll be playing on a Monday Night Football stage before a nationwide audience.

"If you like challenges, this one has just about everything you're looking for," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. "All we need is Howard Cosell."

Here are five factors that will help determine tonight's outcome:

1.) The Steelers' offense. It hasn't exactly transformed itself into Air Arians, but after being known as a running team for so many years Pittsburgh suddenly is filling the air with passes. The Steelers have the fifth-ranked passing offense (276 yards per game)—Ben Roethlisbeger has a 102.6 passer rating and has thrown for 11 touchdowns—and are averaging 33.4 passes per game compared to 26.4 runs.

"I think it's something we've had to do so far to move the ball and be successful," Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians said. "We do have a really good quarterback, but we're not abandoning the run by any stretch."
Troy Polamalu is healthy, but other members of the Steelers' secondary aren't.


2.) Elvis Dumervil. The undersized Dumervil (5-11, 260) is flourishing after making the switch from an end in a 4-3 defense to an outside linebacker in coordinator Mike Nolan's new 3-4 scheme. Dumervil lines up at linebacker in the base defense but often moves to end in nickel situations. He's able to gain leverage by getting under offensive tackles, and 7-of-10 sacks have come on third down.

"He's a very skilled tactician in terms of how he approaches his rush," Tomlin said.


3.) The Pittsburgh secondary. Although free safety Ryan Clark has medical clearance, he's not expected to be in uniform tonight. Clark has a sickle-cell trait that makes it dangerous for him to exert himself at high altitudes. The last time the Steelers played in Denver, in 2007, Clark had to have his spleen removed, lost 30 pounds and nearly died.

Tyrone Carter is expected to replace Clark. Carter is a physical tackler who likes to play in the box. However, he sometimes struggles to cover receivers in the open field. Look for the Steelers to use Ryan Mundy is passing situations to help defend the deep middle against Broncos Pro Bowl wide receiver Brandon Marshall.


4.) Kyle Orton. Most Broncos fans have recovered from the shock of losing quarterback Jay Cutler during the offseason. That's because Orton, part of the Cutler trade, has turned in one of the most surprising performances of any player this season. The former Bears QB has completed 63.7 percent of his passes and thrown for nine touchdowns. Only one of his 231 passes has been intercepted—and that was a desperation throw just before halftime against New England in Week 5.


"This guy doesn't throw interceptions," Tomlin said. "He does a nice job of taking care of the football and spreading it around to a variety of people."


5.) Denver's rebound. The Broncos ran into a buzz saw last week at Baltimore and lost, 30-7. Like the Ravens, the Steelers are another tough, physical opponent from the AFC North. How the Broncos respond could tell us volumes about what kind of playoff contender they will be.



http://www.sportingnews.com/nfl/article/2009-11-08/aerial-attacks-could-settle-monday-night-showdown

Punisher
11-09-2009, 07:51 AM
The title of the thread sounds like a terrorist attack warning

Bronco Warrior
11-09-2009, 04:23 PM
Does anybody know if ORton found a deep ball passing arm during the week? If so we win! If not the Steelers don't have to worry about # 3 on the list." Defend against the deep ball....LMAO!" I'll be sitting from now till gametimes muttering a prayer "Please let Orton hit a deep one for once! Please let Orton his a Deep one for once!.............."

snowspot66
11-09-2009, 05:25 PM
Does anybody know if ORton found a deep ball passing arm during the week? If so we win! If not the Steelers don't have to worry about # 3 on the list." Defend against the deep ball....LMAO!" I'll be sitting from now till gametimes muttering a prayer "Please let Orton hit a deep one for once! Please let Orton his a Deep one for once!.............."

He's hit plenty of deep balls. Go **** yourself.