View Full Version : Super Bowl favorite? Try Pittsburgh

12-09-2010, 06:50 PM
Super Bowl favorite? Try Pittsburgh
Published: Thursday, Dec. 9, 2010 12:31 p.m. MST

Looking for a Super Bowl favorite with one month left in the regular season? Try the Steelers.

Even though the Falcons and Patriots have the league's best record, Pittsburgh has the shortest odds. Pittsburgh is 9-3 and atop the AFC North; New England leads the AFC East at 10-2 and Atlanta is No. 1 in the NFC South, also at 10-2. According to BetUS.com, the Steelers are a 5-to-1 choice to win the championship at Dallas Cowboys Stadium on Feb. 6.

Right behind are the Patriots at 6-1 and the Falcons at 13-2. The Eagles are at 8-1. Defending NFL champion New Orleans is at 9-1 and Baltimore is 10-1.

The longest odds? Try Arizona at 1,000-1. The Cardinals (3-9) likely will be eliminated from playoff contention very soon, but still are alive.

As for Super Bowl matchups, the shortest odds are 7-1 for Patriots vs. Falcons, trailed by Steelers vs. Falcons at 8-1.

BY THE YARD: Through 13 weeks and 192 games, NFL teams are averaging 679.2 yards per game. If that pace continues and wintry weather could affect the numbers it would be the highest average in league history.

Last year, the average yards per game came in at 670.3. That was the most since 1981 (669).

Also at a record pace: yards passing per game. The record is 441.6 set in 1995; currently, teams are averaging 453 yards in the air.

There also have been 570 touchdown passes thus far in 2010, the most through 13 weeks. Leading the way are Tom Brady with 27 and Drew Brees with 25.

SET 'EM UP: Terrell Owens knows how to find an open lane.

The Bengals receiver hosted a charity bowling event in Cincinnati last week, and showed up with his own shoes and ball, impressing teammates who were there to help raise money.

"I did all right," he said. "I'm starting to get back into it."

The 37-year-old receiver started bowling when he played with San Francisco, getting some tips from one of the best. Norm Duke, who was inducted into the Pro Bowlers Association Hall of Fame last year, showed him a few things. His interest grew from there.

"He was the first pro bowler that I met," Owens said. "He kind of introduced me to bowling and gave me some tips. Ever since then, I've kind of been interested. After that, I was close to bowling a few perfect games. I bowled 288 a few times. That's about as close as I've gotten."

His football career has affected his other game. Owens hadn't bowled in a while and had to get one of the holes in his bowling ball adjusted to compensate for an injury.

"I tore a tendon in a finger three years ago, so it doesn't really fit the same," Owens said. "I had to go in and get it redone."

THINKING ABOUT 17: Takeo Spikes turns 34 on Dec. 17, so when some teammates threw out the number 17 after last Sunday's loss at Green Bay the San Francisco linebacker thought it was in reference to his upcoming birthday.

Nope. Spikes, who has emerged as one of the 49ers' defensive leaders of late with increased playing time in his 13th NFL season, was credited with a career-high 17 tackles in the 34-16 loss to the Packers. Teammate Travis LaBoy pointed it out once they were on the team bus and handed over the statistics packet.

"It pretty much happened the way you saw it," Spikes said. "I didn't even realize I had that many tackles until I got on the bus after the game. Some of the guys were like, '17.' I was like, 'Yeah, that's the day my birthday's on.' Because it's this month. That's what I thought they were talking about. Then they showed me the stat sheet and I was like, 'Dang.' I didn't even realize it."

Spikes and his fellow defenders spent an awful lot of time on the field, too: Green Bay had possession for 37 minutes, 11 seconds to the Niners' 22:49. Spikes knows that played into his big total.

San Francisco (4-8) hardly looked like the team that nearly rallied back to beat the Packers in a 30-24 loss at Green Bay in November 2009.

"I really had my mind made up going into yesterday. It really (ticked) me off looking at last year's game and I felt like the 49ers team that was out there last year, that wasn't it (Sunday)," Spikes said. "I love the opportunity to play in meaningful games in December, especially against good teams to where you can be recognized as one of the better teams in the NFC. That was just my focus. I didn't care what happened. I knew they were going to make some plays. I really wanted to leave my mark on whoever I was hitting, just trying to get big plays."

UNDRAFTED RUSHING KING: If Houston's Arian Foster wins the rushing title he has 1,230 yards, with Jacksonville's Maurice Jones-Drew next at 1,177 he will be only the second undrafted free agent to do it since 1967, when the common draft between the AFL and NFL was adopted.

Priest Holmes did it in 2001 with 1,555 yards rushing.

Foster is in his second season after playing college ball at Tennessee.

AP Pro Football Writer Barry Wilner and Sports Writers Janie McCauley in San Francisco and Joe Kay in Cincinnati contributed to this story.

12-09-2010, 08:05 PM
I prefer everyone to pick against us, like they did in 2005-06 and 2008-09. The Colts and Pats were picked in both years.

12-09-2010, 08:23 PM
Even though these articles mean jack shit, I can't help but feel a little sensation of joy just to see "Steelers" and "Super Bowl" in the same sentence.

Man, what an opportunity. IF we win it all, WE are the decades dynasty, ESP if (hypothetically) we beat New England in the Title game!

***** (Comes back down to reality..)*****

Bring on the Bung-holes!

12-09-2010, 11:43 PM
Even though these articles mean jack shit, I can't help but feel a little sensation of joy just to see "Steelers" and "Super Bowl" in the same sentence.

Man, what an opportunity. IF we win it all, WE are the decades dynasty, ESP if (hypothetically) we beat New England in the Title game!

***** (Comes back down to reality..)*****

Bring on the Bung-holes!

who cares about the decade, that's just a meaningless and ultimately arbitrary grouping of years in chunks of ten, and not everyone agrees on when those grouping should start/end (if we count 2000, then the decade ended at 2009)

fact of the matter is that with 6 superbowls we are the greatest team of all time :tt02:

12-10-2010, 01:46 AM
... we are the greatest team of all time :tt02:

The New York Yankees would like to have a word with you. :wink02: