View Full Version : Carucci: Which 3-1 Teams are Legitimate Contenders? (Steelers/Seahawks)

10-06-2007, 03:14 PM
Steelers and Seahawks excerpts from the article (story link follows). It's a good assessment of the Steelers' strengths and weaknesses, I think:

Pittsburgh Steelers
This is what makes them legitimately good: The NFL's second-ranked defense, which is eighth against the run and pass; the league's third-best rushing attack, and a smart, even-tempered rookie coach in Mike Tomlin. The Steelers are capable of making most opposing offenses one-dimensional, which opens the door for defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau to turn loose his wide variety of zone-blitzing (the Steelers have gotten sacks from nine different players this season). Offensive coordinator Bruce Arians has shown a willingness to be more wide open with the passing game, although that didn't work so well in a Week 4 loss at Arizona. The Steelers still tend to be at their best when they use their traditional power-oriented approach.

This is what makes them potentially vulnerable: A big-play passing attack can have success against the Steelers' secondary, especially on the perimeter. The Seahawks will pose such a challenge in Week 5. Ben Roethlisberger has rebounded well from his poor 2006 season, but still is not a consistently proficient pocket passer. When faced with pressure, his first instinct is to run outside. Opponents that do a good job of containing him can force him to take sacks or hurry him into poor throws.

Seattle Seahawks
This is what makes them legitimately good: A strong passing game, with efficient Matt Hasselbeck throwing to speedy receivers Deion Branch and Nate Burleson, as well as savvied veteran Bobby Ingram. The ability to run the ball well, provided Shaun Alexander is healthy. A relentless pass rush, led by linebacker Julian Peterson along with Patrick Kerney and Daryl Tapp coming off the edges. The Seahawks trust cornerbacks Marcus Trufant and Kelly Jennings to play man coverage most of the time (although that could prove dangerous against Pittsburgh receivers Santonio Holmes and Nate Washington), which gives them extra people to crowd the line and force opponents to become one-dimensional. Their pass rush usually gets the job done on third-and-long.

This is what makes them potentially vulnerable: Alexander's shaky health, which has contributed to the Seahawks' ranking 17th in the NFL in rushing. Center Chris Spencer has excellent mobility, but lacks the power to be consistently effective when facing larger and stronger defensive tackles.

http://www.nfl.com/news/story;jsessionid=8D1803861E41C834CCAD567BC3C3B57A? id=09000d5d802fcaf3&template=with-video&confirm=true

Bill Gates Jr.
10-06-2007, 03:46 PM
From ESPN.COM's power rankings... in which Seattle is ranked ahead of the Steelers...

Ranking the first four teams a month into the season is a relatively easy process -- it just requires finding the teams with a spotless record. But what about the second-tier teams, the ones with a single loss? Those teams may have gotten off to good starts, but have they really shown their true colors? Is there a this year's version of the 2006 Saints, who were 3-1 in the first four weeks and eventually reached the NFC title game?

Of the 3-1 teams, the Seahawks are perhaps the most proven commodity because of their recent track record. Yes, they've sputtered at times, but their one loss came at Arizona, a place where the previously undefeated Steelers lost last weekend. The Steelers host the Seahawks, by the way, in a battle of 3-1s on Sunday.

10-06-2007, 03:56 PM
From ESPN.COM's power rankings... in which Seattle is ranked ahead of the Steelers...

Wow - is that gonna affect our BCS chances? :coffee:

10-06-2007, 03:57 PM
I think they all predicted the Bengals to take the division this year , too.

Bill Gates Jr.
10-06-2007, 04:01 PM
Wow - is that gonna affect our BCS chances? :coffee:

Just adding to the debate on the best 3-1 teams... We do have that one thing in common... we let one slip away in the desert. Imagine if this was a battle of the undefeateds!!!

Hey mod, can I get the ability to post links... or do I always have to copy and paste text? Pics too for that matter. Hate to say it but I don't plan on sticking around for 25 posts...