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mesaSteeler
12-11-2008, 05:50 PM
Pittsburgh Steelers: Super Bowl Contender or Lucky Pretender?
http://bleacherreport.com/articles/91095-pittsburgh-steelers-super-bowl-contender-or-lucky-pretender/show_full
by Matt Craig (Contributor)

Last Sunday, when Deshea Townsend intercepted Tony Romo on the Dallas 26-yard line and ran into the end zone for the go ahead touchdown that ultimately won the game, Bill Hillgrove was going nuts.

After reading Mike Craig's picks for Week 14, I left a comment and told him the Steelers would win the game.

After the game, I bragged about it in his comments. Mike told me the Steelers were lucky, which is something I have been hearing a lot.

There was nothing lucky about the Steelers' victory over the Cowboys.

It was not lucky that Santonio Holmes returned a punt 33 yards that set up a Jeff Reed field goal which made it a one possession game. The Steelers defense was dominating all day, making Romo throw errant passes.

The only blemishes against the Steelers were three plays.

The first was a 3rd-and-3 play when Tashard Choice ran for 22 yards, keeping the drive alive. That led to a Romo pass to Terrell Owens for a touchdown on a broken play.

Take away Choice's run—no touchdown.

The last play was a Romo pass to Choice that went for 50 yards and led to a Folk field goal which would be the last time Dallas scored.
Author Poll

The Steelers had a drive that saw them march down the field only to get shut down on the goal line by a good Dallas defense.

So after the 4th-and-goal, there was less than eight minutes left in the game.

Pittsburgh scored 17 points in eight minutes with good offense and defense, not luck.

Holmes' return, then the eight-play, 67-yard drive capped by a Ben Roethlisberger pass to Heath Miller for a touchdown to knot up the game, were not luck.

Townsend's pick was not lucky either.

Linebacker LaMarr Woodley pressured Romo into throwing when he was not ready and sailed the ball too high. Townsend was there to pick it off and score.

Mike Ditka from ESPN's NFL Countdown said the best team won—good teams find a way to win and average teams find a way to lose. Dallas found a way to lose.

To all the naysayers, Pittsburgh, in my opinion, is the team to beat in the AFC.

Keep this in mind—the Steelers had four comeback victories when they trailed in the fourth quarter: week 11 against San Diego, week five against Jacksonville, week four against Baltimore, which was won in overtime, and now the Dallas Cowboys fall victim to the last quarter heroics of the Steelers.

It wasn't lucky the Steelers started playing football at the right time and Dallas decided to quit playing.

The next two weeks will be real challenges for the Steelers, as they face Baltimore and Tennessee, who are the second and third ranked defenses in the league. Both games are on the road and will probably be like the Pittsburgh/Dallas game—low scoring.

Pittsburgh is a team that is up to the challenge. They are 8-1 versus the AFC this year.

Unlike the Steelers from last season, they are getting healthy at the right time and I'm personally looking forward to the next two weekends of the NFL.

Final Diagnosis: Super Bowl Contenders.

Will they make it there? I don't want to say yes and be disappointed later, but they will make a run for it.

The 2008 Steelers have the same qualities as the 2005 Steelers. It would be cool to see the Steelers write history again by being the first to six, but you have to play one week at a time and there is still a lot of football left.

TeeJay
12-11-2008, 05:56 PM
Mike told me the Steelers were lucky, which is something I have been hearing a lot.




Mike just needs to shut the f**k up

fansince'76
12-11-2008, 06:00 PM
After reading Mike Craig's picks for Week 14, I left a comment and told him the Steelers would win the game.

After the game, I bragged about it in his comments. Mike told me the Steelers were lucky, which is something I have been hearing a lot.

First off, who is Mike Craig (http://bleacherreport.com/users/48240-Mike-Craig)?

Mike's Bio

Freshman in college, I come from Oil City, Pennsylvania. Football is a big part of my life. In high school, I played in 9th grade. When I didn't start when I thought I should have, and because I didn't like the varsity coach, I decided not to play the following year. Instead I went to all of the games the Varsity and the JV teams had and cheered for our school. Or yelled when I thought the coach called a really dumb play. I always paid attention to the NFL. The Green Bay Packers have been my favorite football team since I was in the 2nd grade. Which at the point (I didn't know it) they had recently just won Super Bowl XXXI the previous year.

Which leads to the logical follow-up question: Why should I give a damn what he thinks? :coffee:

Dino 6 Rings
12-11-2008, 06:03 PM
Calling a time out, when Dallas ran on 1st down trying to get the game to OT is what lead to the INT. It forced Dallas to pass knowing we'd keep calling time outs to get them to punt to us and hopefully set up a game winning Field Goal Drive on a short field.

1:58 left to play ball at the Dallas 15. Shotgun formation, Run play, Choice gets 2 yards. Steelers call Time Out.

2nd and 8. Dallas Shotgun formation, Pass, INT.

Out Fcking Coached.

jdsdaguy
12-12-2008, 05:41 AM
:blah:i am so sick of hearing how good the titans are. they let the freakin jets beat em!!!!!! this guy is one of those idiots who always wants to go against the home team.(he said he grew up in penn.) he is probably fornicating with farves poster as we speak. the titans may have a decent team, but there record is soley based on a soft schedule. it really doesn't take a geniuos to figure that out. just another front runner or waggon groupy or what ever. my question is " where do you find these idiots?" the old saying goes, "good teams find a way to win", and yes, this is a good steelers team. so this dude can eat his words when we get lucky a few more times this season.:tt02:

VTsteel
12-12-2008, 05:55 AM
Contender or Pretender . . . I am not sure. But, I can say that our record is already better than I thought it would be (Thank You Defense). Before the season began I predicted a 9-7 record due to the tough schedule and preponderance of 4:00 games etc . . Now, we've already exceeded my expectations going in. Our offense is even better than I thought - Sure we are no juggernaut . . . but with this o-line, I thought for sure we'd be worse. And the defense is WAY better than anticipated - Sure I knew we'd be good . . . but not this good.

Final conclusion . . .

'08 Steelers are for real and definitely contenders!

Galax Steeler
12-12-2008, 05:56 AM
They can call it luck if they want to but we found a way to win and we did our deffense stepped up and played some good football I don't call that luck.

stillers4me
12-12-2008, 06:48 AM
Calling a time out, when Dallas ran on 1st down trying to get the game to OT is what lead to the INT. It forced Dallas to pass knowing we'd keep calling time outs to get them to punt to us and hopefully set up a game winning Field Goal Drive on a short field.

1:58 left to play ball at the Dallas 15. Shotgun formation, Run play, Choice gets 2 yards. Steelers call Time Out.

2nd and 8. Dallas Shotgun formation, Pass, INT.

Out Fcking Coached.

Tomlin............http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v11/sueincinci/Smileys/yess.gif

markymarc
12-12-2008, 07:43 AM
We keep winning and that has nothing to do with luck. Now we just need to take care of business on Sunday.

HometownGal
12-12-2008, 08:13 AM
The next two weeks will be real challenges for the Steelers, as they face Baltimore and Tennessee, who are the second and third ranked defenses in the league.

And Baltimore and Tennessee are both going to face the #1 ranked defense in the league, so those games will be challenges for them, as well. BITE ME.

LetsRock
12-12-2008, 08:39 AM
I am on the fence right now. Without a legitimate running game the Steelers lean "pretender". If Arians listens to Willie Parker and inserts a FB for him to follow then I will lean "contender".

The Duke
12-12-2008, 10:11 AM
And Baltimore and Tennessee are both going to face the #1 ranked defense in the league, so those games will be challenges for them, as well. BITE ME.

Well said

That's why I'm not worried about them

2nd and 3rd ranked defense? Face the #1 ranked defense :tt02:

El-Gonzo Jackson
12-12-2008, 10:37 AM
Which leads to the logical follow-up question: Why should I give a damn what he thinks? :coffee:

Come on '76........dont you know that anybody with a blog is a credible source? :rolleyes: (Man, we need a sarcasm smiley)

Penn Hills guy in NC
12-12-2008, 10:51 AM
No luck involved this past Sunday but we are not serious contenders unless we beat Baltimore this Sunday. Otherwise we'll have dug a hole for ourselves that may lead to a wild card at best.

This game at Baltimore tells the tale - win and we can claim we are contenders. Lose and we are singing the blues. This game is that pivitol. Tennessee will very likely kick our tails despite what some of you think, making this game against Baltimore pretty much a must-win situation. Sure, Tennessee lost to the Jets but you do remember who is QB for the Jets, don't ya'?

XxKnightxX
12-12-2008, 11:49 AM
Come on '76........dont you know that anybody with a blog is a credible source? :rolleyes: (Man, we need a sarcasm smiley)

Thats why blogging is just another media garbage disposal of writers. Some old 300 pound dude living in his moms basement cane suddenly become a blogger. I just finished taking a COMM class which involved this and hearing this teacher get all riled up about blogging and all that other crap just makes me sick to my stomach.

El-Gonzo Jackson
12-12-2008, 12:04 PM
Thats why blogging is just another media garbage disposal of writers. Some old 300 pound dude living in his moms basement cane suddenly become a blogger. I just finished taking a COMM class which involved this and hearing this teacher get all riled up about blogging and all that other crap just makes me sick to my stomach.

Is COMM for commuications or commerce?? Reading is never a bad thing, but thinking about what is written before you believe it is always a great thing. Otherwise I think we all might own some florida real estate that Eric Estrada was selling. Hope it was a good class.

The honest thing about this year's super bowl is I dont think there is any clear cut favorite. Should the Steelers be able to win it without a solid running game and offense.........NO. CAN they win it in spite of that sputtering offense, if their Defense is suffocating and gets 3 turnovers a game??? YES!!!

revefsreleets
12-12-2008, 12:57 PM
Well, it is a legitimate question despite the source.

With this defense? Contender.

xfl2001fan
12-12-2008, 01:12 PM
Final Diagnosis: Super Bowl Contenders.

The 2008 Steelers have the same qualities as the 2005 Steelers. It would be cool to see the Steelers write history again by being the first to six, but you have to play one week at a time and there is still a lot of football left.

Even this statement needs to be examined a little more closely.

The 2005 Steelers O-line played much better, the play calling was more to the O-lines strength (more power runs, a FB, and such).

Then again, I think this defense is much better and more talented. Also, the AFC (collectively) is playing much worse than they did in 2005 (or 2006, 2007 etc...)

I think the Steelers have a real shot at getting to and winning the SB...but there's still a lot of football between here and there.

The other issue is that because you are facing the #2/#3 defenses these next two weeks, you stand a chance at seeing another of your offensive players get hurt. While you're getting health at the right time, it only takes one play. Ben, Ward, Parker are three guys you can't afford to be hurt in the playoffs.

I think if those three come out (relatively) unscathed, your chances are good. If not, then I likely won't have to listen to the endless gloating of "First to 6". :flap:

NJarhead
12-12-2008, 01:33 PM
I always liked the way Parcells looked at this: "You are what you are." And we are 10-3. It's not easy to win in the NFL. You hear that all the time. They may not have been pretty, but this team has found ways to pull it out in the end. I know there are many complaints about our offense, but I am becoming more and more impressed with the team as a whole: How prepared to play the full 60 minutes Mike Tomlin has them.., week after week.

Luck too, IS a part of the game. It's both helped us (banked FG last week) and bitten us (tipped pass against the Colts). I love their attitude.

Think of it this way, NO ONE on our schedule has, is or will take the Steelers lightly.

GO STEELERS! :tt03:

Edman
12-12-2008, 01:34 PM
Sure, Tennessee lost to the Jets but you do remember who is QB for the Jets, don't ya'?

A washed up over-30 has been living on past reputation who proceeded to lose to the Broncos at home and the 49ers in the following weeks?

rbryan
12-12-2008, 01:39 PM
Can someone please tell me who is a clear cut contender if the Steelers aren't??

Another dweeb heard from. I like the part in his bio about how he quit playing ball in the 9th grade cause he didn't like the coach......Priceless.

Its not bad enough that I have to hear from all the dipsh!t writers that are actually paid for thier drivel....... I gotta hear from some puss that couldn't cut the mustard in the 9th grade who doesn't even have a job.

DACEB
12-12-2008, 02:17 PM
This game at Baltimore tells the tale - win and we can claim we are contenders. Lose and we are singing the blues. This game is that pivitol. Tennessee will very likely kick our tails despite what some of you think, making this game against Baltimore pretty much a must-win situation. Sure, Tennessee lost to the Jets but you do remember who is QB for the Jets, don't ya'?

While I hear where your coming from, I don't think it's a fair assessment. Division games are always extremely difficult wins, especially on the road (unless it's in Ohio). And this game against Balt., as we all know, is already emotionally charged with the talk of bounties and all. While I believe we have the TEAM to go in and pull out a win, I don't think a loss diminishes what we have done or are capable of doing.

Why do you believe Tenn. will "very likely kick our tails"? I understand that their D-line is very good and could give our O-line some trouble, their DEs are not exactly speed rushers. On offense, Tenn.s strength is the run which we excel at stopping. You don't envision K. Collins being forced into mistakes? Overall I see us matching up well against Tenn.

We are definetely CONTENDERS, and if this offense begins to really click we will be without a doubt SB CHAMPS!

HometownGal
12-12-2008, 02:26 PM
I always liked the way Parcells looked at this: "You are what you are." And we are 10-3. It's not easy to win in the NFL. You hear that all the time. They may not have been pretty, but this team has found ways to pull it out in the end. I know there are many complaints about our offense, but I am becoming more and more impressed with the team as a whole: How prepared to play the full 60 minutes Mike Tomlin has them.., week after week.

Luck too, IS a part of the game. It's both helped us (banked FG last week) and bitten us (tipped pass against the Colts). I love their attitude.

Think of it this way, NO ONE on our schedule has, is or will take the Steelers lightly.

GO STEELERS! :tt03:

:thumbsup::applaudit::thumbsup:

Very well stated WarDen86! :tt02:

rbryan
12-12-2008, 02:30 PM
We may have won a few games that could have easily gone the other way, but I feel the same about the two loses against NY and Indy. If anything I think we outplayed those two and they were the ones lucky to win.

Philly was the only game I thought we were overmatched and that was still close enough where one big play would have won it.

xfl2001fan
12-12-2008, 02:41 PM
Can someone please tell me who is a clear cut contender if the Steelers aren't??

Right now, based on the last few weeks, the closest thing to AFC contenders are:

Tennessee
Baltimore
Indianapolis


Indy is getting hot at the right time and both Baltimore/Tennessee are pretty much Pittsburgh style (i.e. Physical) football teams.

Denver...not really a threat, just a weak division.
NFC East team...weak schedule has pretty much made them look significantly better than they are.

For the NFC:

NY Giants: About as complete a team as exists in the NFL right now (though getting unhealthy at the wrong time)
Carolina: Another Physical team built for the playoffs.
Minnesota: QB play will determine just how deep they go...if the QB manages the game well, they could pull a Ravens style SB victory.

Ultimately, I believe it will come down to the Giants and Carolina in the NFC...and Pittsburgh/Ravens from AFC.

hindes204
12-12-2008, 03:06 PM
This game is that pivitol. Tennessee will very likely kick our tails despite what some of you think, making this game against Baltimore pretty much a must-win situation. Sure, Tennessee lost to the Jets but you do remember who is QB for the Jets, don't ya'?

While i agree with the fact that this game is pivitol, i have to disagree with what you said about the titans. they have 12 wins, wins against teams such as jacksonville twice (4-9), cincinatti (1-11-1), houston (6-7), the chiefs (2-11), packers (5-8), lions (0-13), and cleveland (4-9)......that is nine games against absolutely terrible opponents...i think their record is a little bit padded, yes they have the third ranked defense, but look at the offensive juggernaughts (sarcasm intended) they have faced

hindes204
12-12-2008, 03:08 PM
that is a 22-68-1 opponent record for those nine games...just in case you didnt want to do the math