Steelers' running game stalled

Bears still expect Pittsburgh to try to establish the run Sunday

September 17, 2009, 3:33 PM

By: Jeff Dickerson

The first thing that comes to mind when you think Steelers football (aside from all the championships) is a physical running attack. So it came as a major surprise to see Pittsburgh rack up only 36 rushing yards in Week 1 against Tennessee. There was plenty of blame to go around, from the backs (Willie Parker, Mewelde Moore, Rashard Mendenhall) to the offensive line. In the end, Ben Roethlisberger was able to overcome the ground game's deficiencies, throwing the ball for 363 yards and a touchdown.

Do the Bears still expect the Steelers to try to establish the run this weekend? The general consensus: yes.

"There's been a lot of criticism of their run game from Jerome Bettis and their analysts," Lance Briggs said. "I would assume that they make that a priority [this week]."

"I think so, especially with the way the media has been jumping on them," added Adewale Ogunleye. "Pittsburgh Nation has been talking about how they didn't run the ball."

"I do [think Pittsburgh will try to run], because I know they didn't put up the numbers they wanted to last week," Kevin Payne said. "So of course they're going to try and come in and get that established."

Which might play into the Bears' hands. Remember, Ryan Grant and DeShawn Wynn combined for only 69 yards Sunday night. Perhaps the Bears should encourage Pittsburgh to stay on the ground.

It beats the alternative of Roethlisberger firing the ball to Hines Ward, Santonio Holmes and Heath Miller on every single play.

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