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ricardisimo
10-14-2010, 06:30 PM
Curiously James Walker wasn't all that high on the Steeler just about a week ago, but here (http://espn.go.com/blog/afcnorth/post/_/id/18948/steelers-are-nfls-lone-dominant-team) he is...

Steelers are NFL's lone dominant team
By James Walker
PITTSBURGH -- There's no 4-0 team in the NFL for the first time since 1970, so the consensus is there is no dominant team.

But I disagree. Football pundits aren't looking hard enough, because the league's lone dominant franchise resides in Pittsburgh.

The Steelers (3-1) have been winning quietly and playing at less than 100-percent capacity without quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?playerId=5536), who is returning this week from a four-game suspension. Still, they are 32 seconds away from being 4-0, which virtually throws out the aforementioned stat everyone wants to talk about.

Don't let a late Joe Flacco (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?playerId=11252) touchdown pass fool you: Pittsburgh is elite. Now at full strength, Pittsburgh is ready to show its dominance Sunday against the Cleveland Browns (http://espn.go.com/nfl/team/_/name/cle/cleveland-browns) (1-4).

Here is why the Steelers are the NFL's most dominant team:

Roethlisberger is back: This has been a huge story this week (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=5681334), but it cannot be overstated. Roethlisberger is a top-five quarterback and a two-time Super Bowl champion. It's like acquiring a $100 million free agent in Week 6 to boost an already strong team. The Steelers' passing game is last in the NFL (136 ypg.), but it will improve dramatically with Roethlisberger. Pittsburgh won with defense and special teams (http://espn.go.com/blog/afcnorth/post/_/id/17411/steelers-can-win-without-big-ben), and now the team can beat opponents with all three phases.

"We're truly a 53-man roster, instead of a 52-man roster," Steelers left tackle Max Starks (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?playerId=5600) said. "It makes things more comfortable. It allows us the opportunity to do whatever, because we have [Roethlisberger] ... Now we have that full family."

The Steelers have the best opponent winning percentage: The Steelers didn't pad their record against creampuffs. In fact, Pittsburgh's first four opponents have a combined record of 14-5, tops in the NFL entering Week 6. The Steelers played three one-loss teams (Atlanta Falcons (http://espn.go.com/nfl/team/_/name/atl/atlanta-falcons), Baltimore Ravens (http://espn.go.com/nfl/team/_/name/bal/baltimore-ravens), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (http://espn.go.com/nfl/team/_/name/tb/tampa-bay-buccaneers)) and the Tennessee Titans (http://espn.go.com/nfl/team/_/name/ten/tennessee-titans) (3-2). Every team Pittsburgh faced this season without Roethlisberger has a winning record, and the Steelers are the only team to beat Atlanta and Tampa Bay this year. Pittsburgh's one loss without its franchise quarterback came against Baltimore, which scored the winning TD with 32 seconds left.

Rashard Mendenhall (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?playerId=11257) has emerged: As one Pittsburgh star was suspended, another star for the Steelers emerged in Mendenhall. The third-year tailback recorded his first 1,000-yard season in 2009, but is on pace to shatter career highs in yards, attempts and touchdowns. Mendenhall is playing at a Pro Bowl level. He averages 103 rushing yards per game and carried the offense early. With Roethlisberger back, Pittsburgh will have one of the NFL's most complete offenses.

"I think we will be very balanced, and we're going to take what they give us," Roethlisberger explained. "If they're loading up the box, we will try to throw it. If they're sitting back, we will run the ball."

Pittsburgh has the NFL's best defense: Statistically, the Steelers are ranked No. 4, but they're really the league's most dynamic defense. Pittsburgh has the NFL's best collection of defensive players (Troy Polamalu (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?playerId=4474), James Harrison (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?playerId=4433), LaMarr Woodley (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?playerId=10490), Casey Hampton (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?playerId=2567), Aaron Smith (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?playerId=1862), etc.) and the best defensive coordinator (Dick LeBeau). Pittsburgh's run defense has been impenetrable, ranking No. 1 (62.2 ypg). Pittsburgh also is forcing turnovers (three per game) and making big plays. Pittsburgh had to play near-perfect defense in the first four games. But with Roethlisberger back, pressure is taken off LeBeau's unit.

The Steelers are not close to reaching their ceiling: What would the Indianapolis Colts (http://espn.go.com/nfl/team/_/name/ind/indianapolis-colts)' record be without Peyton Manning (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?playerId=1428) this season? How about the New Orleans Saints (http://espn.go.com/nfl/team/_/name/no/new-orleans-saints)' record without Drew Brees (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?playerId=2580) or the Green Bay Packers (http://espn.go.com/nfl/team/_/name/gb/green-bay-packers)' record without Aaron Rodgers (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?playerId=8439)? None of those teams would be 3-1 without their franchise quarterback. The scary part is Pittsburgh is just scratching the surface of its potential. The Steelers won ugly during their first four games, because it was the only way to win consistently without Roethlisberger. According to head coach Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh is still working to improve different elements of the team.

"We're still very much in the early stages of this season," said Tomlin. "We're very much a developing football team individually and collectively."

The Steelers have championship experience: The Saints are the reigning Super Bowl champions, but the Steelers are not far removed from their title following the 2008 season. With a majority of players returning from that group, Pittsburgh is the only team playing with that championship swagger. The Steelers have the character and toughness to withstand the ups and downs of a 16-game season. This year's fast start without Roethlisberger was another example when no one expected it.

"We've always had that confidence," Starks said. "Some may call it ****iness on our part, but I think it's confidence that we're a great team and there’s 53 guys in this locker room and we all play for one another."

Don't be surprised when pundits flip the script two or three weeks from now. The AFC North blog just wants to keep everyone ahead of the curve.

The Ravens (4-1), New York Jets (http://espn.go.com/nfl/team/_/name/nyj/new-york-jets) (4-1) and Atlanta Falcons (4-1) are Super Bowl contenders. But after five weeks, the Steelers stand alone as the NFL's most dominant team.

zulater
10-14-2010, 06:45 PM
Interesting, but I'm not sure I neccessarily agree. This team still has weaknesses, the secondary can be a liability and the offensive line while improved is still suspect. And if Troy goes down ( god forbid) do we revert to 2009 all over? I think offensively we still don't know how big a factor losing Holmes will be.

Don't get me wrong, I'm very high on this team and think we have an excellent chance to make a big run this year but i don't see us as head and shoulders above the rest.

In fact if you were to ask me who the most complete team is right now I'd probably be tempted to answer the Jets. While Sanchez is still far from elite, he's come a long way and does what he's needed to do. And other than Sanchez they're solid just about everywhere else. .I'd kill for their corners.

Riddle_Of_Steel
10-14-2010, 06:53 PM
In fact if you were to ask me who the most complete team is right now I'd probably be tempted to answer the Jets. While Sanchez is still far from elite, he's come a long way and does what he's needed to do. And other than Sanchez they're solid just about everywhere else. .I'd kill for their corners.

I have to strongly disagree with you on that one, dude. The Jets are VERY one dimensional in my opinion-- take away LT and their run game (not an impossible task with our defense), and it is plainly obvious that Sanchez can not only NOT lead his team to a victory, but he would be the main reason why they lose...he cannot convert 3rd downs with his arm (for that matter, he cannot hit the broadside of a billboard sign with that arm), and only looks good when he has a reliable running game carrying him. He struggles against descent defenses (which he has not seen many), and flat out sux against elite defenses.

Don't get me wrong, I'm very high on this team and think we have an excellent chance to make a big run this year but i don't see us as head and shoulders above the rest.

What other team features-- our defense, our running game, and an elite QB under center? The Ravens have the defense, maybe the running game (Ray Rice and McGahee have been pretty quiet so far this year), but not the QB. The Jets have the defense, maybe the running game, easily the best Oline and Dline, but possibly the worst QB in the NFL. The Steelers are the most complete team right now.

ricardisimo
10-14-2010, 06:56 PM
http://jvall.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/debbie-downer.jpg

MasterOfPuppets
10-14-2010, 07:25 PM
if they were the "lone dominant team" , shouldn't they be 4-0 right now , and credited with 4 major ass whippins ? maybe if ben brings an A game for the next few weeks , i might agree , but the 4 game body of work thus far hasn't been anywhere near "dominant". lets not put the horse in front of the cart like people did last year when they were 6-2.
sorry for pissing in the cheerios , but i likes to keeps it real.

lionslicer
10-14-2010, 08:05 PM
I would think Ravens are more of the dominant team since they beat the Steelers.

Fire Arians
10-14-2010, 08:23 PM
steelers aren't the 'lone' dominant team, but they are dominant. the jets and ravens are players, possibly indy.

i think NE will make the playoffs but have to many holes on defense to win another sb. chiefs are a sleeper team, if not for dwayne bowe pulling a limas peed and dropping a pass in the end zone they could have very well won in indy and been 4-0

SoCalFan
10-14-2010, 08:48 PM
I would think Ravens are more of the dominant team since they beat the Steelers.

Are you effin kidding?Were you watching the game?Would have NOT been close if Ben were playing.Its a good thing realists can see this!:tt03:

steeltheone
10-14-2010, 08:59 PM
Are you effin kidding?Were you watching the game?Would have NOT been close if Ben were playing.Its a good thing realists can see this!:tt03:

Shoulda, woulda, if he played.......We Lost

lionslicer
10-14-2010, 09:21 PM
Are you effin kidding?Were you watching the game?Would have NOT been close if Ben were playing.Its a good thing realists can see this!:tt03:

Actually no, I had to miss the game saddly :P
Doesn't matter who plays or not, its a team sport, losing is losing. Though people must have believed Steelers were the best team, because Ravens went from like #10 overall to #1 in many rankings :P

MasterOfPuppets
10-14-2010, 09:49 PM
Are you effin kidding?Were you watching the game?Would have NOT been close if Ben were playing.Its a good thing realists can see this!:tt03:
did bens presence guarantee a victory over a terrible cleveland browns team last year ? while i agree the team is better with him in the long run , he DOES have his bad days.

tony hipchest
10-14-2010, 10:02 PM
did bens presence guarantee a victory over a terrible cleveland browns team last year ? .nobody couldve guaranteed a victory with that shitty assed gameplan. thats like expecting tiger woods in his prime to sink 20+ foot putts in a tornado or snowstorm.

i agree with the article. the steelers defense has pretty consistantly dominated the league since 2004. they even led the league in defense in 2001.

we have a top 5 qb who is one of the most clutch in the league, turned out star receivers such as ward, plex, santonio and soon to be wallace, and have had pro bowl backs such as jerome and willie (and soon to be mendenhall).

i think the author does do a bit of diservice to the colts.

zulater
10-14-2010, 10:04 PM
steelers aren't the 'lone' dominant team, but they are dominant. the jets and ravens are players, possibly indy.

i think NE will make the playoffs but have to many holes on defense to win another sb. chiefs are a sleeper team, if not for dwayne bowe pulling a limas peed and dropping a pass in the end zone they could have very well won in indy and been 4-0

:applaudit:

Just to clarify my earliar comments. I disagree with the assessment that the Steelers are the "lone dominant team." I think they along with the Jets and Ravens have seperated themselves to some extent from the pack, but all 3 are flawed to some degree. The Jets, inexperience at qb and LG. The Ravens vulnerability at the corners and is Flacco a qb who could win a shootout? The Steelers vulnerability in the secondary, an inconsistent OL, and is the receiving core good enough?

I will say this, if the Steelers don't suffer any key injuries I wouldn't trade chances with anyone. I think Ben is the difference maker that will put us above the others. :tt:

That said if you put

zulater
10-14-2010, 10:18 PM
http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/bs-sp-preston-column-1015-20101014,0,6629407.column

Regardless of the countless power rankings, most agree that the Ravens, Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Jets are the three best teams in the NFL.

Barring injuries, all three will be major players in the postseason because they have good running games, strong defenses and blue-collar coaches with dominant personalities.

But the one position that makes the Steelers the favorite is at quarterback, where they have a two-time Super Bowl champion in Ben Roethlisberger.


The question is whether quarterbacks Joe Flacco of the Ravens and Mark Sanchez of the Jets can narrow the talent gap between now and the postseason?

Former Washington Redskins quarterback and national television analyst Joe Theismann sees it the same way, but with a slight twist.

"From what I've seen this year, I would pick Mark Sanchez No. 1, Joe Flacco No. 2 and Ben No. 3," Theismann says. "And if Sanchez is 1, then Joe has to be 1A."

"Roethlisberger is No. 3 from lack of work," he continues. "He is proven, but every year is a different kind of year even though I do expect him to get back to where he was before."

Why wouldn't he? He's just 28, and reports from training camp had him in great shape. In the past couple of seasons, no player has been more of a Ravens killer than Roethlisberger and his last-second heroics. The Ravens still have nightmares about him hooking up with Santonio Holmes for big plays.

Joe theisman is such an idiot! :rofl:

ricardisimo
10-14-2010, 10:53 PM
Joe theisman is such an idiot! :rofl:
I would have to agree with you there. That is jaw-dropping stupidity.

MasterOfPuppets
10-14-2010, 11:20 PM
nobody couldve guaranteed a victory with that shitty assed gameplan. thats like expecting tiger woods in his prime to sink 20+ foot putts in a tornado or snowstorm.

i agree with the article. the steelers defense has pretty consistantly dominated the league since 2004. they even led the league in defense in 2001.

we have a top 5 qb who is one of the most clutch in the league, turned out star receivers such as ward, plex, santonio and soon to be wallace, and have had pro bowl backs such as jerome and willie (and soon to be mendenhall).

i think the author does do a bit of diservice to the colts.
well the article is claiming that they are the dominant team , not the dominant defense. do you think the 4 game body of work thus far warrants the title "dominant" ? even with the L in there ? i don't . now if ben can put the offense on the same level as the D is playing , then sure, dominant would be a good description , but until we see it on the field , i think its a bit premature to throw out an adjective that strong.

tony hipchest
10-14-2010, 11:49 PM
well the article is claiming that they are the dominant team , not the dominant defense. do you think the 4 game body of work thus far warrants the title "dominant" ? even with the L in there ? i don't . now if ben can put the offense on the same level as the D is playing , then sure, dominant would be a good description , but until we see it on the field , i think its a bit premature to throw out an adjective that strong.

i think the article is taking much more into consideration than just a 4 game body of work...

the league's lone dominant franchise resides in Pittsburgh.

the jets and ravens really havent dominated shit. hell, the vikings, colts, and saints arent even considered dominant and they "dominated" the entire season last year. with exception of the colts and ravens, the jets, vikings, and saints were barely even given a shot in hell to win a playoff game the last time the steelers won it.

but if were just going by the record through 4-5 games, then i will concede that the chiefs, bucs, and bears are just as dominant as anyone else.

MasterOfPuppets
10-15-2010, 12:00 AM
i think the article is taking much more into consideration than just a 4 game body of work...

the league's lone dominant franchise resides in Pittsburgh.

the jets and ravens really havent dominated shit. hell, the vikings, colts, and saints arent even considered dominant and they "dominated" the entire season last year. with exception of the colts and ravens, the jets, vikings, and saints were barely even given a shot in hell to win a playoff game the last time the steelers won it.

but if were just going by the record through 4-5 games, then i will concede that the chiefs, bucs, and bears are just as dominant as anyone else.
first sentence....
There's no 4-0 team in the NFL for the first time since 1970, so the consensus is there is no dominant team.

But I disagree.

then he goes on to say why he thinks there the dominant team .
Roethlisberger is back:
The Steelers have the best opponent winning percentage:
Rashard Mendenhall has emerged

Pittsburgh has the NFL's best defense
The Steelers are not close to reaching their ceiling:
The Steelers have championship experience:

i won't disagree with any of his points , i'm just saying it hasn't been seen on the field. sure we've seen the D dominate , but until the O's play matches that of the D's effort on the field , you don't have a dominant team , you have a dominant D. so predicting the return of ben is going to make the team dominant , is just a prediction of dominance at this point. i'm sure the saint's fans had a different prediction than what they've seen thus far on the field. maybe they even predicted "dominance" this year ....reality is a bitch. :noidea:

tony hipchest
10-15-2010, 12:23 AM
now were kinda getting into semantics. first sentence aside, the thesus of the article is stated in the sentence i highlighted.

i dont think it took a genius to figure out that our special teams/o-line would be better with the hiring of new coaches, and the defense would be better with the addition of smith and troy without seeing a single snap of real game play.

i feel the same with bens return. i dont need to see anything to know what the results will be.

i could be wrong, but the steelers will win the SB (again- barring significant injuries) either this year or next.

ricardisimo
10-15-2010, 12:27 AM
I think you're both right. He's talking about more than just four games, but also referring to how most people think no undefeateds means parity rules the day. Most anyone will tell you that the Steelers were the dominant team of the 70s, and yet we only started 4-0 once in that decade, so that's obviously not the determining factor.

When he discusses Lebeau's tenure and status among DCs, it's clear he's talking about more than four games. But when he mentions the combined opposition record of 14-5, he is. He's kind of all over the map, but the basic gist seems to be "This is an experienced, Super Bowl-ready team that has played really good teams and came within 32 seconds of beating them all, and that was without their most important player, who is now back."

I say it's a good argument, and we should certainly know if he's right by season's end, and probably before then; either New England in week 10 or Baltimore three weeks later should give us an answer. Of course, week 21 is the real key.

steelcity1974
10-16-2010, 02:32 PM
The fact that Ben has not been playing, yet our running game is doing so well shows the potential of the offense. How is it that teams cannot stop our run when that's all they have to do? With Ben back, assuming BA doesn't screw things up, defenses won't be able to stack the box...which means more good running, but with a passing game to go with it. We will be dominant with Ben.

sharkweek
10-17-2010, 01:31 AM
I would think Ravens are more of the dominant team since they beat the Steelers.

take away Joe Flacco and do the Ravens win that game?

yeah, I thought so