Perception and reality differ on the key to a Steelers victory

November 05, 2011|By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

In order to beat the New England Patriots, Ben Roethlisberger threw the ball 50 times. Everyone knows that formula must be reversed against Baltimore. In order to beat the Ravens, the Steelers need to run more often and do so more successfully.


"Ultimately, it comes down to whoever rushes better against each other is usually the winner in this series," said Steelers offensive tackle Max Starks, a veteran of the Steelers-Ravens wars but not that opening-day bloodletting this season.

"You can look at the team that has the most rushing yards [as the one that] usually wins."

That sounds good in theory, but it's not true. The team that has piled up more yards rushing in the past two seasons, lost more often. In the five games the teams played in 2009 and '10, the team with the higher run yardage lost three of them.

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