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Old 01-10-2006, 12:32 PM
TomWilkinson TomWilkinson is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Las Vegas
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Default Steelers In Unfamiliar Role Big Underdogs

The Pittsburgh Steelers are not accustomed to being underdogs in January. They are usually the favored team, but not this weekend in Indianapolis where they are almost 10-point road dogs.

The Steelers lost at the RCA Dome earlier this season 26-7. It was extremely loud for the Steelers and they make numerous mistakes.

"We aren't going to be able to hear," running back Jerome Bettis said. "I think that is an important part of the game. We understand that it is going to be deafening, and we aren't going to be able to hear, but I think it helps us having played there earlier this season."

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger expects to play better than he did in the earlier loss to the Colts, when he was intercepted twice and was limited to 133 yards passing. The Steelers are rolling this time, and Big Ben has thrown five TD passes and only two interceptions of late. He threw for three touchdowns and wasn't intercepted during a 31-17 comeback victory Sunday in Cincinnati.

"Ben has been working hard in practice to develop some timing and continuity with the receivers," coach Bill Cowher said. "That will be the biggest difference against Indianapolis this time."

"We know what to expect," safety Troy Polamalu said. "It is a very different situation than earlier in the season ... but it will be very tough for us."

The Steelers usually do well against the Colts, beating them nine consecutive times and 13 times in 14 games dating to 1978 before this season's game. What is different about this playoff game is the Steelers are big underdogs in January. This is the first time in Cowher's 14 seasons as coach that the Steelers have played consecutive road playoff games before Sunday, they were 0-3 in postseason road games under him.

"Right now, we just enjoy playing," Cowher said. "We're just going to go on to the next game and we're going to try to find a way to win this next game."
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