PITTSBURGH (AP) -The Pittsburgh Steelers might be sitting pretty in the AFC playoff race, but winning 10 games has been anything but typical.
Over the past four decades, the Steelers have hung their hat offensively on the running game. This season, however, their run offense is ranked 23rd in the NFL, the second lowest ranking for the team since 1970.
Pittsburgh can clinch a division title by beating division rival Baltimore on Sunday, but the lack of a consistent running game is becoming a concern.
``The only reason it's a concern is it decreases our chances of winning,'' coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday. ``Down the stretch, you've got to be able to run the football and control the football against good people, close out football games, so we've got to continue to work at it.''
Six times this season, the Steelers have failed to gain at least 100 yards rushing. They are averaging 103.8 yards per game and 3.6 per carry. In a come-from-behind win against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, the team had only 70 yards on 26 carries - a dismal 2.7 average.
game success was partially based on the fact we didn't get a chance to run it as much as we'd like, more than anything,'' Tomlin said.
Willie Parker had only 12 carries for 25 yards Sunday to give him 597 for the season. Mewelde Moore has 521 yards this season but carried only five times for 22 yards against the Cowboys.
The lack of a ground game has Pittsburgh ranked 26th in the league in yardage (302.8 per game) and 20th in points per game (22.2). Still, the Steelers have moved the ball when needed, sustaining drives during the fourth quarter and in overtime.
``I find comfort in that,'' Tomlin said. ``Now, do we need to get better and be more consistent and play 60 minutes of winning football offensively? Absolutely. The big thing is we find a way to possess the ball, control the clock.''
Also Tuesday, Tomlin had good news on the injury front. Only fullback Carey Davis sustained an injury against the Cowboys. He has a calf strain and is questionable for the Baltimore game.
Defensive end Brett Keisel has missed the past two games due to a knee injury but Tomlin said he is ``getting closer, close enough to merit consideration to play'' Sunday.

NFL Team Pages

Recent NFL Discussions