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Old 09-09-2009, 07:14 PM   #1
mesaSteeler
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Default Drive for repeat could reach Giant roadblock

Drive for repeat could reach Giant roadblock
http://www.observer-reporter.com/OR/...ers-Tab-column

What will the Steelers do for an encore?

Maybe win another Super Bowl.

One thing they are unlikely to do is falter as they did in 2006 following their previous Super Bowl victory.

In 2006, the Steelers were a team in transition, even if they didn't know it. Veteran leader Jerome Bettis retired following the Super Bowl victory over Seattle. Head coach Bill Cowher was heading into his final season. And in his third year, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger would struggle for the first time in his career, mostly because of injuries.

There's no question who the leaders are on the 2009 Steelers. They're the same players as in 2008: linebacker James Farrior, wide receiver Hines Ward, Roethlisberger and a few others.

And head coach Mike Tomlin isn't going anywhere soon.

As for injuries, they're about the only thing that can derail the Steelers.

As good as the Steelers were last season, they could be better in 2009. Punter Daniel Sepulveda, who sat out last season after having knee surgery, is back and should help determine field position better than the duo of Paul Ernster and Mitch Berger. Lightning-quick kick returner Sefan Logan also should help.

Considering the Steelers were near the bottom of the league in net punting and return yards, those two things can only help make this team better.

"With Stefan returning kicks and Sepulveda back, that should be big for us," Ward admitted.

The defense should again be among the best, if not the best, in the NFL. The offense needs only to match last season's somewhat mediocre numbers for this team to be good.

Who will challenge the Steelers?

Look no further than the same team they defeated in the AFC Championship game, the Baltimore Ravens.

The Ravens spent the past eight months thinking about how they lost three games to the Steelers last season. They will certainly be a factor in the AFC race in 2009.

New England, Tennessee, Indianapolis and San Diego look to be better than the rest of the AFC, though Houston or Jacksonville could surprise.

In the NFC, things are a little more wide open.

The Giants, Cowboys or Eagles could win the NFC East. In the NFC South, New Orleans, Atlanta and Carolina are very close. In the NFC Central, Green Bay, Chicago and Minnesota all have a shot to win. Only in the NFC West, where Arizona again looks to be the class of the division, is there any clarity.

Look for the Giants, Eagles, Packers, Vikings, Saints and Cardinals to represent the NFC in the postseason.

Who will come out of the two conferences to meet in the Super Bowl?

Look for the Giants to beat the Packers in the NFC Championship, and the Steelers will beat the Chargers in the AFC title game.

But Pittsburgh's run at winning back-to-back titles will be derailed by the Giants in the Super Bowl, as New York's fierce defensive front will be too much for the Steelers to handle.


F. Dale Lolley can be reached at dlolley@observer-reporter. com

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Old 09-09-2009, 07:17 PM   #2
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Default Re: Drive for repeat could reach Giant roadblock

Quote:
The offense needs only to match last season's somewhat mediocre numbers for this team to be good.
Say it aint so!! By gosh by golly - with a #22 ranked offense?

Great read and I totally concur with the author - this year's Steelers are going to be good - almost scary good.
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Old 09-09-2009, 07:18 PM   #3
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Default Re: Drive for repeat could reach Giant roadblock

The Giants are a team I look at as the one huge road block for the Steelers. I remember last seasons game and saw that losing our LS and having Harrison do that job really killed us that game. We were winning and controlling the game, but after those plays we just went down hill. The Steelers are practically the same as last season other than two starts but Warren is back in action and I truly feel if the Steelers play their best against the Giants they can win hands down.
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Old 09-09-2009, 07:20 PM   #4
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Default Re: Drive for repeat could reach Giant roadblock

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Originally Posted by mesaSteeler View Post
Drive for repeat could reach Giant roadblock
http://www.observer-reporter.com/OR/...ers-Tab-column


But Pittsburgh's run at winning back-to-back titles will be derailed by the Giants in the Super Bowl, as New York's fierce defensive front will be too much for the Steelers to handle.


F. Dale Lolley can be reached at dlolley@observer-reporter. com

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When you're talking about February football, I'll take the Steelers over pretty much anyone. ....scratch that: anyone, period.

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Old 09-09-2009, 09:34 PM   #5
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Default Re: Drive for repeat could reach Giant roadblock

We very likely will see the Giants in the Super Bowl, as long as Eli doesn't revert to the Eli Manning pre-SB 42.

I want to see how Eli does without his Plaxico Burress safety net for an entire season. Can he adjust?
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Old 09-09-2009, 09:39 PM   #6
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Default Re: Drive for repeat could reach Giant roadblock

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Originally Posted by mesaSteeler View Post
Drive for repeat could reach Giant roadblock
http://www.observer-reporter.com/OR/...ers-Tab-column



But Pittsburgh's run at winning back-to-back titles will be derailed by the Giants in the Super Bowl, as New York's fierce defensive front will be too much for the Steelers to handle.


.
Too bad NYG lost one their best DL plaeys for the season, they have no WR, and Eli is not an elite QB, that last drive vs the Pats in the super bowl was a fluke
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Old 09-09-2009, 10:00 PM   #7
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Default Re: Drive for repeat could reach Giant roadblock

People picking the Giants are clueless. When Burress was on our team and a target for Ben (when Ben was a rookie), we only went 15-1 and lost in the AFCCG. It took Eli a few years to finally win a Superbowl with him and even then he wasn't that impressive.

The Giants are going to take a major slide this year without that deep threat. Heck, do they even have any sort of threat @ WR?

The NFC East has been the darling division of the NFL the past few seasons, but I can see them taking a pretty big slide this season. Everyone in that division generally has a decent defense, the problem is that they've all degraded on offense (except for the Eagles maybe) so we should have most of those teams playing like the Redskins.
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Old 09-09-2009, 10:16 PM   #8
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Default Re: Drive for repeat could reach Giant roadblock

[QUOTE=mesaSteeler;654185]Drive for repeat could reach Giant roadblock
http://www.observer-reporter.com/OR/...ers-Tab-column


Look for the Giants to beat the Packers in the NFC Championship, and the Steelers will beat the Chargers in the AFC title game.

But Pittsburgh's run at winning back-to-back titles will be derailed by the Giants in the Super Bowl, as New York's fierce defensive front will be too much for the Steelers to handle.


@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
OK... just forget all about the Steelers Defense.....
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Old 09-09-2009, 10:25 PM   #9
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Default Re: Drive for repeat could reach Giant roadblock

Steelers played the Gmen last year playing at their low point, and got better from that point on.
We also played that game without Santonio(suspened) and Hines(injured) I believe and MeMo was the starting RB.
We would kick their ass as we are getting better while Giants will not even make the Superbowl. No guarnatees we will either as its actually a tougher road in the AFC but I like our chnaces 10 x better than the Gmen.
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Old 09-09-2009, 10:27 PM   #10
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Default Re: Drive for repeat could reach Giant roadblock

I think the the lose of Ward will hurt the NY Giants offense, and even though he is a meat-head (dead from the neck up..... MEAT-HEAD), Plexiglas being in the license-plate factory will cause Archie's youngest son problems:
had those 2 players still been on the active roster, the Giants would've been a force, but I think they might have an 'average-at-best' offense this year
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