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-   -   SI/Perloff: Don't Overlook Steelers in AFC Race (http://forums.steelersfever.com/showthread.php?t=20887)

alittlejazzbird 10-29-2007 12:35 PM

SI/Perloff: Don't Overlook Steelers in AFC Race
 
I disagree with his assertion that the two losses are "excusable" - even though losses inevitably happen, I don't ever excuse them. Also, exactly how many "narrow" victories have we had so far? Our losses have been by 7 and 3 points, respectively, but the wins have all been by a substantial margin (yesterday's Bengal win, at 11 points, is the narrowest margin).

Still, it's nice to get a little media love when all we're hearing about is how no one but the Pats should even botther showing up the rest of the season....
********************************************

The hype surrounding the Patriots-Colts showdown makes the NFL seem like a two-team league with 30 spectators. Not true. There are 29 spectators. Don't count the Pittsburgh Steelers out.

Everyone seems to think a New England-Indy AFC Championship Game is a forgone conclusion. The Pats and Colts are undefeated and winning by huge margins. The Steelers are 5-2, with some narrow victories, and have a rookie head coach, so they're not getting a lot of attention as a threat to the two powerhouses.

Here are five reasons that may be a mistake:

1. They have the No. 1 defense in the NFL: They kept defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau and are working in new head coach Mike Tomlin's influence. They could be a better at the end of the season than they are now.

2. They have the No. 1 running game in the NFL: Willie Parker is a more confident player than he was during the 2005 Super Bowl run and this is basically the same offensive line that led them to a championship.

3. Ben Roethlisberger is back: Big Ben threw 18 TDs and 23 interceptions in 2006 when he was reeling from a motorcycle accident and appendectomy. He has 15 touchdowns and six picks in seven games this season, meaning he's on pace for 35 TDs and 13 picks.

Roethlisberger is rarely in the discussion of the elite QBs. A New York city radio talk show said it wouldn't trade his career for Eli Manning's. That's ridiculous. If you took last year's aberration off his resume, Roethlisberger would be on a Hall of Fame track. His uncanny ability to escape the rush with his feet and keep drives alive is often overlooked. And he could burn any team that loads up to stop the running game.

4. They have basically the same team that won Super Bowl XL: Six starters from the Super Bowl team are gone -- Antwaan Randle El, Jeff Hartings. Joey Porter, Kimo Von Oelhoffen and Chris Hope. Name one of those players the Steelers significantly miss. While Hartings' retirement was a blow, Sean Mahan has been a pleasant surprise at center. And Porter's volume may be missed, but all you have to do is look at his performance in Miami to gauge how much Pittsburgh misses him on the field.

5. Their two losses this season were excusable: They fell to a Cardinals team that was basically playing its Super Bowl because their head coach, Ken Whisenhunt, wanted to beat his former team so badly. And they fell to the Broncos on Sunday night. Sunday night road losses don't indicate much since they're like Monday night games and the home teams tend to play out of their minds.

Other than a trip to New England in Week 14, the Steelers have a soft schedule in the second half, including games against the Jets, Rams and Dolphins. If they end up 12-4, they could get a home playoff game against the Colts. New England isn't going to lose anywhere near four games, but Indianapolis has a very tough schedule and always drops a few games toward the end of the season.

Maybe I'm fooling myself because I want more teams added to the drama. But Patriots and Colts in the AFC Championship Game seems too predictable for an NFL that never follows the script.

http://www.fannation.com/blogs/post/72497

Edman 10-29-2007 12:51 PM

Re: SI/Perloff: Don't Overlook Steelers in AFC Race
 
Various negative Steeler fans:

Don't kid yourself. This team sucks. We don't blow out everyone by 30 points, we aren't undefeated. No way is this team good. Ben's a bonehead. The O-Line stnks. Willie P stinks, there's no pass rush, the sky is falling...etc.

BlastFurnace 10-29-2007 01:07 PM

Re: SI/Perloff: Don't Overlook Steelers in AFC Race
 
The Patriots and Colts are formidable, but not unbeatable.

What people tend to forget about the Patriots is that they are an older team playing their starters a lot of minutes. Older teams tend to wear down as the year goes on and...injuries tend to occur. Let them have their fun right now, but as of right now, they haven't won anything beyond #1 on various poles in the country.

Other than last year, I still think Peyton Manning can be beaten in the playoffs...especially by us.

The Steelers can do it, but they need to learn to handle success and focus every single week a little better than they do.

In the past 15 years, I have seen supposed unbeatable teams/people not win the Championship:

- 1990 Oakland A's - swept by the Reds
- 1991 UNLV Running Rebels - dominant and undefeated team...beaten by Duke
- 1989 Mike Tyson - knocked out by Buster Douglass
- 2005 Indianapolis Colts - with home field advantage, they are beaten by some lowly 6th seeded Wild Card. Who was that...oh yeah...now I remember.

It's a long season folks. The Patriots and Colts haven't won anything yet. But for those of you that think that they can't be beaten, then just listen to Dennis Green's soundbite on youtube over and over again.

SCSTILLER 10-29-2007 01:09 PM

Re: SI/Perloff: Don't Overlook Steelers in AFC Race
 
I kinda like the fact that we are "Under the Radar". Hell, the super bowl is coming up this Sunday, if you beleive the media. 2005 we weren't supposed to beat the Colts in Indy, and we did! I like the fact the media isn't all over us, hopefully keeps the players focused and other teams not paying attention to us. BIG mistake, cause here we come!

LambertLunatic 10-29-2007 01:10 PM

Re: SI/Perloff: Don't Overlook Steelers in AFC Race
 
The Patriots look unbeatable. They blow out each opponent they've faced. Regardless of if they're playing at home or away, prime time or not, AFC or NFC, Divisional game or not, they're blowing out each opponent. The media has preordained them as SB champs. Now look at reality.

They've only played 3 teams with a record of .500 or above (and the chargers were in a tailspin at the time they played). Granted, they can only play who's on their schedule, and our Steelers have had an easy schedule also, but we know we're beatable.

They have their division wrapped up after just 8 weeks. This means no adversity, which they'll surely face in the playoffs. The 07 Patriots are following the exact same road as the 05 Colts, and look at what happened to said colts in the playoffs....1 and done.

The players can claim otherwise all they want, but they do read the press clippings. They're only human, and being pro athletes, have big egos. Being the media darlings may be good for the ego, but not for their playoff performance.

Are the Steelers the best team in the NFL? I don't think so, but the best team often falls short in the playoffs. The lack of adversity will really hurt the patsys in the playoffs.

Atlanta Dan 10-29-2007 02:55 PM

Re: SI/Perloff: Don't Overlook Steelers in AFC Race
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by BlastFurnace (Post 313802)

In the past 15 years, I have seen supposed unbeatable teams/people not win the Championship:

- 1991 UNLV Running Rebels - dominant and undefeated team...beaten by Duke

It's a long season folks. The Patriots and Colts haven't won anything yet. But for those of you that think that they can't be beaten, then just listen to Dennis Green's soundbite on youtube over and over again.

I also have been thinking about the Duke-UNLV analogy, as well as the '83 Redskins, who had an offense that seemed to score at will like the Pats, until they met up with the Raiders (with 2 shutdown corners in Lester Hayes & Mike Haynes) and got smashed in the Super Bowl.

Like the Pats that undefeated Vegas team was being compared to the greatest teams of all time, reveled in its outlaw image, and had administered a 30 point beat down to Duke the year before. Of course Duke played a flawless game, and , after beating Vegas, won the national championship 2 nights later and repeated the next year, illustrating that it usually takes a great team to beat a potentially legendary team.

Beating the Pats will be difficult but not impossible (unless something unfortunately (:smile:) happens to Tom Terrific). It will require keeping the Pats in the high 20s to low 30s and a perfect offensive game plan.

onthebus36 10-29-2007 03:08 PM

Re: SI/Perloff: Don't Overlook Steelers in AFC Race
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by LambertLunatic (Post 313806)
They've only played 3 teams with a record of .500 or above (and the chargers were in a tailspin at the time they played).

Great points about the schedule! Also, some of their stats benefit from running up the score. How many coaches have their first team on the field when they are up 38-0 let alone go for it on 4th down? If you look at their records vs. the better teams they've played, the margins of victory are much closer.

Still, the fact that they've scored on every first possession is very impression and make no mistake this is a very good team. However, a lot can happen in a season. In a league where the difference between undefeated and middle of the pack is one hit, anything can happen.

Also, I don't know about you guys but I believe in luck and jinxes and stuff like that and I feel, right now, the Pats are doing some bad karma stuff.

Atlanta Dan 10-29-2007 04:01 PM

Re: SI/Perloff: Don't Overlook Steelers in AFC Race
 
FWIW Michael Wilbon shares some love for the Steelers

Q: How would you rate Mike Tomlin's coaching performance at Pittsburgh so far this year? Now that we are getting to the mid-way point of the season, do you or your colleagues feel he is meeting or exceeding expectations?

Michael Wilbon: Aren't the Steelers 5-2? They're not the Patriots, not the Colts. But if all the players on those two teams voted secretly as to what one team they would NOT want to face, I promise you it would be the Steelers.



http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...102402052.html

Steelman16 10-29-2007 04:10 PM

Re: SI/Perloff: Don't Overlook Steelers in AFC Race
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by onthebus36 (Post 313841)
Great points about the schedule! Also, some of their stats benefit from running up the score. How many coaches have their first team on the field when they are up 38-0 let alone go for it on 4th down? If you look at their records vs. the better teams they've played, the margins of victory are much closer.

Still, the fact that they've scored on every first possession is very impression and make no mistake this is a very good team. However, a lot can happen in a season. In a league where the difference between undefeated and middle of the pack is one hit, anything can happen.

Also, I don't know about you guys but I believe in luck and jinxes and stuff like that and I feel, right now, the Pats are doing some bad karma stuff.


I don't believe in that kind of stuff, but I DO believe that the Pats have something comin' to them. Something will happen, not that I endorse it, but I hope the Pats learn a very hard lesson.

slippy 10-29-2007 06:01 PM

Re: SI/Perloff: Don't Overlook Steelers in AFC Race
 
i don't believe in kamra either, steelman. but if bellicrack keeps passing on 4th down when up by 38 points, some irate D player will wreck brady in fustration and eat the penalty/fine.

i didn't see it but the skins D was all up in bellicrank's grill verbally at the end of the game.

bellicrap is so small; first the cheating then running up the scores to get back at "the league". belli-kraft is impossible to root for, although brady is incandescent. if he were my QB, I'd love him.


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