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View Full Version : Advancing to playoffs unlikely for Steelers; reasons abound


wiqidjuggalo
12-12-2006, 03:43 AM
Tuesday, December 12, 2006

By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Winning four of their past five games has put thoughts of making the playoffs into many a Steelers fan's head, and, perhaps, even the Steelers believe they still have a shot.

More likely, they soon will think of what might have been.

The Steelers will be eliminated from playoff contention this weekend even if they win Sunday as long as Jacksonville and Cincinnati both win, according to the NFL. The Steelers would lose tiebreakers to either team in any scenario if all three finish 9-7. Two wild-card teams make the playoffs from each conference.

Even coach Bill Cowher wondered aloud about some of his team's close losses during his news conference yesterday.

"I can think of two or three games that probably a year ago we would have won," Cowher said. "Who can say what those two or three games would create, momentum-wise, and what that creates opportunity wise?"

Forget the momentum, two or three more victories would have given the Steelers a record of 8-5 or 9-4 and in the lead for at least a wild-card playoff berth or hot on the heals of Baltimore for the AFC North Division title. Instead, they are 6-7 and must win their final three games to have a small chance at making it as a wild-card team at 9-7.

"We understand where we are," Cowher said. "It's the same place we've been. We have no margin of error. We have three games left and three very tough opponents beginning this week with Carolina."

Three, possibly four losses, rank among the most galling to them this season:

The Bengals beat them, 28-20, Sept. 24 in Heinz Field, even though the Steelers outgained them in yards, 365-246. A turning point came early when, with a 7-0 lead and a first down on Cincinnati's 6, Ben Roethlisberger threw an interception in the end zone. That happened twice among his three interceptions. The Steelers also lost two fumbles, one by punt-returner Ricardo Colclough in the fourth quarter, when the Steelers led, 17-14, that set up a touchdown.

The Falcons beat them, 41-38, in overtime in Atlanta Oct. 22, although the Steelers outgained them, 473-399. There were no interceptions, but there were three lost fumbles by the Steelers, each of which the Falcons converted into touchdowns. The Steelers had a 17-7 lead in the second quarter.

Officials called a false-start penalty as the Steelers were spiking the ball near the end of regulation to try a 51-yard field goal and, by rule, 10 seconds were run off the clock to send the game into overtime. That prompted Dan Rooney to say, "These officials should be ashamed of themselves."

The Steelers never led in a 20-13 loss at Oakland Oct. 29, but they outgained the Raiders, 360-98. The Raiders returned two Roethlisberger interceptions for touchdowns, one for 100 yards, two of four interceptions he threw. Oakland has not won a game since and is 2-11.

Denver won, 31-20, in Heinz Field, although the Steelers outgained the Broncos, 499-336. Roethlisberger threw three interceptions, and the Steelers lost three of their six fumbles.

Most NFL teams can point to games they should have won. Even the Steelers could do so last season despite winning the Super Bowl -- 23-20 at home to New England, 23-17 in overtime at home to Jacksonville, 16-13 in overtime in Baltimore and 38-31 to Cincinnati at home, despite outgaining them 474-324.

That's why, when Cowher said that last season they might have won the close games they're losing this season, it is not necessarily so.

"Going into last week's game we were 5-7, and somebody asked what was the difference between last year," Cowher said. "Last year, we were 7-5. You're talking about a two-game difference."

Of course, they won a close game too, 24-20, in Cleveland.

"We are where we are and we're dealing with it," Cowher said. "We have the opportunity ahead of us now. We will need help.

"But we've got to take care of business, and those other things will take care of themselves."

They always do; there's just not much chance they will take care of themselves in the Steelers' favor this time.



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(Ed Bouchette can be reached at ebouchette@post-gazette.com. )

Eztarget
12-12-2006, 10:17 AM
Do you really need to post all the articles on the post gazette here? We all know where to find them on the net. Or at least post them all in one thread.

Steelers
12-12-2006, 10:37 AM
They've been covering this same story for weeks.

tony hipchest
12-12-2006, 10:39 AM
They've been covering this same story for weeks.yeah, its odd. people in pittsburgh really seem interested if the steelers can make the playoffs.

Atlanta Dan
12-12-2006, 11:06 AM
They've been covering this same story for weeks.

Unfortunately, they cannot write any stories on whether the Steelers are going to get a first round bye or qualify for home field advantage throughout the playoffs, so long shot scenarios on making the playoffs are about all that is left other than random speculation about where Cowher will be spending his Sundays next fall.

Mosca
12-12-2006, 11:24 AM
Hey, for those of us who are not in Pittsburgh it's great to come to one place and read all the articles. I appreciate people taking the time to post them.


Tom

james203
12-13-2006, 05:10 PM
those were good articles.the steelers are looking good now but it may just be to late.steelers should @ least be 10-3 instead of 6-7.losing to cincinnati, oakland,atlanta & denver was total BS.the steelers are a damn good team & i hope they win big time against the panthers,ravens & bengals.

fansince'76
12-13-2006, 07:42 PM
losing to cincinnati, oakland,atlanta & denver was total BS

I was gonna say, I can think of at least four reasons our players will be playing golf in January. Giveaways, complete giveaways. This frustrating-as-hell season can't end soon enough for me. :banging:

Stlrs4Life
12-13-2006, 10:10 PM
As Myron would say, "Just Faaaa!"

floodcitygirl
12-14-2006, 09:30 AM
Hey, for those of us who are not in Pittsburgh it's great to come to one place and read all the articles. I appreciate people taking the time to post them.


TomDefinately :iagree: Very much appreciated, everyone!

SteelCityMan786
12-14-2006, 02:58 PM
There are also some of us who don't subscribe to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and some of us can't get to the Convience Stores all the time to buy one.

Eztarget
12-14-2006, 03:00 PM
Hey, for those of us who are not in Pittsburgh it's great to come to one place and read all the articles. I appreciate people taking the time to post them.


Tom

Then try going to the post gazette's webpage???? They conveniently put them all under sports/steelers. :smile:

You don't need to subscribe to the PG to read their webpage. Here's the link:

http://www.post-gazette.com/steelers/

sumo
12-14-2006, 03:37 PM
Do you really need to post all the articles on the post gazette here? We all know where to find them on the net. Or at least post them all in one thread.

I agree with Tom and I think you might be missing his point a little bit - he wasn't just referring to one source of info -- I have come to depend on the forum as a filter for most of my info on the Steelers, NFL, racism, politics, mideast crisis, etc - IMHO, all of the members (especially the locals) do a great job of providing the most interesting reading out there - so please keep posting - and I will promise to keep providing the point of view shared by most circus clowns..

Much Peace!!

Sumo

warddj86
12-14-2006, 04:52 PM
if cincy loses the last 3 games, which is possilble considering they play on monday night in indianapolis, in denver, and then at home when the steelers visit. if cincy loses out, and steelers win out, then baltimore would win the division, steelers get the wild card at 9-7, and jacksonville would probably get the other wild card, like last year, and bengals miss at 8-8.

Although cincy losing is possible, pittsburgh winning out is a harder challenge, look at the steelers remaining schedule

at Carolina(6-7)
vs. Baltimore(10-3)
at Cincinatti(8-5)

baltimore's what im worried about 27-0 in baltimore, i live in cleveland so i didnt get to see thhat game but it probably wouldve not been a fun game to watch, although, the steelers have the advantage, they want it more and are hard to beat at home.

lamberts-lost-tooth
12-16-2006, 09:18 AM
Then try going to the post gazette's webpage???? They conveniently put them all under sports/steelers. :smile:

You don't need to subscribe to the PG to read their webpage. Here's the link:

http://www.post-gazette.com/steelers/

OR...you can go to the post gazette website and those of us who like to have the articles posted here (as they have been longer than you and I have been here)..can read them in the forum.

See...easy compromise....

I am one of those people who will post articles from various sources...no just the PG..but several sources...so that the people in this forum will remain the most up-to-date...best-informed fans in the world.