NFL Team Report - Pittsburgh Steelers - INSIDE SLANT
Many things have gone wrong for the Pittsburgh Steelers this season, but one area that has shined is their passing game.
With a running game ranked 31st in the NFL, the Steelers have relied on the arm of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who for the first time in his career has played every snap through the first 14 games of the season. He has proved many wrong that at age 31 he would not be able to hold up playing his style of game the way he did as a youngster.
Roethlisberger last week toppled the Steelers record for completions in a season with 340 and is taking aim on a few others. One is his own team yardage record of 4,328 yards. He needs 404 yards over the final two games to break it.
Wide receiver Antonio Brown also is aiming at a few franchise marks himself. He could pick up one this weekend because he only needs 92 receiving yards to eclipse Yancey Thigpen's record of 1,398 set in 1997. His 95 receptions is tied for second-most in club history with Hines Ward's 112 at the top.
"This organization is unique," Brown said. "It's been around for 80-plus years. To set that standard for myself and set that mark ... it's definitely a great opportunity."
Pittsburgh technically remains alive in the chase for the final AFC playoff spot but the Steelers need way too many things to happen for them to even think about it. Some players were even surprised they still had a chance after they beat Cincinnati last Sunday. They could also play the spoiler for the Packers, who are trying to win the NFC North.
"I don't know what scenario it takes for us to get in," tight end Heath Miller said. "I just know that we're going to put all of our effort into winning the game this weekend."
SERIES HISTORY: 33rd regular-season meeting. Packers lead series, 18-14, including a 12-7 record at home. The teams last met in their only post-season meeting, Super Bowl XLV, won by the Packers 31-25. Pittsburgh has won three straight regular-season games.
NFL Team Report - Pittsburgh Steelers - NOTES, QUOTES
--The NFL fined Steelers rookie linebacker Terence Garvin $25,000 for a block Garvin threw on Cincinnati Bengals punter Kevin Huber that broke his jaw last Sunday. The block helped Antonio Brown to a 67-yard touchdown return.
"Actually, I fell on the play, I got up, I saw a color and I saw A.B. coming towards me," Garvin explained. "I said I have to try to help him break on this play. I was just trying to do what I could to help him break the play."
--The Steelers have never had two players with 10 receiving touchdowns apiece since the 1970 NFL merger. Jerricho Cotchery has nine and Antonio Brown eight heading into the final two games.
BY THE NUMBERS: 10 - Years since the Steelers have had a losing record, 2003. A loss would clinch another.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "Losing!" - What Ben Roethlisberger says he remembers from the last time he played against Green Bay, in Super Bowl XLV.
NFL Team Report - Pittsburgh Steelers - STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL