- 12/15/2011, 12:58PM ET
DJRoxalot said 12/15, 01:07 PM
I expect Big Ben to play and to play well enough to win. And the Steelers are 4-2 on the road this season while SF choked at home vs Dallas.
The last time the 49ers played a tough defense like Pittsbrgh's, they managed just 6 points against Baltimore. The 49ers offense is way too predictable. They have Alex Smith hand off to Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter. Smith is a capable game manager, but when the running game gets shut down, he is not capable of winning the game when he needs to step up and beat a good team.
They are just 2-2 against teams over .500.
The 49ers have clinched the NFC West, but have lost 2 of their last 3 games. Including an embarrassing loss (where they choked away a 12 point lead) to the Arizona Cardinals last week against backup QB John Skelton.
I will break down matchups in my next argument.
MasterBatter said 12/15, 01:26 PM
"Steelers are 4-2 on the road this season while SF choked at home vs Dallas"
Or I could say the Niner are 6-1 at home while the Steelers choked on the road against the Ravens and Texans.
Niners are 3-2 against teams over .500 while the Steelers are 4-3, not much difference.
Niners have one of the best defenses in the league, 1st in ppg, 1st in takeaways, 1st in RZ defense, and 1st in Rypg. The Steelers are pretty stout too but they don't create turnovers the way SF does and they give up nearly 100 ypg on the ground which is the Niners strength.
Yes the Niners rely heavily on the run, but Pitt hasn't proved they can stop the run consistently all year so I don't see that as a hindrance for SF. The reason the Ravens were so successful against SF was their ability to put pressure on Smith, something Pittsburgh will struggle with without the likes of James Harrison out there.
Big Ben is really tough, but he is going to get hit on Monday night and how will that ankle hold up over the course of the game. The SF defense will force Ben to make alot of plays without the help of the run game, not sure he can do it for 60 min.
MTC on Alex Smith and ST.
DJRoxalot said 12/15, 02:11 PM
"Niners have one of the best defenses in the league, 1st in ppg, 1st in takeaways, 1st in RZ defense, and 1st in Rypg."
The 49ers have faced:
The Rams 2 times
Arizona 2 times
Not many offensive dynamos there. Yet, they allow just fewer ppg.
Pittsburgh has the 6th best run defense. They are going to shut down SF's running game, like Baltimore did. And force Smith to throw against the best pass defense in the NFL.
"Big Ben is really tough, but he is going to get hit on Monday night and how will that ankle hold up over the course of the game."
With Favre retired, I think he is the toughest QB in the League. He will be fine. He has only been sacked 35 times this year. It sounds like a lot, but some seasons he has been sacked 60 times. That is not the case this year.
Steelers win the game, 20-10.
I think Ben will do a good job against SF's weakness, the pass defense. They are 18th in the NFL in ypg and have allowed 18 TD's.
MasterBatter said 12/15, 02:28 PM
You really want to get into the strength of opponnent argument.
Cowboys, Eagles, Giants, Lions are all more highpowered than anybody the Steelers have played this year except the Pats. The only 2 that come close are the Ravens, who they have also played, and the Texans without A. Johnson.
Every team that you listed are also the same teams the Steelers have played this year except for Tampa so that's a pretty weird stance to take.
I really don't see why you think you are going to be able to stop Gore and company so easily. I see it playing out very similar to the Texans game. A game where Schaub lost his best weapon and only threw for 220 (very Alex Smith like) but yet the Steelers couldn't control Foster (155yards rushing and a TD).
The steelers are the #1 pass defense in yards per game. However they allow more yards per attempt than the Niners, the Niners have given up 4 more TDs through the air but have allowed 0 rushing TDs and have 8 more INTs than Pitt. Not such a great advantage for Pitt anymore.
The Niners also have superior ST play. Akers, Ginn and Lee will probably all be pro bowlers. They give the Niners excellent field position every game.
DJRoxalot said 12/15, 02:46 PM
" I really don't see why you think you are going to be able to stop Gore and company so easily."
Because Baltimore's defense is very similar to Pittsburgh's. Baltimore limited SF to just 74 yards. Pittsburgh can do the same.
Smith had a below average game against Baltimore (15 of 24 for 140 yards, 0 TD's, 1 INT). The Steelers pass defense is better than Baltimore's. The bottom line is Smith has completed 67 of 110 passes (60.9%) for 171.5ypg, 4 TD's and 4 INT's in the 4 games vs Dallas, NY Giants, Detroit, and Baltimore.
So against better competition, he doesn't play better than his season numbers.
Good luck explaining that away.
"However they allow more yards per attempt than the Niners."
Really? Want to re-think that? Pittsburgh allows 5.8ypa.
SF allows 6.9ypa.
The Steelers have onlt allowed 14 passing TD's and just 6 rushing TD's. Good luck, Mister Gore. Foster is a much better dual threat than Gore. He has just 16 catches in 28 passes thrown to him.
MasterBatter said 12/15, 03:35 PM
Smith' s eason numbers almost mirror the numbers in those 4 games you mentioned. 60.9 compared to 61.7 for the season. 1 TD per game compares to 1.15 for the season. The INTs are higher but they were 1 in each of those game, where SF went 2-2 including 2 4th quarter comebacks and a OT loss where he actually played well in. SF ran for 200 yards against the Lions so its not shocking that he didn't put up huge numbers there either.
Foster is a much better dual threat back, but my point was that he ran all over Pittsburgh for a total of 155 when the passing game was almost non-existent due to the Andre Johnson injury. Gore can run with the best of them and with a healthier O-line this week and the absense of Harrison things could bode well for Gore and Hunter.
The niners have a much better chance of throwing on Pitt then Pitt has of running on SF. Controlling the clock and field position are huge advantages to be had in any given game and SF is great at both of these things. They will make Ben drive 80+ yards regularly without a running game on a bum ankle. SF will wear Pitt down over the course of the game. 20-13 game for the Niners.
Good TD DJ
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