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Old 11-05-2009, 06:40 PM   #1
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Default Broncos will be running uphill against Steelers

Broncos will be running uphill against Steelers
By Jeff Legwold
The Denver Post
Posted: 11/05/2009 02:03:52 PM MST
Updated: 11/05/2009 02:40:00 PM MST

Tyler Polumbus (76) and Knowshon Moreno (27). (Joe Amon | The Denver Post)
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Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels often will say an offense can't force the ball to specific spots or players, that it has to go where the openings are against any defense.

That said, McDaniels also believes the Broncos are going to have to find a way to run the ball some against the league's No. 1 run defense Monday night. The Steelers lead the NFL, having allowed only 76.6 yards a game rushing.

They also have faced the fewest rushing attempts from opposing offenses — 140, or 20 attempts per game — well below the league average of 198.2 attempts and 20 fewer than the next team in line.

The Bengals' defense has faced only 160 rushing attempts from opposing offenses this season and the Saints have faced

the third-lowest total at 163.

"So what that means to me is they make everybody stop running the ball," McDaniels said. "You're certainly not going to win the game running the ball for 1 yard a carry or anything like that. We're going to try and stay balanced, do everything we normally do, but we've got to be successful doing it."

No team has run the ball more than 25 times against the Steelers this season and three opponents haven't topped 20 carries. The Chargers, down 28-0 early in the third quarter to the Steelers four games ago, ran only eight times in their game against Pittsburgh.

Only two teams — Cincinnati and Detroit — have rushed for at least 100 yards against Pittsburgh and 32 of the Lions' 100 yards rushing came on one Daunte Culpepper scramble.

The Broncos ran for a season-low 66 yards against the Ravens last Sunday and trailing 6-0 at halftime as well as 13-0 early in the second quarter, Denver also attempted a season-low 19 rushes, just behind the 20 rushing attempts — for 75 yards — the Broncos had in the season opener in Cincinnati.

The Steelers will have to make an adjustment in their defensive front with former Broncos' draft pick Nick Eason to start at one of the team's defensive end spot in place of Travis Kirschke, who suffered a torn left calf muscle against the Vikings.

Rookies Ziggy Hood and Sunny Harris — Hood has played only a smattering of snaps this season and Harris has not played — are expected to be in the rotation in the Pittsburgh front as well. The Steelers likely will shuttle players in and out plenty up front to deal with the altitude.

"They know the defense so well, they're rarely out of position," McDaniels said. "They're all going to hit you, they're all very physical, they're very sound, they don't give up many big plays. It's not like if one person doesn't play in the game all of a sudden they've got a bull's eye on that guy's back."

Jeff Legwold: 303-954-2359 or jlegwold@denverpost.com


Getting the run game going is big in this game
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Old 11-05-2009, 06:46 PM   #2
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The Steelers are allowing 18.4 points/game and 291 yards/game.

The Broncos are allowing 13.7 points/game and 266.7 yards/game
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Old 11-05-2009, 07:20 PM   #3
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We've been running uphill all season.
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Old 11-05-2009, 08:07 PM   #4
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All starts with the offensive line.
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Old 11-06-2009, 05:25 AM   #5
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The Broncos need to find their mean streak and play with great intensity on Monday night. It's gonna be a dog fight. Whoever wins the battle at the line of scrimmage will win the game. I agree...the running game is going to be paramount.

I wonder if this could be an opportunity for Hillis to get himself out of the doghouse by some tough running between the tackles.
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Old 11-06-2009, 05:40 AM   #6
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Hillis is unfortunately so in teh dog house I dont see him looking at Ortons butt one time in the game.

Last edited by jmz313; 11-06-2009 at 05:44 AM..
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Old 11-06-2009, 06:19 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmz313 View Post
Hillis is unfortunately so in teh dog house I dont see him looking at Ortons butt one time in the game.
It's too bad because, if we had Larsen or Joredan at FB and Hillis at HB, it would be hard for those Pitt defensers to stop.
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Old 11-06-2009, 06:42 AM   #8
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Nick Eason better have foot marks all over his back before this game is done. Our tackles are good enough to pound the ball against the Steelers' 3rd string DEs.

Let them stack the line then on that side to help Eason, and call a screen to the other depleted side.

Lather, Rinse, and mother****ing repeat.

Last edited by fontaine; 11-06-2009 at 07:00 AM..
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