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Old 04-15-2009, 12:25 AM   #1
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Default Quick analysis of Steelers schedule

View from the Press Box
Scott Brown

Quick analysis of Steelers schedule
Posted April 14, 2009 8 :13 PM

The one thing that jumped out at me about the Steelers' schedule: unlike last year's slate there really aren't any daunting stretches.

And the Steelers should be able to get off to a good start something they did not do the last time they were Super Bowl champions if the schedule turns out to be as favorable as it looks on paper.

In the first two months the Steelers play their three toughest games against the Titans, Chargers and Vikings at home. Their road schedules, meanwhile, includes just two games against teams (Ravens and Dolphins) that made the playoffs last season.

Also, the Steelers play all of the teams from the AFC West and NFC North this season and both divisions were pedestrian in 2008, particularly the former.

No team in the AFC West finished above .500 and Kansas City and Oakland were among the worst teams in the league. Both figure to again struggle this season while Denver has gotten appreciably worse since going 8-8 last season and then trading franchise quarterback Jay Cutler after his falling out with new coach Josh McDaniels.

Of course, if last season taught us anything it is that we shouldn't put too much into whom the Steelers are playing based on projections for the 2009 season.

When last season's schedule came out, 8-8 looked like it would be a good season for the Steelers. This schedule looks like it is set up for the Steelers to go 12-4 again.

If the Steelers take that mindsight and don't think for a second that coach Mike Tomlin won't address that with his players early and often they could fall into the trap of underestimating the opposition.

And they could ultimately find themselves at 8-8 and out of the playoffs when all is said and done.

Steelers' 2009 schedule

Thursday, Sept. 10 TENNESSEE, 8:30 p.m.

Sunday, Sept. 20 at Chicago, 4:15 p.m.

Sunday, Sept. 27 at Cincinnati, 1 p.m.

Sunday, Oct. 4 SAN DIEGO, 8:20 p.m.

Sunday, Oct. 11 at Detroit, 1 p.m.

Sunday, Oct. 18 CLEVELAND, 1 p.m.

Sunday, Oct. 25 MINNESOTA, 4:15 p.m.

Nov. 1 Off

Monday, Nov. 9 at Denver, 8:30 p.m.

Sunday, Nov. 15 CINCINNATI, 1 p.m.

Sunday, Nov. 22 at Kansas City, 1 p.m.

Sunday, Nov. 29 at Baltimore, 8:20 p.m.

Sunday, Dec. 6 OAKLAND, 1 p.m.

Thursday, Dec. 10 at Cleveland, 8:20 p.m.

Sunday, Dec. 20 GREEN BAY, 1 p.m.

Sunday, Dec. 27 BALTIMORE, 1 p.m.

Sunday, Jan. 3 at Miami, 1 p.m.
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