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Old 09-02-2009, 05:46 PM   #1
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Default Bold predictions

Top 10 bold NFL predictions for 2009
by Peter Schrager

1. The Pittsburgh Steelers defense will be even better in '09 than they were in '08.

Just how dominant was the Steelers' D last year? Consider this: In 2008, league-wide scoring was at its all-time highest since 1965, and yet Pittsburgh gave up only 13.9 points per game. In '08, the Steelers faced the toughest schedule of the league's 32 teams and went up against five of the NFL's top 11 offenses. Not an issue. The Steelers allowed the fewest points, total yards and passing yards in football and finished second in rushing yards allowed. No team has led the league in all four categories since the NFL merger in 1970.

The 2009 Steelers might very well accomplish the feat.

Though they don't face a "cream puff" schedule by any means, this year Pittsburgh has a far easier slate than they did last season. Sure, they go against Baltimore twice and match up with Tennessee and San Diego. But they also face the likes of Cincinnati (twice), Cleveland (twice), Detroit, Denver, Kansas City and Oakland. Those are seven wins before even leaving the locker room.

More importantly, the Steelers have the majority of the '08 defense including coordinator Dick LeBeau returning in '09. Cornerback Bryant McFadden and linebacker Larry Foote are elsewhere, but both will be replaced with very formidable fill-ins. The Steelers' linebacker depth, long the team's strength, is downright scary this year. In preseason action, Pittsburgh has seen major contributions from third-year man Lawrence Timmons and second-year guy Bruce Davis. Expect both to make the "leap" in '09 like teammate LaMarr Woodley did in '08.

Sure, the Patriots are the Vegas favorites. And yes, everyone is falling all over themselves to line up for the '09 Chargers bandwagon. But let's not sleep on the defending champs. The '09 Steelers defense may be the best unit the league has seen since another starting 11 roamed the Steel City in 1976.

Lead the league in fewest points allowed, fewest total yards allowed, fewest passing yards allowed and fewest rushing yards allowed? Sure, why not? Maybe throw in most sacks and interceptions, too.

Yep, I'm that high on the 2009 Steelers defense.

10. Come February, Ben Roethlisberger will be hoisting his third Lombardi Trophy in five years.

Not bold enough for you? Check out who the Steelers will be playing in the Super Bowl and the rest of my playoff picks and 2009 awards:

NFC division winners
AFC division winners
NFC East: Eagles (10-6)
NFC North: Bears (11-5)
NFC South: Saints (10-6)
NFC West: Seahawks (10-6)
AFC East: Patriots (12-4)
AFC North: Steelers (14-2)
AFC South: Colts (11-5)
AFC West: Chargers (10-6)
NFC wild-card teams
AFC wild-card teams
Wildcard No. 1: Giants (10-6)
Wildcard No. 2: Vikings (9-7)
Wildcard No. 1: Ravens (11-5)
Wildcard No. 2: Titans (10-6)
NFC playoffs
AFC playoffs
Wildcard: Saints over Giants; Eagles over Vikings
Divisional: Bears over Saints; Eagles over Seahawks
Championship: Bears over Eagles
Wildcard: Ravens over Chargers; Colts over Titans
Divisional: Steelers over Ravens; Patriots over Colts
Championship: Steelers over Patriots
League MVP Adrian Peterson, Vikings RB
Head Coach of Year Mike Tomlin, Steelers
Comeback Player of Year Cadillac Williams, Bucs RB
Defensive Player of Year: James Harrison, Steelers LB
Offensive Rookie of Year Percy Harvin, Vikings WR
Defensive Rookie of Year Aaron Curry, Seahawks LB

Read the rest of his article. I have to actually agree with his assessments.
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Old 09-02-2009, 05:59 PM   #2
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Default Re: Bold predictions

Thanks for posting the article.

One favor.

Please keep the thread title exactly the same as the article title. That way it makes it much easier for everyone to avoid posting same article twice.
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Old 09-02-2009, 06:12 PM   #3
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Default Re: Bold predictions

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