Tag:Troy Polamalu
Posted on: January 13, 2011 11:43 am
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Hot Routes 1.13.10: Orange ties are always in



Posted by Josh Katzowitz

  • John Fox brought an orange tie to his interview with the Broncos on Wednesday. And after getting delayed by weather twice earlier this week, Fox finally actually made it to Denver. So, what separates him from the other Broncos candidates? "I've been doing it. I have a plan, whether it's a bye week schedule, a training camp schedule. It's not my first rodeo, so to speak," Fox told the Associated Press. "So, I think I do have a blueprint to do it. We've had success, some years more than others. But you know the full body of work I think holds a blueprint for success."
  • And while we’re talking about Polamalu, the NY Times does a nice job on the spiritual side of the guy with the best hair in the league.
  • The Steelers Lounge caught up with Merril Hoge about this weekend’s Steelers-Ravens game.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .
Posted on: January 13, 2011 10:47 am
Edited on: January 13, 2011 12:32 pm
 

Steelers vs. Ravens: 7-Point Divisional Preview

Posted by Josh Katzowitz



CBSSports.com's patented and award-winning 7-point preview gets you ready for each and every playoff game. As an added bonus, check out our playoff podcast preview:



1. Baltimore Ravens (No. 5, AFC, 13-4) @ Pittsburgh Steelers (No. 2, AFC, 12-4)

This is perhaps the best rivalry in the NFL today. No, strike the “perhaps.” It is the No. 1 rivalry for toughness, defensive struggles, bloody and broken noses and grit. We’re lucky enough to see these two AFC North squads play twice a year, but it’s always an extra treat to watch them face off in the playoffs.

These two had the same regular-season record, and when they met in Week 4 and Week 13, both contests were decided by three points – one win for the Ravens and one for the Steelers. LB Terrell Suggs said earlier this week that the winner of this game will triumph in the Super Bowl. He might very well be right.

2. PLAYOFFS?! Watchability Ranking



I hate going five out of five, but in the Divisional Playoffs, to get this matchup, there’s really no other choice.

3. Key Matchup to Watch: Ravens offensive line vs. Steelers linebackers

For the second straight week, Baltimore’s tackles will have to figure out how to slow down the opponent’s 3-4 defense linebacking corps. Last week, the Chiefs sacked Ravens QB Joe Flacco four times and put pressure on him throughout the game, and Kansas City linebacker Tamba Hali made life very difficult for the Ravens offensive line.

Baltimore LT Michael Oher had a particularly tough time protecting his quarterback, and if he continues to struggle, Steelers LBs James Harrison, LaMarr Woodley and Lawrence Timmons will be happy to take shots at Flacco.

But it’s not just about pass protection. The offensive line also has to open holes for RB Ray Rice and Willis McGahee, and if they can’t get into the second level of the Pittsburgh defense, the Ravens are going to have big problems. The Steelers allow only 62.8 rushing yards per game – by far, the best number in the league – and the two times these two teams played this year, Rice combined for 17 carries and 52 yards.

If the offensive line can’t help him improve on those numbers, it’s going to be very tough for Baltimore’s offense to find enough balance to beat the Steelers.

4. Potentially Relevant Video

Those Troy Polamalu Head & Shoulders commercials are pretty hit or miss. Some are fairly funny; some are disastrous. But what I like best about them is that Polamalu is actually a pretty effective comedy actor. “You asked with your eyes, Trent. You asked with your eyes."



5. The Ravens will win if ...

QB Joe Flacco continues to hit TE Todd Heap every chance he gets. Flacco targeted Heap 13 times last week in Kansas City, and Heap caught 10 of those passes for 108 yards. If he finds the end zone a couple times vs. the Steelers, Baltimore could pull off its second-straight road playoff win.

6. The Steelers will win if ...

QB Ben Roethlisberger can pick apart the Ravens secondary. Which he should do. Aside from Reed, who’s still world class, and Chris Carr, Baltimore’s defensive backs corps is awfully mediocre.

7. Prediction: Steelers 16, Ravens 10



Posted on: January 6, 2011 10:59 pm
 

Polamalu is one popular dude

T. Polamalu sold the most jerseys in the NFL this year. Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Tim Tebow didn’t lead the league in jersey sales this season (that’s shocking for the Wonder Boy, I know). Neither did Drew Brees nor Peyton Manning nor Tom Brady nor Roger Goodell nor Michael Vick (nor Ron Mexico for that matter).

You know who did? Troy Polamalu.

According to CNBC’s Darren Rovell, Polamalu is the first defensive player to earn this distinction since Brian Urlacher in 2006.

The list:

1. Polamalu

2, Brees

3. Tebow

4. Manning

5. Brady

6. Vick

7. Aaron Rodgers

8. Eli Manning

9. DeSean Jackson

10. Mark Sanchez

11. Tony Romo

12. Brett Favre

As Rovell writes, Vick wasn’t even in the top-25 of jersey sales through Halloween (I guess being pretty awesome at quarterback helps your bottom line). Meanwhile, Favre hasn’t been this low since 2006 when he finished 14th (I guess being a lightning rod for criticism, sexual and otherwise, helps kill your Q rating).

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Posted on: January 2, 2011 11:38 am
Edited on: January 2, 2011 11:48 am
 

Week 17 AFC Inactives

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

First, those who ARE active: Browns RB Peyton Hillis, Steelers S Troy Polamalu, Ravens TE Todd Heap

And those who are INACTIVE:

A whole mess of Jets starters, including CB Darrelle Revis, CB Antonio Cromartie, RB LaDainian Tomlinson and RB Shonn Greene.

A whole mess of Patriots starters, including LB Tully Banta-Cain, WR Deion Branch, TE Aaron Hernandez and WR Wes Welker.

Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, Bills: He missed three practice this week with a bad knee.

Dan Connolly, G, Patriots: Hasn't been seen since his amazing near-TD kickoff return with a head injury.

Chad Ochocinco, WR, Bengals: For a guy who might be playing his last game with Cincinnati, this is a quiet way to go out.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .
Posted on: January 1, 2011 11:48 am
 

Injury Report analysis Part I

Posted by Andy Benoit

Because a handful of teams have nothing to play for in Week 17, deciphering the injury report can be a very inexact – and, frankly, pointless – science. Thus, we’ll only bother analyzing the injury reports from games that carry playoff implications.

Bengals @ Ravens

Chad Ochocinco is once again out with an ankle. Have we already seen his last game as a Bengal? TE Jermaine Gresham is doubtful with a knee. Cornerback Jonathan Joseph, who has missed five games this season, is fighting an ankle.

The Ravens will be without LB Tavares Gooden (shoulder). Gooden is a nice athlete with iffy on-field awareness. TE Todd Heap is questionable with a thigh injury; fortunately Baltimore has plenty of depth at his position.

Steelers @ Browns

Pittsburgh has been hoping all season that DE Aaron Smith can return from his October triceps injury. He has resumed workouts but isn’t ready to play in Week 17. A win would give the Steelers a bye and, ostensibly, a greater chance at getting Smith on the field in their first playoff game. Same concept applies to SS Troy Polamalu, who has missed the past few weeks with an Achilles injury. Polamalu may actually not need the bye, though. He was a full participant in practice this week and is listed as questionable.

Browns RB Peyton Hillis did not practice and is questionable with a ribs injury. DL Shaun Rogers has missed the last two games and is questionable with an ankle. DE Kenyon Coleman is also questionable (kM. Jones-Drew (US Presswire)nee).

Jaguars @ Texans

This injury report might as well read “Jacksonville’s playoff hopes tarnished”. QB David Garrard is out for the season after surgery to repair ligament damage in his right middle finger. RB Maurice Jones-Drew is once again on the shelf with a knee. He’ll need surgery after the season, as well. TE Zach Miller is out with a concussion. SS Courtney Green continues to be hampered by a shoulder. The Jags D has been gashed with Green’s backup, Sean Considine, filling in.

Fantasy owners take note: the Texans will be without superstar WR Andre Johnson.

Titans @ Colts

Tennessee’s entire roster is questionable with a heart issue. Aside from that, everyone is healthy.

Injuries have defined Indy’s season. The only major change on the injury front this week is that LB Clint Session (elbow) might finally return.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .

Posted on: December 23, 2010 4:59 pm
 

Steelers vs. Panthers, Cards vs. Cowboys Podcast

Posted by Will Brinson

If you happen to be stuck at work for the next little bit, we've got a great way to kill off the rest of your workday -- a good old-fashioned podcast preview.

Andy and I break down the Thursday night and Saturday night NFL games and discuss whether or not the Cowboys should turn to Stephen McGee instead of Jon Kitna. We also start to talk about Steelers vs. Panthers, realize how things will play out and come to the startling realization that whether or not the Panthers draft a quarterback in April could lend an interesting clue to the future of labor negotiations, not to mention the future of the Jimmy Clausen.

All those issues handled (plus, much, much more) below -- just hit the play button below and don't forget to Subscribe via iTunes.

If you can't view the podcast, click here to download .
Posted on: December 23, 2010 12:04 pm
 

Vick dominating holiday season jersey sales

Posted by Andy Benoit
M. Vick (US Presswire)
We all know Michael Vick’s popularity has surged in recent weeks – the Pro Bowl fan vote tallies tell us that. It’s one thing to vote for a player; it’s another to spend money on him. Below is perhaps the greatest piece of evidence that football fans (and perhaps only football fans) have not just forgiven Vick but have embraced him. Via Philly.com is a list of the 10 highest selling jerseys in the NFL during the holiday shopping season (i.e. the past four weeks). Three of those ten jerseys belong to Vick. Here's the list (courtesy of Philly.com): 

1. Michael Vick replica (jade)

2. Mark Sanchez replica team (green)

3. Michael Vick youth replica (white)

4. Hakeem Nicks replica team (blue)

5. Peyton Manning toddler/child (royal)

6. Eli Manning (blue)

7. Troy Polamalu (black)

8. LaDainian Tomlinson (green)

9. Michael Vick (black)

10. Troy Polamalu replica (black)

Jersey sales offer a different perspective on a player’s popularity than Q ratings and opinion polls. Generally, a person only shells out $100 for a jersey if they’re a hardcore fan of a particular team. That’s why four players from the big-market New York teams made the list. And it’s no surprise that Troy Polamalu, the star of football’s most popular team (aside from the Cowboys), is on there twice. Philadelphia is a big market, but it’s behind New York, Chicago and Dallas/Fort Worth.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .
Posted on: December 21, 2010 11:19 am
 

Hot Routes 12.21.10: Ryan Leaf's Trilogy???

Posted by Will Brinson



Got a link for the Hot Routes? Hit us up on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL).
  • Ryan Leaf, according to the Sporting News, is preparing to write a book about his career. Now, the obvious joke might be "I bet it's a short one!" right? Wrong. It's going to be a trilogy. The first installment will "cover four years" according to Leaf, "from the moment i decided to attend Washington State up through our Rose Bowl appearance in 1998." He also mentions "colorful characters" and "shenanigans," so it's bound to be a bestseller. Unlike the second and third installments, which should probably turn out as well as his NFL career.
  • Pat Bowlen and the beancounters in the Broncos organization may or may not be nudging Eric Studesville and politely screaming "START Tim Tebow SO WE CAN MAKE SOME MONEY!"
  • Devin Hester got a little choked up talking about his NFL record for returns on Monday and as Jerod Morris points out, it's nice to see such a humble and hard-working guy achieve such incredible success.
  • John Ourand makes some bold NFL-related (and other sports too) media predictions for the next 12 months over at Sports Business Journal. Obviously, his prediction about a CBS Sports channel is solely predicated on too-handsome-for-just-radio face. 
 
 
 
 
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