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Thread: NFL.com Article

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Cool NFL.com Article

    Thought you guys would find this interesting.

    Jan. 20, 2006) -- Four burning questions for the Conference Championships:

    Can the Denver Broncos handle Pittsburgh's blitz better than the Indianapolis Colts did in their divisional-round loss to the Steelers?

    Yes.

    The greatest focus of the Broncos' preparation this week has been on studying how the Steelers' blitzing befuddled and overwhelmed a Colts offensive line that had played extremely well for most of the regular season. That was the single-biggest reason for the Steelers' ability to dominate virtually the entire game, and one way or another, it will go a long way toward determining the outcome of the AFC title game.

    The Colts' linemen certainly weren't lacking the necessary intelligence to figure out what they were seeing from a Pittsburgh scheme that constantly sends blitzers from a variety of angles. They should have known how to adjust to it. However, the biggest problem with that group is that it does not have enough quick and nimble players to move to the necessary spots to sufficiently protect Peyton Manning.

    The Broncos offensive line does. With the exception of right tackle George Foster, Denver's linemen do an excellent job of changing direction, which is half the battle in coping with the Steelers' aggressive blitz package.

    Will the Steelers be able to get and keep control of the game by coming out with the pass-oriented offense they used against the Colts?

    No.

    The Steelers stunned the Colts by deviating from their run-first script and coming out from their first play with an aggressive passing attack. It was effective, in part, because the Colts weren't ready to handle it, but mostly because they had no answers for talented rookie tight end Heath Miller, who continually found gaping seams in the middle of the field.


    Pittsburgh's success may depend on how quickly Ben Roethlisberger gets his team going.
    The Broncos' safeties, John Lynch and Nick Ferguson, are much better at adding muscle to a defense that ranked second in the NFL against the run during the regular season. Consequently, it would not be a surprise to see the Steelers again have Ben Roethlisberger come out throwing and Miller to again catch some passes over the middle.

    However, the Broncos do have the fastest and most athletic linebackers in the league, and they will do their share to minimize the damage of Roethlisberger's short and intermediate passes. They also have one of the top cornerbacks in the game in Champ Bailey, and the Steelers, like most Denver opponents, will likely opt to avoid throwing in his direction. That means Hines Ward, the Steelers' only consistent big-play receiving threat, will frequently be motioned to locate a more favorable matchup.

    It will be up to the Broncos to try and take advantage of the fact that Bailey will, for all intents and purposes, take away half the field from the Pittsburgh passing game.

  2. #2
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    I like it. Accurate too.
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  3. #3
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    Jan 2005
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    Bailey, the shut down corner!

    I'd like to see them come out and try to pass! Big Ben will get knocked around.

    Adopted by: Peanut

    "You find ways to win and certainly you can find ways to lose...it's not just dumb luck."
    -Sean Payton


  4. #4
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    I was thinking about that this morning... People forget our O-line is not fat and clunky and can move... I think that fact alone will give the Steelers D trouble... And our Defense, well their excellence speaks for itself... I think the Steelers and there fans have every right to be worried.... If I was a Steelers fan the Broncos and Invesco field looks very daunting right about now.

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