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Atlanta Dan
10-11-2006, 12:55 PM
Don Banks writes about the Steelers as follows:

Q: Do the Steelers have another season-saving run on the way?

A: We're not writing off the defending Super Bowl champs after four games, and their tough early schedule -- at Jacksonville, Cincinnati, at San Diego -- has had plenty to do with their uninspiring 1-3 start. But Steelers fans have to be concerned with Ben Roethlisberger's lack of production (seven interceptions, no touchdowns, 41.7 QB rating) and the way opponents are beating Pittsburgh physically up front (see losses to the Jaguars and the Chargers).

The Steelers have lost their identity in the first quarter of the season, and they can't wait any longer to reestablish it than this week's home game against Kansas City. It's must-win time already, because a Week 7 trip to Atlanta looms, and we know the Falcons can push people around with both their offensive and defensive fronts.

Pittsburgh needs to be at .500 after its eighth game in order to give itself a chance to make a second-half charge. Anything less than 4-4 at that point and the Steelers will probably be too far back in the AFC wild-card hunt to repeat their December-January magic of last season.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2006/writers/don_banks/10/10/ten.questions/2.html

Paul Zimmerman follows up with another accurate take in which he puts the Steelers at #22 in his weekly rankings, although as attentive as I thought him to be I was surprised to read he does not know Troy is hurt.

I'm tired of *****-footing, keeping them artificially inflated because of what they once were or could be. Let 'em live down here with the desperate people and work their way up. Here's what I saw when the feared Steelers defense faced young Philip Rivers -- I saw a unit that gave the appearance of a heavy rush. I mean a lot thrashing about, without the wall being pierced. I saw popular notions destroyed. Was Joey Porter really on the field, or is he on the lam from something? The other winger, Clark Haggans, actually is a better pass-rusher at this point. OK, Porter gets his share of double-teaming, but all the good ones do. And here's the real mystery: What's happened to All-Pro Troy Polamalu? I've never seen a good player miss so many tackles. Is he playing hurt and not telling anybody?

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2006/writers/dr_z/10/11/ranks.part3/index.html

Getting to 4-4 does not seem to be enough to get the season back on the rails, although that presumably would mean the Steelers had beat the Chiefs and Raiders while splitting with the Falcons and Broncos. Under the circumstances 4-4 looks optimistic these days.

At this point I will settle for a win over the Chiefs, a game in which the Steelers have no business being favored by 7 points.

MattsMe
10-11-2006, 08:32 PM
Realistic Assessments from SI is an oxymoron.

Atlanta Dan
10-11-2006, 08:37 PM
Realistic Assessments from SI is an oxymoron.

Exactly what did Banks or Dr. Z state with which you disagree? - seemed straightforward to me.

Livinginthe past
10-12-2006, 03:58 AM
Exactly what did Banks or Dr. Z state with which you disagree? - seemed straightforward to me.

SI (and other sports writers) are part of a left wing conspiracy to deprive the Steelers of credit :wink02:

NM

Steel Pit
10-12-2006, 05:13 AM
I believe that the Steelers can get to a 4-4 record. This should put them only 1 game out of 1st place in the AFC North. The Bengals and Ravens both have to play Carolina and they also play each other. We've already seen that the Ravens are overrated and the Bengals have problems running the ball, stopping the run and pass protection issues.

With that being said the Steelers need to just concentrate on the own problems i.e... Ben Roethlisbergers' poor decisons in the passing game and the even poorer play calls being sent down from the booth. We all know that this team is very capable of winning many games including the next 3. If they fail to do so then I guess we can all just assume that they're just not that good of a football team this year.

HometownGal
10-12-2006, 08:23 AM
I cannot disagree with anything in those articles. They nailed it pretty good. At this point, the Steelers need to do what jump-started their 8 game winning streak last season - focusing on one game at a time and not looking down the road.

Peezy doesn't seem to have his inner fires burning this season like we are used to seeing and since I don't want to speculate what the problems could possibly be, all I'm going to say is that we need him to really bring it on from this point on. He's a team leader and a defensive unit leader--I want to see that killer instinct in his eyes again - haven't seen it since last season.