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Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Pittsburgh Steelers preview

Pittsburgh's best offensive player: With QB Ben Roethlisberger still suspended, this title probably goes to ageless and fearless WR Hines Ward, 34, who manages to affect the game in ways beyond catching the football.

Pittsburgh's best defensive player: S Troy Polamalu already has two interceptions and has a particular knack for flying into ballcarriers like a heat-seeking missile.

What the Steelers do best: Grind it out. Pittsburgh, even without its franchise quarterback, has the ability to win tight games, with a defense that makes opponents earn every inch.

You can beat the Steelers if: You get their offense into third-and-long situations. The Bucs defense has excelled in those scenarios thus far, and the Steelers don't want to put this game in the hands of backup QB Charlie Batch, who was 5-of-11 and sacked twice against Tennessee last week.

The Bucs must avoid: Getting into third and long on offense. That's when Hall of Famer and defensive wizard Dick LeBeau will dial up blitzes that will leave QB Josh Freeman's head spinning and expose him to LB James Harrison and the Steelers' rabid pass rush.

Holder's prediction: Steelers 17, Bucs 16

Steelers offense

WR (86) Ward

LT (78) Starks

LG (68) Kemoeatu

C (53) Pouncey

RG (73) Foster

RT (71) Adams

TE (83) Miller

WR (17) Wallace

QB (16) Batch

RB (34) Mendenhall

FB (85) Johnson

Steelers defense

LDE (91) Smith

LDT (98) Hampton

RDT (99) Keisel

LOLB (56) Woodley

LILB (51) Farrior

RILB (94) Timmons

ROLB (92) Harrison

LCB (24) Taylor

RCB (20) McFadden

FS (25) Clark

SS (43) Polamalu

Bucs Offense

WR (19) M. Williams

LT (70) Penn

LG (68) Vincent

C (52) Faine

RG (75) Joseph

RT (65) Trueblood

TE (82) Winslow

WR (18) Stroughter

QB (5) Freeman

RB (24) C. Williams

FB (34) Graham

Bucs Defense

LDE (94) Moore

DT (93) McCoy

DT (90) Miller

RDE (91) White

OLB (58) Black

MLB (51) Ruud

OLB (54) Hayes

LCB (25) Talib

RCB (20) Barber

FS (35) Grimm

SS (26) Jones

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Pittsburgh Steelers preview 09/25/10 [Last modified: Sunday, September 26, 2010 12:38pm]
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