|Last 3 Games||1-2||-1.7||1-2||3-0||20.3||7.7||316.0||(5.4)||4.3||24.7||13.0||273.3||(4.2)||1.0|
|Offense (All Games)||21.4||11.1||19.6||32:46||26-100||(3.8)||23-37||62.2%||242||(6.5)||63-342||(5.4)||(16)|
|Opponents Defensive Avg.||23.8||11.5||20.2||31:51||28-118||(4.2)||22-35||61.6%||238||(6.8)||63-357||(5.7)||(15)|
|Offense Road Games||22.6||11.6||19.7||33:33||25-94||(3.7)||25-38||65.3%||266||(6.9)||64-360||(5.6)||(15.9)|
|Defense (All Games)||20.3||10.8||16.6||27:18||25-93||(3.7)||17-31||54.7%||169||(5.4)||57-262||(4.6)||(12.9)|
|Opponents Offensive Avg.||22.6||11||19.6||30:46||27-115||(4.3)||21-35||61.0%||232||(6.6)||62-347||(5.6)||(15.3)|
|Defense Road Games||24.0||13.0||17.0||26:27||24-96||(4)||18-31||57.9%||176||(5.7)||55-272||(5)||(11.4)|
|Stats For (All Games)||0.8||1.1||1.9||-1.0||14-6||44.3%||1-0||41.7%||3-71||(25.7)||3-18||(6.7)||6-63|
|Opponents Avg. Stats Against||0.9||0.7||1.7||1.8||14-5||39.0%||1-0||51.4%||3-63||(23.5)||23-2||(9.6)||7-55|
|Stats For (Road Games)||1.3||1.4||2.7||-1.6||14-7||48.5%||1-1||66.7%||3-86||(28.5)||3-23||(7.4)||7-67|
|Stats Against (All Games)||0.5||0.4||0.9|| ||13-5||36.5%||1-1||87.5%||3-77||(24)||2-20||(11)||6-53|
|Opponents Avg. Stats For||0.9||0.7||1.7|| ||13-5||37.3%||1-0||54.7%||3-76||(24.6)||23-2||(10.2)||6-54|
|Stats Against (Road Games)||0.9||0.3||1.1|| ||12-5||39.1%||0-0||100.0%||3-76||(26.5)||1-12||(9.3)||6-48|
|Last 3 Games||2-1||+0.8||1-2||2-1||29.7||7.7||387.7||(5.8)||1.3||30.0||19.3||398.7||(7)||1.0|
|Offense (All Games)||23.1||7.2||21.3||31:46||23-80||(3.4)||28-41||66.8%||292||(7.1)||64-372||(5.8)||(16.1)|
|Opponents Defensive Avg.||21.8||10.8||19.9||30:13||27-114||(4.3)||22-35||62.0%||240||(6.8)||62-354||(5.7)||(16.2)|
|Offense Home Games||25.0||6.7||23.7||32:23||20-53||(2.7)||32-49||66.6%||339||(7)||69-393||(5.7)||(15.7)|
|Defense (All Games)||24.2||12.6||18.5||28:55||26-118||(4.5)||19-31||62.6%||218||(7.1)||57-337||(5.9)||(13.9)|
|Opponents Offensive Avg.||23.9||11.9||19.9||30:08||27-121||(4.4)||21-34||60.7%||233||(6.9)||61-353||(5.8)||(14.8)|
|Defense Home Games||27.3||16.3||17.5||29:06||28-119||(4.2)||17-30||59.0%||212||(7.2)||58-332||(5.7)||(12.1)|
|Stats For (All Games)||1.2||0.6||1.8||-0.8||14-6||44.9%||1-1||70.0%||2-46||(21.2)||2-20||(9.8)||8-58|
|Opponents Avg. Stats Against||1.1||0.8||1.9||2.2||13-5||39.2%||1-0||45.0%||3-69||(23)||22-2||(9.9)||7-55|
|Stats For (Home Games)||2.0||1.0||3.0||-1.7||14-6||42.9%||1-1||71.4%||2-51||(21.9)||2-16||(9.5)||7-54|
|Stats Against (All Games)||0.5||0.6||1.1|| ||12-5||37.5%||1-0||54.5%||3-68||(22.1)||2-16||(9.8)||6-51|
|Opponents Avg. Stats For||0.9||0.6||1.5|| ||13-5||37.8%||1-0||56.3%||3-70||(23.8)||21-2||(9.8)||6-52|
|Stats Against (Home Games)||0.5||0.8||1.3|| ||13-5||39.2%||1-0||50.0%||3-59||(18.6)||2-29||(16.1)||6-52|
|Average power rating of opponents played: PITTSBURGH 19.5, DALLAS 22.3|
|11/4/2012||@ NY GIANTS||24-20||W||3||W||48.5||U||35-158||21-30-191||2||22-68||10-24-114||1|
|12/16/2012||@ DALLAS|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|12/23/2012||CINCINNATI|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|12/30/2012||CLEVELAND|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|12/16/2012||PITTSBURGH|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|12/23/2012||NEW ORLEANS|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|12/30/2012||@ WASHINGTON|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|PITTSBURGH: Much was made about former coordinator Bruce Arians' aversion to the running game, and new offensive coordinator Todd Haley (who was the head coach of the run-heavy Chiefs) seems to have been brought in to correct that. The Steelers have a big, man-blocking line and Haley prefers the committee approach. With Rashard Mendenhall recovering from a torn ACL, Isaac Redman will get a heavy workload early in the season. Jonathan Dwyer figures to take a chunk of the early down reps. Redman can handle third down duties, though Baron Batch could push him for that role. Batch might have held that role a year ago had he not torn his ACL. Haley used to oversee the Cardinals' offense, so he's not lost in the passing game. Expect a lot of three-receiver sets and spread principles, with Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown on the outside and Emmanuel Sanders in the slot. Ben Roethlisberger's trademark is improvising and stretching out plays. Wallace might more often be the primary target, but Brown has shown more of an ability to shake open once the play breaks down. Sanders will be the primary target in the middle of the field. Tight end Heath Miller often stays in to protect. When the Steelers throw near the goal line, it's often play-action to someone in the middle of the field (Miller or the slot receiver, possibly Sanders now). Wallace's and Brown's roles are usually minimized once the Steelers drive deep into opponent territory, unless Roethlisberger is buying time on a broken play. The Steelers were tied for ninth in the league in sacks despite a rash of injuries to their linebackers. Although they forced an NFL-low 15 turnovers in 2011, Pittsburgh still led the league in scoring defense and yardage defense'the schedule is kind enough to allow for a repeat of these numbers. Lawrence Timmons' numbers were down last year because of a move to outside linebacker for about a third of the season. He'll play inside full time in 2012, and his numbers could revert closer to where they were in 2010. Troy Polamalu, meanwhile, looked a half-step slow by the end of last season due to all the nagging injuries he's been dealing with. He appears to finally be on the decline. |
|DALLAS: Although new offensive coordinator Bill Callahan comes in with a reputation as one of the better zone blocking coaches, he does have experience coaching power schemes as well. The Cowboys have gotten younger and more athletic on the line, and they're capable of mixing in zone stuff, but don't expect wholesale changes in Callahan's first year. As far as the running back rotation, DeMarco Murray will take almost all the snaps on first and second down, while third down will likely belong to Felix Jones. This is still an aggressive Air Coryell offense. They worked out of a three-receiver base last year, though whether they do again will depend on the development of Kevin Ogletree as Laurent Robinson's replacement. It's a pick-your-poison offense of top-to-bottom reads, where Dez Bryant is often the first look. The double teams he drew are what opened up room for Robinson and Romo's security blanket from a year ago, tight end Jason Witten. Miles Austin still has a big role as well, as they'll put him in motion to create mismatches in the middle of the field. He'll slide to the slot when they play three WRs. The screen game is a weapon they use with some frequency, mostly when Felix Jones is on the field. The Cowboys are still pass-heavy in the red zone, where Dez Bryant is their preferred target. Austin also has a big role, and Witten is used on play-action near the goal line. The Cowboys know they need to improve on defense, and drafting the top DB in college, Morris Claiborne, was a good first step in the right direction. OLB DeMarcus Ware (19.5 sacks in 2011) will always keep Dallas near the top of the sack charts, and he was also second in the league in non-sack pressures (40.5 knockdowns and hurries). Sean Lee showed off some impressive ball skills in intercepting four passes from the linebacker position. |
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER PRO FOOTBALL PREVIEW (PITTSBURGH-DALLAS) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
(UPDATES with Bryant's status)
*Steelers-Cowboys Preview* ==========================
By TAYLOR BECHTOLD STATS Writer
While the Dallas Cowboys look to continue their playoff push, they might have to do it without their top offensive threat.
The Pittsburgh Steelers have quarterback Ben Roethlisberger back, but need a win to hold on to their AFC wild-card spot.
The Cowboys and Steelers will try to boost their postseason chances Sunday when they meet in Dallas.
After a 20-19 victory at Cincinnati on Sunday that was its fourth win in five games, Dallas (7-6) is a game behind NFC East-leading New York and also one back of Chicago and Seattle in the wild-card race.
Dallas, however, suffered a big blow when wide receiver Dez Bryant broke his left index finger against the Bengals.
He caught a fourth-quarter touchdown pass after the injury, and insists that he'll play Sunday.
"One of the things we know about Dez is he's a tough guy and he loves playing football," coach Jason Garrett said. "He's going to give himself and our team every chance possible to play in this ballgame and continue to play this season."
Bryant has 33 catches for 525 yards and seven TDs over the past five games, and is 10th in the NFL with 1,028 yards this season.
Bryant's emergence has certainly helped Tony Romo, who has completed 66.3 percent of his attempts for an average of 306.8 yards in his last five games. After throwing 13 interceptions in his first seven games, Romo has just three in his last six contests.
While Romo will now face a Pittsburgh pass defense that allows the fewest yards in the league (169.2 per game), the banged-up Steelers hardly look like a premier secondary right now.
Ike Taylor will miss his second consecutive game on Sunday due to a broken right ankle, while Keenan Lewis and Cortez Allen are questionable with hip flexor ailments.
The short-handed Steelers (7-6) were burned on a season-high 12 of 22 third-down conversions - 11 through the air - in a 34-24 loss to San Diego on Sunday in which they trailed by as many as 24.
"We didn't make the necessary plays that we needed to make," Allen said. "We have to be better as a whole. We just have to be better."
After managing just four offensive touchdowns in the three games without Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh had only three first-half points against the Chargers. Roethlisberger finished with 285 yards and three touchdowns, though much of that came when the game was out of reach.
The Steelers were fortunate to hold on to the AFC's final wild-card spot because of Cincinnati's loss to Dallas. While both teams are 7-6, Pittsburgh holds the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Bengals - with next Sunday's rematch at Heinz Field potentially looming as a playoff play-in.
"We can't be happy just because other teams lost and we're still in it," linebacker Larry Foote said. "It's one of those gut-checking times."
Mike Wallace, who had 10 catches for 77 yards and no scores while Roethlisberger was out, came alive with seven catches for 112 yards and two touchdowns. He did, though, have his sixth drop of the season, earning a chorus of boos from the home crowd.
"It's not like I'm out here dropping every pass," Wallace said. "I made a lot of plays, too, as well. But I definitely would like to make every single the field.
Pittsburgh will try to shake off its recent struggles against a Dallas defense that ranks eighth in the NFL against the pass (217.8 yards per game).
The running game hasn't added much either, with Jonathan Dwyer rushing for a team-best 32 yards against the Chargers. The Steelers averaged 140.0 rushing yards during a four-game midseason winning streak, but are down to 25th in the NFL in rushing at 98.6 per game.
The Cowboys have managed to win their last two games despite giving up 7.2 yards per carry, but they won't have to deal with perhaps Pittsburgh's most talented running back. The team on Tuesday suspended Rashard Mendenhall against Dallas, reportedly because Mendenhall failed to show up at the Chargers game after finding out he'd be inactive for a second straight week.
Making matters worse, the Steelers have had to shuffle their offensive line around with left guard Willie Colon going down with a knee injury. Rookie first-rounder David DeCastro, who has yet to play because of a knee injury suffered in the preseason, is expected to get his first start Sunday.
The Steelers have won both of Roethlisberger's starts against Dallas, and picked off Romo three times while rallying from 10 down in the fourth quarter to win 20-13 at Heinz Field in 2008.
|Last Updated: 9/2/2014 6:03:41 AM EST|