PDA

View Full Version : Double Coverage: Steelers or Pats as No. 1?


mesaSteeler
05-28-2009, 07:58 AM
Double Coverage: Steelers or Pats as No. 1?
http://myespn.go.com/blogs/afcnorth/0-2-570/Double-Coverage--Steelers-or-Pats-as-No--1-.html
May 27, 2009 12:00 PM

Who should be No. 1 heading into the season: the reigning Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers or perennial contenders the New England Patriots? Our bloggers debate.

Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker and Len Pasquarelli

When it comes to NFL dominance and consistency, few teams rival the New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers. With five Super Bowl titles between them since 2000, they're the two contenders for the mythical title of "Team of the Decade."

But which franchise deserves top billing heading into the 2009 season?

Does the return of superstar quarterback Tom Brady from a knee injury make New England the early favorite? Or should the defending champion Steelers, who return 20 of 22 starters, be considered the team to beat until proven otherwise?

To debate these topics and more, we bring in ESPN.com NFL writers Len Pasquarelli and James Walker.

In ESPN.com's May Power Rankings, the Steelers topped the poll of our experts -- despite a No. 9 overall ranking from Pasquarelli. He deems the Patriots the best team entering the season.

Who is the favorite heading into the 2009 season and why?

James Walker: Not much has changed since Pittsburgh hoisted its sixth Lombardi Trophy in February. The Steelers were the NFL's best team just three months ago and still deserve top honors as the preseason favorites.

Pittsburgh lost just two starters from its championship team, and a strong case can be made that replacements Lawrence Timmons and William Gay will be more productive than their predecessors, linebacker Larry Foote and cornerback Bryant McFadden. Key Steelers such as quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, receiver Hines Ward and tailback Willie Parker are healthy again. Second-year players Rashard Mendenhall and Limas Sweed appear primed to make contributions in reserve roles, which didn't happen last season.

The few weaknesses from last season also have been addressed. Pittsburgh punter Daniel Sepulveda is returning from injury and will be a major upgrade in the kicking game. Rookie first-round pick Evander Hood should provide youthful depth for an aging defensive line, and the team now has a plethora of speedy kick returners competing to fill that role.

If Pittsburgh stays healthy and the offensive line jells in 2009, as the coaching staff suggests, you'd be hard pressed to find a glaring weakness with the defending champs.

Len Pasquarelli: As an old Chuck Noll disciple, I still believe that many games are won at the line of scrimmage. And the Patriots averaged the second most points per game in the league in a season when the NFL's best quarterback, Tom Brady, played less than one full game. Perhaps more importantly, the Pats also have an edge up front on both offense and defense. From 2005-2007 -- Brady's last three full seasons in the league -- he was sacked only 73 times. That's 66 fewer times than his counterpart, Ben Roethlisberger, was sacked over the same span. Pass protection is a synergistic thing, as dependent on the quarterback unloading the ball as it is on the linemen blocking. Still, the New England offensive line, under the direction of Dante Scarnecchia, is one of the best in the league, with standouts like left tackle Matt Light, left guard Logan Mankins, and center Dan Koppen.

But the area where the Patriots own the biggest edge is on the defensive front. Both teams employ the 3-4 scheme, and the Pittsburgh line is both experienced and good. Still, their New England counterparts can be downright dominating at times. The Patriots almost always seem to choose a defensive lineman high in the draft, and that has paid off handsomely for them, with players like Richard Seymour, Vince Wilfork, and Ty Warren. Remember the old adage from cigarette commercials: "It's what's up front that counts?" New England coach Bill Belichick is a proponent of building a team from the inside out, kind of in the Noll image, and he has assembled terrific up-front units on both sides of the ball. Players at the skill positions aren't bad, either, but the Pats generally own the line of scrimmage, and that's a big plus for them.

Both teams are proponents of the 3-4 defense. How can New England's defense be any better than Pittsburgh's unit, which led the NFL in 2008?

mesaSteeler
05-28-2009, 07:58 AM
Pasquarelli: Granted, the Patriots' secondary was shaky in 2008, and allowed a ton of touchdown passes. Add to that the fact that New England has lost both starting cornerbacks (Asante Samuel and Ellis Hobbs) the last two offseasons, and that safety Rodney Harrison might not return for 2009. Yeah, the Pats have to "scheme up" a pass rush, since they don't really have an upfield force off the edge.

But with apologies to Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau, the Pats have Belichick, and he is a master at switching his fronts and disguising coverages. There aren't many 3-4 linemen who can take over a game, but as noted above, the Patriots have three of them. Certainly the performance of the Steelers' unit, which defends every blade of grass like it's their fortune, is an admirable outfit. But their secondary problems aside, the Patriots are still plenty good enough, particularly if the offense removes some of the pressure by scoring big.

Walker: Len, Pittsburgh had the NFL's best defense in 2008 and the Patriots were No. 10. I don't see a comparison.

Sure, both teams run 3-4 defenses. But when you look at every component -- be it yards, points allowed, or sacking the quarterback -- it wasn't even close. For instance, New England had 31 sacks as a team last year. Pittsburgh outside linebackers James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley combined for 27.5 sacks and the Steelers amassed 51 sacks total. The Steelers simply play defense on a much higher level.

In fact, New England's defense has been somewhat overrated in recent years. Brady's ability to put up points offensively, particularly in 2007, made a lot of opponents one-dimensional and easier to defend. If you noticed without Brady last year, the Patriots dropped six spots defensively in 2008 from No. 4 to No. 10.

Speaking of Brady, does his return shift the balance of power to New England?

Pasquarelli: Brady and Roethlisberger are both members of a small subset, the truly elite quarterbacks in the game. But as noted above, Brady is afforded better protection, and his playmakers are much more explosive. In his last three seasons before the knee injury, Brady threw 100 touchdown passes and only 34 interceptions. In his past three seasons, Roethlisberger has 67 touchdown passes and 48 interceptions, and has been sacked an incredible 139 times.

New England finished fifth in the league in total offense in 2008, second in scoring, and won 11 games, despite playing most of the year with an inexperienced backup quarterback in Matt Cassel. It would be na´ve and foolhardy to think they won't do even better with their main trigger man back in the lineup. Of the Patriots' five defeats last season, two came by seven points or less, and Brady will take care of that small difference.

Walker: Anyone who automatically makes New England the Super Bowl favorite in May is making a bold assumption that Brady is 100 percent recovered from major reconstructive knee surgery. But many questions remain.

Will Brady be protective of his surgically-repaired knee? Will rust be an issue and cause Brady to get off to a slow start? How will he respond to getting hit? These questions will not be answered until months down the line. But you know exactly what you're getting from Roethlisberger and the Steelers, which is why you have to make them the favorites.

Keep in mind, Brady suffered his knee injury in the opening game last year against the Kansas City Chiefs. Therefore, he hasn't played in a full game since February of 2008, a Super Bowl loss to the New York Giants. With such an extended layoff, I doubt we're going to see the 4,800-yard, 50-touchdown version of Brady this year, and even that version wasn't good enough to win New England a Super Bowl.

Will Pittsburgh and New England meet in the AFC Championship game?

Pasquarelli: After a year out of the playoffs, New England will be poised to try to regain a title that almost seemed like its birthright. Pittsburgh faces a tough haul in its own division from Baltimore. One of the two teams won't make it to the conference championship game and -- hometown loyalties notwithstanding -- we're betting it's the Steelers who will be absent.

Inarguably, these are two of the finest organizations in the NFL, even if one is old-guard authorship and the other is new-age, and the two have terrific front office personnel. Both rely on preparing young players to step into roles as starters or contributors, as Pittsburgh will with linebacker Lawrence Timmons and cornerback William Gay, and New England will with linebacker Shawn Crable and cornerback Terrence Wheatley.

But the Patriots' veteran free agents -- guys like tailback Fred Taylor, tight end Chris Baker, wide receiver Joey Galloway, and cornerbacks Shawn Springs and Leigh Bodden -- will have more of an impact in 2009 than the Pittsburgh additions of spare parts like wide receiver Shaun McDonald and cornerback Keiwan Ratliff.

Walker: Although I easily could see other talented teams such as the Indianapolis Colts, Baltimore Ravens or Tennessee Titans spoiling the party, Pittsburgh and New England are currently the beasts of the AFC. In fact, these have been the top two teams in the NFL this decade, and they have the five combined championships over that span to prove it.

It would be fitting for these two franchises to settle this debate on the field for the right to advance to Super Bowl XLIV, and perhaps, solidify the title of "Team of the Decade." Pittsburgh and New England will not meet in the regular season in 2009. But if the Steelers and Patriots avoid the injury bug and play up to their talent levels, I have a feeling they could cross paths at some point in the postseason with a lot at stake.

fansince'76
05-28-2009, 08:37 AM
But with apologies to Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau, the Pats have Belichick, and he is a master at switching his fronts and disguising coverages. There aren't many 3-4 linemen who can take over a game, but as noted above, the Patriots have three of them. Certainly the performance of the Steelers' unit, which defends every blade of grass like it's their fortune, is an admirable outfit. But their secondary problems aside, the Patriots are still plenty good enough, particularly if the offense removes some of the pressure by scoring big.

So, the Pats' D is somehow now better than our D? Laughable. Come talk to me when they actually get a pass rush and a secondary that doesn't get torched regularly again. :coffee:

The_WARDen
05-28-2009, 08:43 AM
The Cheatriots can have the pre-season #1 ranking. They can hold their parade in August.

The only ranking that matters to me is the one that happens in February. Everything else is just time fillers.

CPanther95
05-28-2009, 09:15 AM
ESPN's Power Rankings have Pittsburgh #1. The reason is that 11 of the 12 pundits ranked them #1. The one who didn't - Len Pats-squirrely - ranked the Steelers #9! (and of course, the Pats #1)

The guy is a tool. He probably has a painting of the Patriots logo hanging over his fireplace - and he probably told the artist that he wanted the old logo and to paint it from a rear perspective.

http://myespn.go.com/blogs/nfcwest/0-9-134/Power-rankings--How-the-voters-voted.html (Breakdown of ESPN Power Rankings)

NEPAsteeler
05-28-2009, 09:25 AM
Double Coverage: Steelers or Pats as No. 1?
http://myespn.go.com/blogs/afcnorth/0-2-570/Double-Coverage--Steelers-or-Pats-as-No--1-.html
May 27, 2009 12:00 PM






But the area where the Patriots own the biggest edge is on the defensive front. Both teams employ the 3-4 scheme, and the Pittsburgh line is both experienced and good. Still, their New England counterparts can be downright dominating at times. The Patriots almost always seem to choose a defensive lineman high in the draft, and that has paid off handsomely for them, with players like Richard Seymour, Vince Wilfork, and Ty Warren. Remember the old adage from cigarette commercials: "It's what's up front that counts?" New England coach Bill Belichick is a proponent of building a team from the inside out, kind of in the Noll image, and he has assembled terrific up-front units on both sides of the ball. Players at the skill positions aren't bad, either, but the Pats generally own the line of scrimmage, and that's a big plus for them.



How can they possibly say that the Patriots* have a better defense than Pittsburgh?

Oh, and don't EVER compare Belichick to any of our coaches. :mad:

CanadianSteel
05-28-2009, 02:29 PM
I can almost see making an argument for the PATS* being number one, I mean the media just loves them and they are gettig Brady back, but to rank the Steelers 9th is friggin ridiculous.... what a tool..

Hammer Of The GODS
05-28-2009, 03:37 PM
I don't give a rats ass what ANY of the media talking heads say.

Anyone, ANYONE who doesn't take the patriots CHEATING into consideration is just farting out their face!


Patriot fans and their pundits can SWING FROM MY ASS HAIR!

.

scsteeler
05-28-2009, 03:48 PM
Of course the Media darlings are going to rank the Patriots ahead of everyone. Just watch NFL Network hell the only weakness they have based on the commentators is not being able to play. Why not just give the boys in New England a new camcorder and next years Super Bowl before the season starts.

I like others only care where my beloved Steelers end up at the end of the year and it would be so sweet if the team we beat in the playoffs to go for the 7th trophy is the Brady Bunch!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

:tt02::tt02::tt02::tt02:

HometownGal
05-28-2009, 04:06 PM
Who should be No. 1 heading into the season: the reigning Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers or perennial cheaters* the New England Patriots?

But with apologies to Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau, the Pats have Belichick, and he is a master at hiring videocameramen and disguising coverages so opponents don't know he's reading their offenses' signals.

There - fixed that for them. :thumbsup:

But the area where the Patriots own the biggest edge is on the defensive front. Still, their New England counterparts can be downright dominating at times.

33-10

Steelers rushed for 161 yards and our OL gave up ONE sack. :jerkit: :upyours:

When all is said and done, I really don't give a rat's pube what a circle-jerk of talking heads think or don't think with the season still several months away.

Preacher
05-28-2009, 04:14 PM
Sigh...

and the Pats* blindfolded love continues.

T&B fan
05-28-2009, 04:31 PM
dam I would like to have some of the drugs Len Pasquarelli must be takeing ...

Psyychoward86
05-28-2009, 04:35 PM
Lovely article. I didnt know that having the No. 1 pass defense translated into 2ndary problems :chuckle:. Those stupid kids we have back there, Ike taylor, Troy Polamalu, Ryan Clark, Deshea, and William Gay cant do anything :rolleyes:.

beSteelmyheart
05-28-2009, 04:36 PM
Ah, let the pre-season slobbering begin. It's so predicable it disgusts me. :coffee:
And I am also peeved by the comparison to Chuck Noll. BelliCheat wouldn't be worthy enough to empty Chuck Noll's bedpan.

triphahn
05-28-2009, 08:57 PM
The Patriots are team in decline. Brady for sure makes them dangerous and though he pisses me off he is talented. But once gone they are going to be like Dallas when Aikmen left. Steelers are the team of the last four decades. The most consistent bar none.

stillers4me
05-28-2009, 09:50 PM
Puck the Fats*.

magoo
05-28-2009, 10:05 PM
Most polls have the Steelers as number 1. NFL.com, scout.com and ESPN all have the steelers as no 1 Only one i have seeen who has Pats No 1 is Sports Illustrated

HughC
05-28-2009, 10:50 PM
Ehh, if you want to pay attention to bspn, here are their power rankings; ignore the original post and check these out:

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/powerranking?season=2009&week=0


Steelers are the number one ranked NFL team until some other team should happen to win a Super Bowl.

Galax Steeler
05-29-2009, 03:23 AM
I don't really care about rankings but how do you rank the patriots ahead of the steelers in any catogory. It never seems to amaze me.

Dino 6 Rings
05-29-2009, 10:07 AM
Here's my exact post on a Patriots site that drew some pretty solid Comments from the real football fans.

I think the Steelers get the #1 Ranking because they didn't lose a lot of free agents. They lost 2, McFadden and Washington. Washington is not a huge loss, McFadden could be. But other than that, they have the 20 of 22 starters back, they have the entire coaching staff back, they have some guys coming off injury that can make them better, and did pick up a couple free agents for depth and experience on the roster. They did lose Leftwich as a very capable Back up QB, but Batch is back, and unless Ben face plants a car again, Batch is good enough to win a game or two along the way.

Also, the schedule is not as "bad" as last years. We draw the Titans and Dolphins instead of the standard Colts and Pats because you guys thought it would be fun to let someone else win it all this year I guess. Neither of you held up your "win the division" part of the bargain to get the Steelers vs Colts vs Pats regular season round robin that most of us have become accustomed to.

Alot of the posters have the Giants highly ranked, and I tend to agree. They could be very good even with the loss of Plax because they get guys back off injury and drafted for depth at WR. Not sure if it'll be good enough, but then again the NFC East isn't that great with Washington still without a QB and with Philly a Jeckle and Hyde team that is one McNabb injury away from a 4 win season. I question them being so high.

I'm most interested in seeing how the Pats Defense performs this year with the loss of Vrabel. He was a real leader on that D so its going to be interesting to see how the Pats do on that side of the ball. On your offense, if Cassell can score points with that O, we alll know darn well that Brady will score points. That shouldn't be an issue and the Taylor pick up is very interesting too. That guy still has gas in the tank and I'm of the opinion that the Jags made a huge mistake getting rid of him and going with Jones-Drew as their go to guy.

Anyway, power rankings are what they are, fun at this time of year.

Mine would be as follows:
Steelers
Patriots
Giants
Panthers
Chargers
Colts
Titans
Ravens
Cowboys
Vikings

Quick Edit, We lost Foote too but he wanted out anyway because he wasn't going to be the starter with the progress Timmons has made at the Linebacker position. I didn't count him. My mistake.

triphahn
05-29-2009, 10:35 AM
Here's my exact post on a Patriots site that drew some pretty solid Comments from the real football fans.

I think the Steelers get the #1 Ranking because they didn't lose a lot of free agents. They lost 2, McFadden and Washington. Washington is not a huge loss, McFadden could be. But other than that, they have the 20 of 22 starters back, they have the entire coaching staff back, they have some guys coming off injury that can make them better, and did pick up a couple free agents for depth and experience on the roster. They did lose Leftwich as a very capable Back up QB, but Batch is back, and unless Ben face plants a car again, Batch is good enough to win a game or two along the way.

Also, the schedule is not as "bad" as last years. We draw the Titans and Dolphins instead of the standard Colts and Pats because you guys thought it would be fun to let someone else win it all this year I guess. Neither of you held up your "win the division" part of the bargain to get the Steelers vs Colts vs Pats regular season round robin that most of us have become accustomed to.

Alot of the posters have the Giants highly ranked, and I tend to agree. They could be very good even with the loss of Plax because they get guys back off injury and drafted for depth at WR. Not sure if it'll be good enough, but then again the NFC East isn't that great with Washington still without a QB and with Philly a Jeckle and Hyde team that is one McNabb injury away from a 4 win season. I question them being so high.

I'm most interested in seeing how the Pats Defense performs this year with the loss of Vrabel. He was a real leader on that D so its going to be interesting to see how the Pats do on that side of the ball. On your offense, if Cassell can score points with that O, we alll know darn well that Brady will score points. That shouldn't be an issue and the Taylor pick up is very interesting too. That guy still has gas in the tank and I'm of the opinion that the Jags made a huge mistake getting rid of him and going with Jones-Drew as their go to guy.

Anyway, power rankings are what they are, fun at this time of year.

Mine would be as follows:
Steelers
Patriots
Giants
Panthers
Chargers
Colts
Titans
Ravens
Cowboys
Vikings

Quick Edit, We lost Foote too but he wanted out anyway because he wasn't going to be the starter with the progress Timmons has made at the Linebacker position. I didn't count him. My mistake.

Dump the cowboys and put the eagles in there.

Dino 6 Rings
05-29-2009, 10:41 AM
Dump the cowboys and put the eagles in there.

See I disagree. The Eagles are a very up and down team. One injury to McNabb and they don't win 4 games. Where as with the Cowboys, and injury to Romo might actually help them win a "must win" game.

The Eagles did not upgrade their WRs. I don't see too much activity on their defense at all, which was pretty good last year but choked it down in the NFC Title game. McNabb has yet to win a big game in his life, going all the way back to College. I like the Cowboys on Defense and their running game should be better with Jones coming off injury.

vasteeler
05-29-2009, 10:44 AM
Here's my exact post on a Patriots site that drew some pretty solid Comments from the real football fans.

I think the Steelers get the #1 Ranking because they didn't lose a lot of free agents. They lost 2, McFadden and Washington. Washington is not a huge loss, McFadden could be. But other than that, they have the 20 of 22 starters back, they have the entire coaching staff back, they have some guys coming off injury that can make them better, and did pick up a couple free agents for depth and experience on the roster. They did lose Leftwich as a very capable Back up QB, but Batch is back, and unless Ben face plants a car again, Batch is good enough to win a game or two along the way.

Also, the schedule is not as "bad" as last years. We draw the Titans and Dolphins instead of the standard Colts and Pats because you guys thought it would be fun to let someone else win it all this year I guess. Neither of you held up your "win the division" part of the bargain to get the Steelers vs Colts vs Pats regular season round robin that most of us have become accustomed to.

Alot of the posters have the Giants highly ranked, and I tend to agree. They could be very good even with the loss of Plax because they get guys back off injury and drafted for depth at WR. Not sure if it'll be good enough, but then again the NFC East isn't that great with Washington still without a QB and with Philly a Jeckle and Hyde team that is one McNabb injury away from a 4 win season. I question them being so high.

I'm most interested in seeing how the Pats Defense performs this year with the loss of Vrabel. He was a real leader on that D so its going to be interesting to see how the Pats do on that side of the ball. On your offense, if Cassell can score points with that O, we alll know darn well that Brady will score points. That shouldn't be an issue and the Taylor pick up is very interesting too. That guy still has gas in the tank and I'm of the opinion that the Jags made a huge mistake getting rid of him and going with Jones-Drew as their go to guy.

Anyway, power rankings are what they are, fun at this time of year.

Mine would be as follows:
Steelers
Patriots
Giants
Panthers
Chargers
Colts
Titans
Ravens
Cowboys
Vikings

Quick Edit, We lost Foote too but he wanted out anyway because he wasn't going to be the starter with the progress Timmons has made at the Linebacker position. I didn't count him. My mistake.

i think you have the chargers too high
with norv turner its only a matter of time before they emplode

scsteeler
05-29-2009, 11:01 AM
i think you have the chargers too high
with norv turner its only a matter of time before they emplode


Yes Norv Turner has turned good teams on the rise to teams that are some of the worst in the league. I am still trying to figure out how Turner keeps getting head coaching jobs.

Dino 6 Rings
05-29-2009, 11:04 AM
i think you have the chargers too high
with norv turner its only a matter of time before they emplode

I'd agree about Norv, I'm not a fan of his at all, However the Chargers have been in the Playoffs the last 3 seasons, 4 of the last 5. They have beaten the Colts twice in that time too in the Playoffs. They are a pretty good team. Lots of talent on that roster still and with guys coming back off injury and the mess that is Oakland and Denver and KC, I see the Chargers being able to win the 10 games they'll need to win in order to take the AFC West Playoff Spot.

CPanther95
05-29-2009, 11:10 AM
Cowboys were 9-7 last year and in the offseason, they dumped their #1 offensive threat and had - by most accounts - the 2nd worst draft in the league.

Best case scenario is a tie for 3rd in the NFC East this year. 8 wins is a reach.

Dino 6 Rings
05-29-2009, 11:16 AM
Cowboys were 9-7 last year and in the offseason, they dumped their #1 offensive threat and had - by most accounts - the 2nd worst draft in the league.

Best case scenario is a tie for 3rd in the NFC East this year. 8 wins is a reach.

I see your point, however, I picked my top 10 teams based on mutliple factors, one of those being, who is likely to be a playoff team. 12 Teams make the playoffs, 6 from each conference. So in the NFC according to my list, the playoff teams from the NFC Should be Giants, Panthers, Cowboys, Vikings. That leaves 2 openings. One obviously for the NFC West Winner, Cards or Seahawks, Niners or Rams, and one other wild card still open. You can give that Wild card to the Packers or Eagles or even Saints, but then one of those teams would also have to Finish better than the Cowboys.

I'd like to pick the Saints, but they are always a darling early and always choke it out late. Bucs maybe, or even the Bears with Cutler. But until they show me they can perform on the field during the season, I'm not ready to replace the Cowboys as one of my NFC Playoff teams with any of those teams.

triphahn
05-30-2009, 04:16 PM
See I disagree. The Eagles are a very up and down team. One injury to McNabb and they don't win 4 games. Where as with the Cowboys, and injury to Romo might actually help them win a "must win" game.

The Eagles did not upgrade their WRs. I don't see too much activity on their defense at all, which was pretty good last year but choked it down in the NFC Title game. McNabb has yet to win a big game in his life, going all the way back to College. I like the Cowboys on Defense and their running game should be better with Jones coming off injury.

True about McNabb. They did pick up Jeremy Macklin and had what I thought was an all around solid draft.

mmalone
05-31-2009, 07:55 AM
Brady will not be mobile. he will wear a knee brace always. He was never quick. So now he is a turtle. Cut off the short screens, cut off the short slant over the middle and blitz the hell out of them, they will be done every game.

Cheppy
05-31-2009, 10:58 AM
But the area where the Patriots own the biggest edge is on the defensive front. Both teams employ the 3-4 scheme, and the Pittsburgh line is both experienced and good. Still, their New England counterparts can be downright dominating at times. The Patriots almost always seem to choose a defensive lineman high in the draft, and that has paid off handsomely for them, with players like Richard Seymour, Vince Wilfork, and Ty Warren.

He should be fired for that paragraph alone.

Cheppy
05-31-2009, 11:20 AM
Dump the cowboys and put the eagles in there.

Agreed.. Besides that I agree with those rankings. Though I do have a sneaking suspicion that the Bungles are going to finish 2nd in the North this year. The Ravens' recieving corp is a joke & the loss of Scott & Leonard are huge blows. With the Bungles I can see them making some strides on the defensive front (i wish we got Maualuga) & if Palmer is able to stay healthy they should have a solid offense.

Dino 6 Rings
06-02-2009, 03:58 PM
Agreed.. Besides that I agree with those rankings. Though I do have a sneaking suspicion that the Bungles are going to finish 2nd in the North this year. The Ravens' recieving corp is a joke & the loss of Scott & Leonard are huge blows. With the Bungles I can see them making some strides on the defensive front (i wish we got Maualuga) & if Palmer is able to stay healthy they should have a solid offense.

Great post, I didn't want to go out there and say it but, I tend to agree with you. The Bengals, not the Ravens challenge us this year in the North.

revefsreleets
06-02-2009, 04:13 PM
Bengals will be lucky to win 6 games this year. Palmer is overrated, CJ has no real #2 to take the attention off his rapidly diminishing skills, the OL is probably going to be a mess, and, while the D may be marginally improved, it won't be enough to overcome the offensive struggles they'll face.

Toss in the fact that the roster is still loaded with criminals AND they are on the HBO show, and they'll be mired in the muck of distractions all year. They'll battle Cleveland for the basement, and the Rats will try to win 9-10 games for second place.

Dino 6 Rings
06-02-2009, 04:26 PM
Bengals 09:

Denver (winnable)
@ Green Bay (probable loss)
Steelers (loss)
@ Browns (winnable)
@ Ravens (probabl loss)
Texans (winnable)
Bears (toss up)
Ravens (probabe loss)
@ Steelers (loss)
@ Oakland (winnable)
Browns (winnable)
Lions (winnable)
@ Vikings (probable loss)
@ Chargers (probable loss)
Chiefs (winnable)
@ Jets (winnable)

8 wins, without having to upset the Ravens or Steelers at least once and that's given they split with the NFC North.

Now, the Ravens 2009 schedule:
Chiefs (win)
@ Chargers (probable loss)
Browns (win)
@ Patriots (Loss)
Bengals (probable win)
@ Vikings (probable Loss)
Denver (probable win)
@ Bengals (probable win)
@ Browns (probable win)
Colts (loss)
Steelers (loss)
@ Packers (toss up)
Lions (win)
Bears (toss up)
@ Steelers (loss)
@ Oakland (win)

8 wins for the Ravens if they can beat the browns and bengals twice and split with the NFC North. They aren't a "great" team this year, with a young QB, major losses on the defense and nothing specatular to look at in the WRs. Not that impressed with them at this point. So I see the Bengals and Ravens chasing each other to finish 2nd in the NFC North.