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83-Steelers-43
10-16-2007, 02:27 AM
Patriots least of Steelers' concerns now
By Scott Brown
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The players trickled into the Steelers' South Side facility Monday for meetings following a three-day weekend that constituted the only extended break they will get for at least the next couple of months.

Those that took advantage of the bye week to watch New England's game Sunday, as running back Willie Parker planned to do, may be asking themselves the same question as most football fans: is every other team in the NFL, including the Steelers, playing for second place?

The Patriots are 6-0 after quarterback Tom Brady was surgical in his dissection of the previously unbeaten Cowboys, and New England looks good enough to make a run at perfection this season.

Of course, before the Steelers worry about whether they can hang with the Patriots -- the teams meet in Foxboro, Mass. on Dec. 9 -- or challenge for league supremacy, they have to make sure they are the class of the AFC North.

So far, so good through the first six weeks of the season.

The Steelers are 4-1, and while they only have a half-game lead over the second-place Ravens, Baltimore hasn't looked nearly as strong as it was a year ago when it went 13-3 and won the AFC North handily.

Meanwhile, the Bengals (1-4) have lost four games in a row and appear to be in free fall, and the Browns (3-3) have to win a game outside of the 440 area code before they are considered legitimate contenders in the division.

The Steelers have been following what their AFC North rivals are doing, since winning a division title is the most direct route to the playoffs (i.e. teams don't need to depend on help from others to qualify for postseason play).

"We definitely root for those guys to lose," Steelers linebacker Larry Foote said. "So much football is left you really can't think we made it because it can switch. It's going to be a tight race."

The Steelers have to like their position in the race, and not just because they sit atop the division.

Their remaining schedule includes a pair of teams that are still winless (Dolphins and Rams). Take the Patriots out of the equation, and the 10 other games that the Steelers play in the regular season come against teams that have a combined record of 20-36.

The Steelers can separate themselves in the division during an upcoming three-game stretch in which they visit the Bengals and play the Ravens and Browns at Heinz Field.

"We still haven't played the Bengals, still haven't played the Ravens," free safety Ryan Clark said, "so we'll have a little better standing of where we are then. Obviously, Cleveland's a better team than they showed the first week."

The Ravens are still the biggest threat to the Steelers in the AFC North.

But their remaining schedule is more difficult, at least on paper, than that of the Steelers, and they continue to struggle on offense.

The Ravens managed just one touchdown against the hapless Rams on Sunday. Prior to their 22-3 win over St. Louis, they had gone 13 possessions without a touchdown.

"We just need to come out and keep playing well," Clark said, "and try to win as many games as we can."

What lies ahead

The Ravens still have a brutal three-game stretch on their schedule, and the Browns have to prove they can win outside of Cleveland. Here is a look at the toughest games remaining for the Steelers' AFC North rivals:

Ravens (4-2)
Games: Nov. 5 at Steelers; Nov. 25 at Chargers; Dec. 3 Patriots; Dec. 9 Colts

Browns (3-3)
Games: Nov. 11 at Steelers; Nov. 18 at Ravens; Dec. 2 at Cardinals; Dec. 23 at Bengals.

Bengals (1-4)
Games: Nov. 11 at Ravens; Nov. 25 Titans; Dec. 2 at Steelers; Dec. 15 at 49ers

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_532806.html

Haiku_Dirtt
10-16-2007, 02:48 AM
This game may make the pathetic and painfully redundant ESPN a few good story lines but the bottom line is zero.

We aren't in their division and we aren't trying to go 16-0. I'd be happy to lose to the Pats if it's our third or fourth loss. Reversal of Fortune.

The bigger game at that juncture of our season will be Jacksonville if the Ravens won't cooperate and go away.

Galax Steeler
10-16-2007, 05:04 AM
I just think we need to focus on winning the afc north and let every thing else just play out including the patriots they may loose 1 or 2 games before they get to us.

Edman
10-16-2007, 02:46 PM
The Steelers need to get out of their own division before they can even think of competing with the Patriots and Colts. And that starts with taking care of the Denver Donkeys.

BurghZ0n3
10-16-2007, 02:53 PM
The ARMY OF DARKNESS (Pats) is undoubtedly considered BITTER RIVALRY for us....more than ever! We gotta stop 'em humiliating our team (unlike Dallas, coz it was once in a blue moon that they meet each other). :banging:

BurghZ0n3
10-16-2007, 03:51 PM
my prediction is....it will be B&G (11-1) vs PATS (11-1) on Dec 9, considering their loss against COLTS. This would be a HUGE MATCH UP!!! :tt02::tt02::tt02:

jjpro11
10-16-2007, 04:02 PM
we're fans though.. we can hate the pats whenever we want.

steelpride12
10-16-2007, 04:11 PM
Ya i hate the Pats because of how darn good they are, but no perfect! Im excited about playing them, but im afraid if there good defense shuts down parker we will struggle. But overall we should win our division strong prob. by 2-3 games hopefully a 12-4 record and make the playoffs and see the pats once again!

KYSteelersfan
10-16-2007, 04:23 PM
I know a guy who knows a guy named Vinnie Bagodonuts that would/could make a special trip to Foxboro, MA the week of Dec 9.

On the other hand, it will be a good game regardless of the team(s) records

memphissteelergirl
10-16-2007, 04:30 PM
I know a guy who knows a guy named Vinnie Bagodonuts that would/could make a special trip to Foxboro, MA the week of Dec 9.

On the other hand, it will be a good game regardless of the team(s) records


:toofunny::toofunny::toofunny::toofunny:

JackHammer
10-16-2007, 04:41 PM
This game may make the pathetic and painfully redundant ESPN a few good story lines but the bottom line is zero.

I'd be happy to lose to the Pats if it's our third or fourth loss.


I'd never be happy to lose to the Pats.

SteelersMongol
10-16-2007, 09:38 PM
we're fans though.. we can hate the pats whenever we want.

Yes. The Pats used to be the team that I respect, cuz somehow they manage to come out on top most of the time we played them. But now it's different. I didn't know they were using cameras and all.

This year is tough that now they are trying to win all the games out of frustration because of not being able to use cameras. :smile: The game against them would be tough.

Stlrs4Life
10-16-2007, 10:21 PM
The Steelers need to get out of their own division before they can even think of competing with the Patriots and Colts. And that starts with taking care of the Denver Donkeys.



I agree, we need to worry about our own selves. Each team plays every other team different. I stil go by the "Any given Sunday" . Remember, the Steelers never make it easy on themselves!

Borski
10-16-2007, 11:33 PM
I wont be worried about the Pats game until December 3rd

bratsinmybelly
10-17-2007, 02:16 AM
This game may make the pathetic and painfully redundant ESPN a few good story lines but the bottom line is zero.

We aren't in their division and we aren't trying to go 16-0. I'd be happy to lose to the Pats if it's our third or fourth loss. Reversal of Fortune.

The bigger game at that juncture of our season will be Jacksonville if the Ravens won't cooperate and go away.

Great post! I agree 100% I really believe in the whole "reversal of fortune" theory. It's so very hard in this day and age to beat a good team twice. We rode that theory all the way to the trophy in '05. The Colts made us look silly on Monday night that year only to have us return the favor when it mattered.

We have also been on the other side of this when we destroyed the Patriots on Halloween in '04 only to be clobbered at home by them in the playoffs.

I know it's un-thinkable that a loss could be good, but it would also have all of the blow-hards in the press writing us off as pretenders if we lost to the Pats. We always seem to play better as underdogs. Someday I would like to see us buck that trend and just purely dominate but right now, I think we still need that little motivation that comes with being dis-respected. So with that I say .....*gulp*.... go Pats? :tomato: