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Old 08-18-2008, 02:45 AM   #1
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Default Steelman's AFC North Analysis

I've been getting a lot of flak from friends about how the Steelers suck and can't possibly overcome the toughest schedule in the league, and how we won't win the division and more boatloads of crap. So looking up some stats and schedules, I'll make my mostly unbiased opinion from a realistic standpoint. Granted it's only week 2 in the preseason, so take it all with a grain of salt. It's just a stat-monger's predictions.

In the initial look at the AFC North, several things pop up on the radar:

- Baltimore looks like a headless bird bird in flight right now with the quarterback situation, which isn't likely to improve upon a 22nd-ranked offense. Defensively, they are somewhat old, but serviceable.

- Cincinnati doesn't look much more solid than last year, including a porus defense that allowed 44 TD's and ranked 27th in total yards allowed.

- Cleveland fielded an 8th overall ranked offense last year, but also fielded a 30th overall ranked defense which allowed on average nearly 360 yards per game.

- Pittsburgh had the #1 defense in the league, but only a 17th ranked offense and allowed an all-telling 47 sacks on the year.

Schedually (for lack of a proper term) the division favors Pittsburgh, with Cleveland in a close second.

Quick Example: In the first 5 weeks, Baltimore plays division rivals Cincinnati, Cleveland twice, and Pittsburgh. They could possibly split with Cleveland, coming out 1-3 in the division standings by week 5. That's almost too much of a gap to overcome.

I think I got them all...
All 12 Games & Predictions:

CIN @ BAL - Ravens
PIT @ CLE - Pittsburgh
CLE @ BAL - Cleveland
CLE @ CIN - Bengals
BAL @ PIT - Pittsburgh
PIT @ CIN - Bengals
BAL @ CLE - Cleveland
CIN @ PIT - Pittsburgh
BAL @ CIN - Bengals
PIT @ BAL - Pittsburgh
CIN @ CLE - Cleveland
CLE @ PIT - Pittsburgh

Baltimore > 1-5
Cincinnati > -3-3
Cleveland > 3-3
Pittsburgh > 5-1

Based upon those predictions, and just division standings, Pittsburgh wins the AFC North. Another thing the doubters forget, is that the Browns, Bengals and Ravens play all the same teams Pittsburgh play, and yet everyone harps on the Steelers schedule.

Pittsburgh wins division, Cleveland will break the tie for 2nd due to a better record than Cincinnati and qualify for a wildcard berth. Baltimore will finish last.

On another note. I think we'll drop one division game this year, but not to Cleveland. I've been predicting Cincinnati this entire offseason, but it's hard to say (and contemplate such a loss) We could very easily go undefeated in the division.
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Old 08-18-2008, 05:02 AM   #2
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Default Re: Steelman's AFC North Analysis

Nice read thanks.
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Old 08-18-2008, 06:48 AM   #3
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Default Re: Steelman's AFC North Analysis

Not bad at all there Steelman.

I am thinking though that the Ravens are gonna be better than some are thinking. That defense is getting a little long in the tooth, but if Ed Reed comes back healthy and Ray Lewis and that DT Ngata or whatever his name is are still in the lineup the Ravens will have a good defense.
Now on offense, I think that Troy Smith is their best option right now, but I think if he struggles early then the Ravens need to start looking at their future with Flacco.

I think that the Bengals have as much chance at knocking the Steelers off the top as the Brownies do. That ofense could be very potent if Rudy Johnson comes back 100% like he was. The defense is young and they have some young talent in the secondary that could make a big difference if they can somehow play as a team. We all know that Palmer and TJ are a pretty darn good combo, so I am not counting the Bengals out either.

I think that the Browns will have a decent season this year, but Anderson must prove that last years' 2nd half slump was a fluke or we will b seeing "That Other QB".. On paper their defense should be better, but that will have to be shown on the field as well.

As far as our Steelers?.. It tells me something about what the head coach thinks about our Defensive Line when they sign Orpheus Roye... enuff said.
I think our offense will be fine with Ben and Parker and Ward and Holmes and Miller. Mendenhall runs a little too uprite in my opinion and that may hurt him.
Guys in my opinion Gary Russell should be our GoalLine RB..

Steelers Until January Is Still The Team To Beat In The AFC North

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