Found December 18, 2012 on
SteelBlitz Steelers Blog:
When Ike Taylor went down with an ankle injury against the Ravens in week 13 the Steelers were able to still beat the Baltimore Ravens. But in that game Anquan Boldin played very well against Cortez Allen, Taylor’s back-up, and scored a touchdown. Charlie Batch’s heroics late were enough to win the game for the Steelers, but there was worry about when Taylor would return.
Two more games later and Steeler Nation may for once be ready to give Taylor his due. Ike Taylor has been the top corner for the Steelers for many years, but has never been looked at as a solid player. Fans and analysts have repeatedly shrugged off his success as part of a great defense.
In 2011 he had arguably the best season of his career, but when he struggled in the playoffs the criticism returned. His play, outside of that one playoff game, has been consistent into the 2o12 season and he is once again a part of the number one pass defense in the league.
Even so he was still not given his due. With his safeties missing multiple games with injury people were still making excuses for his quality play. When Taylor shut down AJ Green earlier this season it went heavily unnoticed. However, if Green goes off against the Steelers’ back-up corners this week maybe people will finally give Taylor the credit he deserves.
AJ Green has over 1200 yards receiving and averages over 85 yards a game, but in his match-up with Taylor he had eight yards on only one catch. It’s unlikely the Steelers will be as lucky Sunday when Green will match-up with Keenan Lewis or Cortez Allen, both of whom are battling injuries.
During the past two games without Taylor the Steelers defense has looked completely different. Sunday against the Cowboys they allowed 341 passing yards to Tony Romo, that is almost double their season average for passing yards allowed (including that game).
If Taylor is unable to return to the lineup this week the Steelers will need to have a very good game plan to shut down AJ Green. The following week against the Cleveland Browns they may be less hindered, but if they make the playoffs (and that’s a big if at this point) they will need Taylor in the lineup if they don’t want to get bounced in the first round.
Injury Update: Ike Taylor is no longer wearing a boot, but labels himself as 50/50 to play against the Browns in week 17. Keenan Lewis (hip) and Cortez Allen (groin) are both expected to play Sunday against the Bengals.
The post Ike Taylor’s Importance to Steelers Showing in His Absence appeared first on SteelBlitz.
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Thanks to Benson for sending this over.
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— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 17, 2012
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