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Steelers fueled by underdog status

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08:06 AM ET 01.31 | Playing the underdog is one of the great motivating roles as teams enter a big game, and the Steelers have the luxury of leaning on it next Sunday. Mike Tomlin, one of the master motivators in the NFL, will never cause any waves publicly, but he's likely using the snub to his advantage for the most successful franchise in the Super Bowl era. "I feel like we're always underdogs, even when they've got us covering the point spread," cornerback Ike Taylor said last week. The Steelers will certainly play the respect card all week. After all, how could a 12-4 team that won the AFC North be an underdog to the sixth-seeded Packers, who sneaked into the playoffs at 10-6? ... Said Chris Hoke: "People were talking at the beginning of the season how we were going to go 6-10 or 7-9 ... I think when you put our backs against the wall, when you tell us that we're an underdog and we can't do something, that's when we fight and we're at our best."

New York Daily News

Mike Tomlin, Getty Images Mike Tomlin, Getty Images
January 31, 2011  09:32 AM ET

yes we are.... we're fueled by being underdogs, the Big Ben media shots (some deserved), the exaggeration of how "dirty" we are, Hines Ward not being a hall of famer (stupid analysts)
we'll be fueled by everything come sunday......

GO STEELERS !!!!

January 31, 2011  09:42 AM ET

Horse doughnuts!

January 31, 2011  09:47 AM ET

Here we go--- "Nobody believed in us... Blah, blah, blah." Paging Bart Scott.

January 31, 2011  09:50 AM ET

* (COUNT DOOKU, MAKES FART SOUNDS...)

January 31, 2011  09:56 AM ET
QUOTE:

Underdog?

Early line had Pack as favorites.

January 31, 2011  10:12 AM ET

I see a good game coming up, regardless of who takes home the trophy. Glad to see all the loudmouth coaches and divah-receivahs are out of contention.

January 31, 2011  10:12 AM ET

Meaningless horse hockey. Can't wait to see if the Packers D can shut down the Steelers O.

January 31, 2011  11:37 AM ET

**** all the talking. Lets play some ball!!!

January 31, 2011  12:08 PM ET

How do the Steelers rate as underdogs?

Comment #13 has been removed
January 31, 2011  12:28 PM ET
QUOTE(#8):

Meaningless horse hockey. Can't wait to see if the Packers D can shut down the Steelers O.

i hope to GOD that they can.

January 31, 2011  12:45 PM ET
QUOTE(#13):

Woody's boy"Iknow the Steeler D can shut the Packer O down"They Steelers D barely shut the Jets O down long enough to win with Sanchez at the helm. Can you imagine what Rogers might be able to do if they don't do a noticeably better job?By the way ... last time they played, the Steelers won by one point after letting the Pack score 37. So recent history shows that the Steelers D CAN'T shut the Packer O down.Don't get me wrong, I'm a Steelers fan and I HOPE we win, but Rogers has to be salivating at the secondary he'll be going against.Here's to hoping the Steelers pass defense makes any necessary adjustments and that it holds up. But I think this one's gonna be rough.

A fair assessment of it all. A fan being objective. Rare indeed. The Packers could care less about running the ball. They know they can't on that defense. Rodgers could throw it up there 45-50 times. Will be interesting.

January 31, 2011  12:54 PM ET
QUOTE(#6):

Early line had Pack as favorites.

Yep.

Go Steelers!

Comment #17 has been removed
January 31, 2011  02:43 PM ET
QUOTE(#17):

Don't care what the line says - this is a toss-up. Strengths and weaknesses for both teams will balance this out - can't wait to see who turns the ball over first!

Exactly!

The line is for fools and their money. For the rest of us, this is about as even as a match up can be.

January 31, 2011  03:17 PM ET

Can we have some sort of hair contest between Polamalu and Matthews?

January 31, 2011  03:36 PM ET
QUOTE(#19):

Can we have some sort of hair contest between Polamalu and Matthews?

Another even matchup.

January 31, 2011  03:55 PM ET
QUOTE(#19):

Can we have some sort of hair contest between Polamalu and Matthews?

What shampoo does Matthews use?

January 31, 2011  04:21 PM ET

When Rodney Harrison retire Heinz Ward took the title of NFL's dirtiest player. And don't correct my spelling of his last name, it's intentional.


GO GB!

 
January 31, 2011  04:22 PM ET

That's not too biased is it?

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