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Pittsburgh Steelers Look to Continue Their Winning Ways Against the San Diego Chargers

December 8th, 2012 at 11:22 PM
By Mark Mihalko

The Pittsburgh Steelers are coming off their biggest victory, and get arguably their most important player back Sunday against the San Diego Chargers, so it should be an easy victory, right? Some fans may think that way, but, they shouldn’t, as nothing has come easy for the Steelers in 2012.

'Steelers vs. Bills' photo (c) 2007, Cynthia Closkey - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
The continued improvement of the running game, especially now as they are dedicated to utilizing running back Jonathan Dwyer, should be a factor as they try to ensure quarterback Ben Roethlisberger can stay protected in his first game back. With him at the helm, a balanced attack could go a long way at pulling out a victory Sunday afternoon.

With the top four receiver dinged, Antonio Brown (Ankle), Emmanuel Sanders (Shoulder), Mike Wallace (Knee) and Jerricho Cotchery (Ribs), it will be interesting to see if  Plaxico Burress, having another week in the system, may get some snaps in his first game with Roethlisberger. Early in their careers, they were extremely good at coming up with a big play when needed. The passing game could also improve if recently demoted wide receiver Mike Wallace can step up and make a play or two for the struggling offense.

Last week, the patchwork offensive line did a solid job against the Baltimore Ravens and should have more healthy depth moving forward. Guard Willie Colon (Knee) may return to action, and give the running game a boost with his nasty demeanor. They may also be inspired by the recent announcement that offensive line coach Sean Kugler will be leaving for the head coaching position at UTEP, his Alma Mater, at the end of the season. Fans should remember that during the offseason, Kugler was mentioned as a candidate for the offensive coordinator opening that eventually went to Todd Haley.

Defensively, the loss of Ike Taylor (Ankle) forced the Steelers to make a roster move, releasing quarterback Brian Hoyer and signing cornerback Josh Victorian to the active roster from the practice squad. Victorian will add some depth to the unit and may be active this week against the Chargers for special teams’ duties.

Going into Sunday, starters cornerback Taylor (Ankle), offensive tackle Mike Adams (Ankle), and  linebacker LaMarr Woodley (Ankle) are already listed as out and will be inactive.

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Tags: Ben Roethlisberger, Football, Ike Taylor, LaMarr Woodley, Mike Adams, NFL, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Diego Chargers, Sean Kugler, UTEP, Willie Colon

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