Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Turnovers, Turnovers

Heinz Field: Hell with the lid off?
The Steelers are 1-6 against Tom Brady. In their lone win, the Steelers won the turnover battle, 4-0. In the six other games, the Patriots won the turnover battle, 16-4.

Well, that makes it simple. The Steelers had better get more takeaways than the Patriots.

On Wednesday, Brady talked about how tough it is to play in Pittsburgh, how Heinz Field is one of the more "imposing" stadiums in the league, and how crowd noise can limit play-call changes at the line of scrimmage.

Yeah, right. Brady was just being polite. He has struggled not at all with any of the above.

He and the Patriots must love to visit Pittsburgh. Not only have they done well here for the most part, but Pittsburgh is one of the world's best and most interesting places to visit, says no less an authority than National Geographic Traveler. We knew it all along, and that's why we live here.  The magazine cited Pittsburgh for its "extreme makeover," presumably from its former incarnation as "hell with the lid off."

As great a city as Pittsburgh is now, it would be cool if Heinz Field would turn into "hell with the lid off"  for the Boston Massachusetts New England Patriots on Sunday.

The Tough Part of the Schedule
How anybody could look past Sunday's game vs. the Patriots is inconceivable -- except that it is fairly reasonable, considering that the divisional arch-rival Baltimore Ravens follow New England into Heinz Field a week from Sunday. The following Sunday, the Steelers travel to Cincinnati for another must-win divisional game against a team that has a tough defense and is getting better and better on offense. Lose all three games (New England, Baltimore, Cincinnati), and the Steelers will find themselves at 5-5 entering the bye week. That wouldn't be good.

Speaking of the Ravens, by the way, a big Thank You to the Jacksonville Jaguars for dragging the Ravens back to earth on Monday night in a game nobody thought Jacksonville would win. The Jaguars are a better team than most people are willing to grant. Their defense is solid, and they definitely have some talented players on offense (Maurice Jones-Drew), as well as a great placekicker and a promising young talent in Blaine Gabbert at quarterback. They played the Ravens the way they usually play the Steelers -- tough.

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