When the Steelers arrive in Denver this weekend to take on the Tebows, they bring with them the #1 ranked defense in the league. That particular defense accumulated their lowest number of sacks and takeaways as in previous seasons but held opponents to the fewest points and yards than any other team. The main reason for the decreased number in sacks this season is the limited playing time of both Outside Linebackers; LaMarr Woodley and James Harrison. Harrison dealt earlier in the season with a broken orbital bone and now gets to look like Darth Vadar on the field with his dark shield on his helmet. Woodley has been sidelined pretty much since late October. Neither have been healthy on the field together since early October and if all things are going well in Woodley’s recovery, they will be on Sunday afternoon. Little Timmy Tebow has had to deal with some respectable defenses this year, but none strike fear in the hearts of quarterbacks like the Pittsburgh Steelers defense.
The two star linebackers have missed a combined 11 total games but have a combined 18 sacks for the regular season. Woodley had a streak of 3 games with 2 sacks per game while Harrison had 2 separate 3-sack games this year. Let’s face it, any member of our defense is going to be able to break free and take a shot at Tebow at some point in the game. While he’s scampering around in the pocket thinking to himself, “Now what did Mr. Elway tell me to do?” there could be anyone in Black & Gold running him down. But the two players in specific that could really have him running to the locker room to change his pants at halftime are Harrison and Woodley.
The Steelers started this season with a less than stellar defense against the run and a slow starting Woodley and Harrison. The pass defense has been remarkable all year thanks to great contributions from Ike Taylor, William Gay, Keenan Lewis, Troy Polamalu, and Ryan Clark. I think it also should be noted the secondary this season is under the coaching of one Carnell Lake and that might have a little thing or two to do with the stellar performance. By now we all know that the Steelers will be playing without Ryan Clark this Sunday, due to his sickle cell trait in his blood, so we’ll need the pass rushing attack from Woodley and Harrison to get us passed these pesky Tebows.
Now I’ve spent some time this season contributing in part to Tebow-Mania. I’m not going to deny that now that we are meeting them in the playoffs. I’ve enjoyed the late comebacks and exciting finishes because I am a fan of football. I’ve been irritated with the ESPN “experts” having to remind everyone every Monday after one of those comebacks that Tebow has a horrible throwing motion and running the option as an offense can’t be sustained. I know that, I’m not an idiot. I’ve spent many a Monday morning singing the praises of the Steelers after the ugliest of wins and not thought twice about it. But all things combined, the Broncos defense, the mistakes made by the other teams, and Tebow’s undeniable charisma have led to some exciting finishes. But like all good things, this too must come to an end. It will give a chance for Tebow to start his offseason making the blind see, feeding the poor, and bringing about world peace, or whatever it is that Messiah’s do with their vacations.
I don’t know about you guys but I’m almost giddy over the chance to watch Woodley and Harrison take aim at Tebow for 3 hours. I can only imagine the highlights of hits we could have watched all season if these two had a healthy year. I would bet these two guys are going to be good for at least a couple sacks, if not a couple of sacks apiece. And don’t forget that no one fumbles the ball when sacked quite like Tim Tebow, so enjoy James and LaMarr! A whole new season starts this Sunday and with a still hobbled Ben and Mendy out I’m looking forward to a dominating defensive performance to start the playoffs off right. Go Steelers!
Follow Me on Twitter @Kimmy_KimKimM