Thursday, September 25, 2014

55 points allowed was not so long ago

Two teams take the field on Sunday at Heinz Field, and it was not so long ago that one of them had 50+ points scored on them.

The Steelers.

Oh, and Tampa Bay's Buccaneers, too, a week ago Thursday, when they lost to Atlanta, 56-14.

But the Steelers let the New England Patriots ring up 55 on them less than 11 months ago, on Nov. 3, 2013. That's just 326 days ago. Granted a lot has happened in those 326 days. Still, though, it wasn't that long ago.

Joey Porter's Pit Bulls don't believe the Buccaneers are going to go into Heinz Field and beat the Steelers on Sunday. But you know what happened the week after the Steelers surrendered those 55 points? They won. They beat the Buffalo Bills, 23-10.

The Bucs were horrific in Atlanta, and there's little reason to think they'll give the Steelers much trouble.

The Bucs' problems are many, and they are great. For example, in that 56-14 loss, Tampa was penalized 11 times for 110 yards.

Sound familiar?

The Steelers were assessed 11 penalties in their last game, too, for 91 yards in the win over Carolina. Previously, the Steelers had flags thrown on them nine times for 75 yards in the loss at Baltimore and 11 times for  96 yards in the win they eked out over Cleveland.

In fact, the Steelers rank 31st in the NFL (in front of only San Francisco) in penalties assessed against them. The Bucs rank 14th in that category.

On the plus side for the Steelers, when it comes to punting net yards, thanks to Brad Wing, the Steelers rank in the middle of the pack (16th, with a 42.0 yard net punting average) vs. Tampa Bay, which ranks 31st with an abysmal 34.0 yards net punting average.

The Bucs have imposing receivers, but QB Mike Glennon will need time to throw to them.  He's not likely to get it. Glennon was sacked 40 times last season (of 47 allowed by Tampa). Ben Roethlsberger was sacked 43 times in 2013.

Tampa's QBs have been sacked seven times this year, vs. six this year for Ben Roethlibserger. On the flip side of the ball, Tampa's defense has sacked the QB only four times compared to six by Pittsburgh's defense.

Speaking of those big receivers, 6'5" veteran Vincent Jackson is playing with a hairline fracture to his wrist and will be wearing a brace for the next several weeks. Now, that's a hockey player.

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