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Dead Men Walking


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Written by Cotter   
December 19, 2011 00:00


Alright, alright.

Believe me, I feel you.

I now have a special place in my heart for the San Diego Chargers defense too.

But this is not about the Ravens, it's about the Steelers.

With Assaultimore showing its true colors last night, the Steelers now have a legitimate chance to become the #1 seed in the AFC, and get a much needed first round bye.

However, in order to potentially do so, they have a three game season on their hands, starting tonight.

Is Ben going to play?

I'm not a betting man, but given that the Steelers essentially need to win this game and the next two, I'd say smart money's on him playing.

We'll certainly miss James Harrison and Maurkice Pouncey, but winners win, no matter who's on the field.

So, without belaboring the point too much - it's go time.

Time to strap on the pads and hit some people in the mouth.

And certainly no time to waste any more words on the upfront of this blog post.

So, let's just get right to work, shall we?

Quarterback:
asmith

Alex Smith may be the most mediocre NFL QB to ever start for like five and a half seasons or whatever.

But, you know, at least he's having the best year of his career, seven years in.

And he's thrown half as many interceptions through 13 games as he did in 2010.

So, he's got that going for him...which must be nice.

Either way, directing the league's fourth worst passing offense...congratulations.

Alex Smith, field general.

Running Back:


Frank Gore is and has been this offense's number one threat pretty much since he was drafted.

I'm not sure I need to explain that any further, but dude has averaged 4-5 yards a carry for each of the last seven seasons, and already has his 5th 1000 yard season going through 13 games. 

But the good news is, as you well know, the Steelers don't take kindly to running backs, as evidenced by the fact that they haven't allowed one to rush for 100 yards since Arian Foster in Week 4. 

Tonight's mantra?

Put Gore on the floor, then show the 49ers the door.

Wide Receivers:


I drafted Michael Crabtree in fantasy last year in one of the later rounds, thinking I was smart or some shit, and that I was getting a dime sleeper pick...

55 catches, 741 yards, and 6 TDs later, he was what everyone thought he was.

crabtreesingle

Consequently, eff Michael Crabtree.

But at least I had him last season and not this season, during which he's gotten the same volume of catches to present, for 668 yards and only 2 TDs.

And this guy is the 9ers leading receiver.

9ersstats2

Need I say more?

PS - I take great pleasure in the fact that Braylon Edwards is basically so irrelevant that I don't even have to write about him anymore.

Tight End:
9erscheer

Vernon Davis, anytime you'd like a spot on my squad, you just call me.

As long as you bring your friend in the picture right there...


Offensive Line:
5sbs

Hello, child services?

Don't imagine we'll be seeing too many of those tonight, now, will we?

sixburgh

That's right.

Oh yeah, Alex Smith is the most sacked QB in the league, and has been sacked 18 times in the last three games.

And LT Joe Staley probably ain't playing tonight.



It's a shame James Harrison won't be around to take advantage of that, now, isn't it?

Defensive Line:
9ersstats

Now, clearly stopping the run ain't all the defensive line's responsibility.

But, it all starts there.

Not to mention, Justin Smith and Ray McDonald have, oh, you know, 6.5 and 4 sacks respectively as 3-4 ends.

Yes, I recognize that the 49ers play in the NFC West, but you gotta give credit where it's due, and those are sick ass numbers.

Hey, Max Starks, Doug Legursky and whoever else is going to defend whoever is playing QB tonight...


Kthxbai.

Linebackers:
linebacker

There's no two ways about it - Patrick Willis being out is a big time advantage for the Steelers.

But it ain't as big as you might think.

In case you haven't been following along at home, fellow ILB Navarro Bowman has 20 more total tackles than Willis, OLB Ahmad Brooks has 6 sacks, and 2011 1st rounder Aldon Smith has a mind bending 10.5 on the other side.

So yeah...


Secondary
:

crogers


Carlos Rogers and Tarrell Brown at the Corners, Donte Whitner and Dashon Goldson at the Safeties.

Rogers only has, oh, 5 picks on the year, one of which he brought back for 6, and Goldson has added 5 on the back end (Whitner has 2 and Brown, 1).

As a team, the 9ers have 18 picks on the year.

Too bad the only thing they'll be picking tonight is their noses.

Head Dick Man:

[FYI  - LANGUAGE IN VIDEO IS IN NO WAY REMOTELY SAFE FOR WORK / MAY OFFEND YOUR DELICATE SENSIBILITIES]

In case I haven't been clear about my feelings on the Harbaughs (see 0:13 mark)...


Whiny little bitch genes run in the family.

Now, let's wind this thing down in style.

Miscellaneous:

1. Best thing San Francisco ever gave the world...


2. You're Welcome, San Fran...
joemamonangahela

3. Say it ain't so, Santa...
santa9ers

4. No comment...


5. What, no gatorade bath?
johnharbaughcry

Can't wait to hear how they'll blame this one on officiating.

Three more games, starting in less than 24 hours.

With a win tonight, the Steelers would control their own destiny, and the #1 seed (and all that goes with it) would be theirs to lose.

At some point today, take your laptop into a conference room (or some other such work sanctuary), turn all the lights off, and hit play on this beast...


Prime time game against a prime time opponent.

Better wear a helmet for this one.

keiselarmed

Here we go.

If you haven't already, become a fan of OFTOT on Facebook, and follow Cotter on Twitter. Or don't. Your choice, really.

 

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