No PowerTuesday, December 20, 2011
It was going to be hard to overshadow the latest Ben Roethlisberger injury Monday night. A blown transformer in San Francisco did just that.
The power went out at Candlestick Park twice, delaying the start of the game by about 20 minutes and causing another pause in the action in the second quarter. Strange. And when they were playing ball, the power was out in the Steelers’ offense.
Roethlisberger played at far less than 100 percent, throwing three interceptions for the first time since Week 1. It was very obvious his ankle played a major role in that as he had no velocity on his throws and couldn’t drive off his front foot. More importantly, his trademark mobility in the pocket was reduced to nil.
Thanks to this loss, the Steelers' hopes at a first-round bye in the playoffs took a major hit. It’s very possible that they’ll give Roethlisberger some much-needed rest in fantasy’s Super Bowl week. The Steelers know they can beat the Rams at home with Charlie Batch and a heavy dose of Rashard Mendenhall. Owners of Big Ben, Antonio Brown and Mike Wallace need to be on alert.
STEELERS at 49ERS RANDOM THOUGHTS
Rashard Mendenhall played with a ton of energy considering it’s Week 15. If he replicates that against the lowly Rams next week, he’ll have a huge game. … Antonio Brown was robbed of two catches. One by official review and another by a cheap chop-block call. … Braylon Edwards was inactive. Kyle Williams is a better player right now. … Ted Ginn left with an ankle injury. … Ike Taylor shadowed Michael Crabtree and did a good job. … Frank Gore is chugging along at less than 100 percent, but at least he’s showing toughness. The problem is a lack of upside.
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INJURY QUICK SLANTS: QUARTERBACKS AND WIDE RECEIVERS
Sam Bradford (ankle) is not expected to play again this season. … Colt McCoy’s (concussion) status remains unclear. … Johnny Knox is looking at a 3-4 month recovery after Monday back surgery. … Kevin Kolb (concussion) is still bothered by light and noise. … A.J. Green (shoulder) is expected to play through a shoulder sprain in Week 16. … Stevie Johnson (groin) was held out as a precaution late in Week 15. He should be fine.
INJURY CHART QUICK SLANTS: RUNNING BACKS AND TIGHT ENDS
Chris Johnson popped up with a sore ankle Monday, but is expected to be fine. … The Raiders are still calling Darren McFadden (foot) day to day. Not buying it. … Dallas Clark (neck) did not practice Monday. The Colts play on Thursday. … Jake Ballard (knee) may be done for the year. … Willis McGahee’s hamstring tweak does not sound like a real concern.
DEPTH CHART QUICK SLANTS
The Titans will stick with Matt Hasselbeck as long as he’s healthy enough to play. Dumb decision. … Earl Bennett and Roy Williams are expected to be the Bears’ top-two wideouts going forward. … Kyle Rudolph played more snaps than Visanthe Shiancoe for the first time all season in Week 15. … Golden Tate continues to lead the Seahawks’ wideouts in snaps weekly. … Demaryius Thomas is locked in ahead of Eddie Royal. … Caleb Hanie is on thin ice as the Bears’ starter. …
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DEFENSIVE SPOT STARTS
Adding a different defense/special teams each week based on matchups is a fine strategy. Here are units that might be on waivers to consider this week for streaming purposes:
1. BENGALS vs. Cardinals - The warm-weather Cards aren’t going to like the potentially chilly conditions in Cincy. The Bengals are in all-out must-win mode and figure to play an attacking, desperate style against John Skelton -- who has thrown 10 picks in his last five games.
2. TITANS vs. Jaguars - We’ve attacked the Jags almost every week and it’s paid off. They rank dead last in yards per game and have given up the seventh-most sacks in the league. Titans should be focused as they come home after a road loss in Indy.
3. PACKERS vs. Bears - Don’t get scared off by the Packers’ Week 15 dud in Kansas City. No matter who starts at quarterback for the Bears, there figures to be plenty of chances for turnovers.