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mesaSteeler
01-01-2009, 05:03 PM
Bye bye? Playoff bye not always good for Steelers
By Associated Press | Thursday, January 1, 2009 | http://www.bostonherald.com | NFL Coverage

PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Steelers are sitting where every NFL team wants to be this weekend, at home with a short path to the Super Bowl awaiting them.

The problem: this is a road the Steelers frequently travel, but with little success.

This is the seventh time in 16 years the Steelers have been first- or second-seeded with a bye in the AFC playoffs, and not once has the bye translated into a Super Bowl victory. They’ve made the Super Bowl only once under such a scenario, losing to Dallas to end the 1995 season.

In 1992, they didn’t make it out of the divisional round as the AFC’s top-seeded team, losing at home to Buffalo 24-3 in former coach Bill Cowher’s first season. The next five times they were No. 1 or No. 2, they won their divisional game, only to lose four AFC title games at home and one Super Bowl.

Some reward, huh?

The memories remain painful for the fans who can’t forget the twin defeats to New England in the AFC championship games during the 2001 and 2004 seasons. The inexplicable AFC title game loss to San Diego, a nine-point underdog, during the 1994 season. All the interceptions Kordell Stewart threw in a 24-21 loss to Denver that led to John Elway’s first Super Bowl win, during the 1997 season.

The current-day Steelers’ reaction to all this ancient history? Means nothing to them.

"I don’t think there is an advantage in the bye week, mentally," safety Troy Polamalu said. "Physically, there is. In hindsight, we can all say we got our butts kicked by New England (during the 2004 season) when we were 15-1. But if we didn’t have a bye week, who knows what would have happened? I don’t know and, right now, I’m happy we have it."

Curiously, for all their wasted chances — most notably the four AFC championship game losses — the Steelers’ lone Super Bowl victory since 1979 came three years ago when they were the lowest-seeded team in the AFC playoffs.

Away from the pressures of home, and all the talk of the frequent playoff disappointments there, they became the first sixth-seeded team to win three road games and the Super Bowl. Now, the Steelers (12-4) will leave Pittsburgh during the AFC playoffs only if they meet Tennessee (13-3) for the AFC championship.

"We’re not going off what’s happened in previous years or anything like that," defensive end Brett Keisel said. "We’re excited about the team we have, we’re excited for our opportunity. All you can do when you get an opportunity is either seize it or let it go and, hopefully, we can seize it."

Despite their recent failures, the Steelers understand the difficulties of trying to win three games in three weeks merely to reach the Super Bowl, the main reason why they welcome the bye. They had to play a wild-card game last season and were beaten at home by Jacksonville 31-29.

Of the first 30 Super Bowls played after teams began being seeded in 1975, 25 were won by a No. 1- or No. 2-seeded team. The Steelers themselves were top-seeded during the 1975 and 1978 seasons and second-seeded in 1979, and they won the Super Bowl all three times.

The Steelers are hoping another aberrant pattern holds when they move into the playoffs next week. Three times previously they were seeded second, only to wind up playing host to the AFC championship game after the top-seeded team lost.

It happened during the 1979 season, when the Chargers lost in the divisional round and Pittsburgh went on to beat Houston in the AFC title game for the second year in a row; during the 1995 season, when the Chiefs were stunned by Indianapolis, and two years after that when the Chefs were beaten by Denver.

The Steelers will stay at home for the AFC championship game this season only if the Titans lose on Jan. 10 and Pittsburgh wins the next day.

"But there’s one thing about this team, we don’t worry too much about other teams," safety Tyrone Carter said. "We keep an eye on ourselves. The Steelers beat the Steelers. That’s the only thing we have to worry about."

Article URL: http://www.bostonherald.com/sports/football/other_nfl/view.bg?articleid=1142495

HometownGal
01-01-2009, 05:10 PM
I don't look at what happened in the past. This is a different team in a different era and right now, I'm concentrating on the present and our game at HF on January 11th. As The Chin always said - "one game at a time".

"But there’s one thing about this team, we don’t worry too much about other teams," safety Tyrone Carter said. "We keep an eye on ourselves. The Steelers beat the Steelers. That’s the only thing we have to worry about."


Amen Tyrone. :applaudit::drink:

stillers4me
01-01-2009, 05:13 PM
I think considering the schedule they just survived (barely from the looks of our QB), the bye this time around is justly deserved. And needed.

cowboykilla
01-01-2009, 05:53 PM
Means nothing. We are The Steelers,that's all that matters.

kmsteelerwr15
01-01-2009, 06:20 PM
ahh stuff like this just fuels up the tank

sackmaster56
01-01-2009, 06:29 PM
We needed the bye week for sure.... Ben and plenty of the guys on D need it badly.
Maybe the O-line will get better with an off week.

Edman
01-01-2009, 06:44 PM
The Steelers never had problems winning the first game off a bye. It's the AFC Title games that have been a problem.

This article blows.

Godfather
01-01-2009, 07:12 PM
The Steelers never had problems winning the first game off a bye. It's the AFC Title games that have been a problem.

This article blows.

Plus, we've won six of those. We've lost a bunch of others...when you're in a very large number of AFCCGs, you'll win a lot and lose a lot.

GBMelBlount
01-01-2009, 08:36 PM
We needed the bye week for sure.... Maybe the O-line will get better with an off week.

Didn't the O-line just have 17 off weeks? :huh:

Frankie3521
01-01-2009, 08:40 PM
Didn't the O-line just have 17 off weeks? :huh:

:drink:

jjpro11
01-01-2009, 08:54 PM
Didn't the O-line just have 17 off weeks? :huh:

yeah.. they just suck.. all year we have been waiting for a turnaround, but it never really happened. ben did start picking blitzes better i noticed.. but the oline has been terrible all season.. we are just going to have to win despite them.

Rhee Rhee
01-01-2009, 09:04 PM
The Steelers never had problems winning the first game off a bye.

do u not remember the jets game in 2005? we won because doug brien missed 2 field GW fieldgoals

chucoblack&gold
01-01-2009, 09:10 PM
Didn't the O-line just have 17 off weeks? :huh:

:rofl::chuckle:

fansince'76
01-01-2009, 09:10 PM
do u not remember the jets game in 2005? we won because doug brien missed 2 field GW fieldgoals

We blew out the Ravens 27-10 in the divisional game in '01 as the #1 seed....

SteelCityMan786
01-01-2009, 09:17 PM
That's in the past. Time to focus on the AFC Playoffs.

Stlrs4Life
01-01-2009, 09:26 PM
I don't look at what happened in the past. This is a different team in a different era and right now, I'm concentrating on the present and our game at HF on January 11th. As The Chin always said - "one game at a time".



Amen Tyrone. :applaudit::drink:


Exactly. It has nothing to do with what this team does now.

GBMelBlount
01-01-2009, 09:42 PM
yeah.. they just suck.. all year we have been waiting for a turnaround, but it never really happened. ben did start picking blitzes better i noticed.. but the oline has been terrible all season.. we are just going to have to win despite them.

That's exactly how I feel jj. Maybe they'll step it up, but the onus will likely fall on the "D" throughout the playoffs, unfortunately. It is what it is.

BehindSteelCurtain
01-01-2009, 09:44 PM
We have to just take it one game at a time. The Steelers can't be looking ahead.

BehindSteelCurtain
01-01-2009, 09:45 PM
If Miami beats Baltimore, I don't think that game will be as easy as we all think. Porter could give us hell. And they don't turn the ball over.

X-Terminator
01-01-2009, 10:31 PM
If Miami beats Baltimore, I don't think that game will be as easy as we all think. Porter could give us hell. And they don't turn the ball over.

They also have a horrible, porous secondary that was ranked near the bottom of the league. If the OL would hold up just a little bit, they should be able to torch them through the air.

augustashark
01-01-2009, 11:03 PM
If Miami beats Baltimore, I don't think that game will be as easy as we all think. Porter could give us hell. And they don't turn the ball over.

Which is what you need for playoff football. So I agree with you. I still say I would rather face them then SD/Indy.

RoethlisBURGHer
01-02-2009, 05:50 AM
Our big problem wasn't the divisional playoff game after the bye week, but the AFC Championship Game the following week...lots of thanks to Bellichick's camera tricks for two of those.

This article was crap, and whoever wrote it should be fired for not doing his research.

Galax Steeler
01-02-2009, 07:20 AM
Which is what you need for playoff football. So I agree with you. I still say I would rather face them then SD/Indy.

I don't care who we play I am ready for some football.:drink:

Edman
01-02-2009, 06:01 PM
do u not remember the jets game in 2005? we won because doug brien missed 2 field GW fieldgoals

We almost lost that game because Ben hit the rookie wall and threw two untimely interceptions to even put the Jets in that situation. We had a 10-0 lead in that game.

The reason the Steelers have had trouble in the playoffs was because of sloppy quarterback play. Kordell, O'Donnell, Tomczak, and even Ben. It's not ironic we went on that run in the '05 playoffs because Ben elevated his game.

This playoff run hinges on Ben and the Defense. We just need him to manage the game and be patient.

devilsdancefloor
01-02-2009, 06:29 PM
We almost lost that game because Ben hit the rookie wall and threw two untimely interceptions to even put the Jets in that situation. We had a 10-0 lead in that game.

The reason the Steelers have had trouble in the playoffs was because of sloppy quarterback play. Kordell, O'Donnell, Tomczak, and even Ben. It's not ironic we went on that run in the '05 playoffs because Ben elevated his game.

This playoff run hinges on Ben and the Defense. We just need him to manage the game and be patient.

excellent point! What i am hoping for is that the o-line picks it up big time! i think seeing ben laying on the turf for 20 minutes shook them up a bit. hopefully enough to not let it happen again :tt03:.

steel striker
01-02-2009, 07:03 PM
We have a different coach and, I think this is a totally different team as well. I can't wait to prove the so called experts wrong.

lilyoder6
01-02-2009, 09:22 PM
i still want to play the fins.. they are the lesser evil of the others..

OX1947
01-02-2009, 09:41 PM
The only concern I have is Big Ben making Brett Favre mistakes this season. Arians gets alot of the blame, and he should because he cant seem to coordinate a scheme that is working this year without a consistent running game. That is the key to being a good coach, is adjusting.

All i ask is no dumb mistakes. Just let the game come to you and allow the defense to play normal. And ride it.

Polamalu43
01-02-2009, 10:19 PM
That's the past, and this is now. We have a good shot of making it back to the SB again. i got a good feeling about this years, playoffs.

markymarc
01-03-2009, 07:38 PM
Who cares about the past. Different coach and players. The Steelers will be just fine.