The Steelers are hoping to contain Edgerrin James this week. In fact, their goal is to keep him below 100 yards rushing. Incidentally, James (while with Indianapolis) is the only back in the past 53 Pittsburgh games to break the 100 barrier.
"It wasn't our true defense," said LB Larry Foote. "We were running a lot of zone, and it was a cheap 100. But he got it. He is one of the best backs. He broke a lot of tackles that game. We definitely have our eye on him because we know what he can do."
But the Cardinals have a similar task ahead of them if they hope to win Sunday: stop Willie Parker.
He's the NFL's most successful runner this season and he leads the NFL in rushing, averaging more than 120 yards per game. The Steelers' team offense also leads the league in the same category, averaging nearly 200 total rushing yards per game. Arizona must contain Parker if they hope to hold back the Steelers' offense.
That's how the Steelers win games. They run the ball a lot to keep pressure off Ben Roethlisberger, and they do it better than anyone else in the NFL. No doubt it will be tough to hold them back. But the Steelers aren't a team you want to fall behind against: their style of play is unforgiving and making comebacks are very difficult. Think about it: they have one of the best defenses in the NFL, maybe the best, and they grind out the clock by keeping the ball on the ground. If Parker has a successful outing, it might be lights out for the Cardinals. So that must be priority one for the defense.
How many rushing yards will Parker have?
This poll is closed
more than 120
fewer than 80