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  • 12/15/2011, 12:58PM ET

Who wins on MNF?

DJRoxalot (1085-669-126) vs MasterBatter (12-10-2)
11
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12
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12
Votes


The Steelers.

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.

Disagree???

Throwdown!!!


"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.


"Niners have one of the best defenses in the league, 1st in ppg, 1st in takeaways, 1st in RZ defense, and 1st in Rypg."

Fools Gold.

The 49ers have faced:

The Rams 2 times
TB
Cleveland
Arizona 2 times
Seattle
St. Louis

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.


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.

MTC


" 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.

http://espn.go.com/nfl/statistics/team/_/stat/passing/position/defense

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.


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

Comment #1 has been removed
December 15, 2011  12:59 PM ET

whoever scores the most points? Just guessing........

December 15, 2011  01:00 PM ET
QUOTE(#2):

whoever scores the most points? Just guessing........

ohhh I see what you did there.

Comment #4 has been removed
Comment #5 has been removed
December 15, 2011  02:14 PM ET

"The Rams 2 times
TB
Cleveland
Arizona 2 times
Seattle
St. Louis"

WOW lol

Comment #7 has been removed
Comment #8 has been removed
Comment #9 has been removed
December 15, 2011  02:27 PM ET

''Or I could say the Niner are 6-1 at home while the Steelers choked on the road against the Ravens and Texans.''

That means the 49ers choked at Baltimore as well based on your logic. Losing on the road at Houston and Baltimore who are both 10-3 is hardly choking. Matter of fact, Pittsburgh has yet to lose to a team with a record less than 10-3. Losing at Arizona? That is choking.

Also, being ranked 6th in the league against the run when only 6 teams in the league are giving up fewer than 100 yards/game invalidates right's argument about being inconsistent against the run. But what Pittsburgh does well is defend against the pass which is #1 in the league and with Alex Smith struggling, they better run the ball or they may score no more than 10 points.

The biggest issue of the game is Big Ben's availabilty and effectiveness.

December 15, 2011  02:46 PM ET
QUOTE(#10):

''Or I could say the Niner are 6-1 at home while the Steelers choked on the road against the Ravens and Texans.''That means the 49ers choked at Baltimore as well based on your logic. Losing on the road at Houston and Baltimore who are both 10-3 is hardly choking. Matter of fact, Pittsburgh has yet to lose to a team with a record less than 10-3. Losing at Arizona? That is choking.Also, being ranked 6th in the league against the run when only 6 teams in the league are giving up fewer than 100 yards/game invalidates right's argument about being inconsistent against the run. But what Pittsburgh does well is defend against the pass which is #1 in the league and with Alex Smith struggling, they better run the ball or they may score no more than 10 points. The biggest issue of the game is Big Ben's availabilty and effectiveness.

I wouldn't say that the 49ers choked against Baltimore. We only had 4 days to prep to play on Thanksgiving and traveled across three time zones. I think most 9er fans had this penciled in as an L when the schedules went out. If Gore does not get called for the bogus chop block penalty the game would have went way different. You have to remember that it took away the TD pass and even still you can not say that Baltimore exactly blew us out that game.

December 15, 2011  02:46 PM ET

this last Cardinals game is a different story however....

December 15, 2011  02:48 PM ET

nice second argument MasterBatter. Voting right.

December 15, 2011  02:51 PM ET

DJ, you can't punish a team for playing their division.

December 15, 2011  02:55 PM ET

DJ taking an anti-49er position? Shocking.

December 15, 2011  03:12 PM ET
QUOTE(#10):

Also, being ranked 6th in the league against the run when only 6 teams in the league are giving up fewer than 100 yards/game invalidates right's argument about being inconsistent against the run

being 6th doesn't make them consistent. Giving up 170 in week 1 followed by 31, 97, 180, 66 is inconsistent. Thats the first 5 games and they were at 108 ypg which would be good for 13th now. Its been like that all year, they have played 3 big time backs in Rice, Foster and MJD and all 3 had big days. Depending on which Steeler run D shows up minus Harrison, it could be a good day for Gore too.

December 15, 2011  03:34 PM ET
QUOTE(#16):

being 6th doesn't make them consistent. Giving up 170 in week 1 followed by 31, 97, 180, 66 is inconsistent. Thats the first 5 games and they were at 108 ypg which would be good for 13th now. Its been like that all year, they have played 3 big time backs in Rice, Foster and MJD and all 3 had big days. Depending on which Steeler run D shows up minus Harrison, it could be a good day for Gore too.

funny how you leave out their last 7 games where they are showing that they are coming together (73, 43, 67, 109, 85, 104, and 98) so over their last 7 games they have been giving up only 82.7 yds/game during this stretch. Their defensive line is now healthy and it is showing.

December 15, 2011  03:39 PM ET
QUOTE(#17):

funny how you leave out their last 7 games where they are showing that they are coming together (73, 43, 67, 109, 85, 104, and 98) so over their last 7 games they have been giving up only 82.7 yds/game during this stretch. Their defensive line is now healthy and it is showing.

guess I'm just spoiled as a Niner fan that I never see those 3 digit numbers you listed when trying to determine consistency. But those numbers show the same thing I was just talking about just not on as big a scale. Still going from below 50 yards to over 100 yards within a couple weeks. They have struggled against the more powerful running teams and no Harrison means no big push off the edge and allows the O-line to commit more guys to the D-line without worrying about as many blitz pickups (advantage Niners)

Comment #19 has been removed
 
December 15, 2011  03:48 PM ET

Low scoring game, but I think the steelers experience pulls out the win.

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