Why register with the Steelers Fever Forums?
 • Intelligent and friendly discussions.
 • It's free and it's quick. Always.
 • Enter events in the forums calendar.
 • Very user friendly software.
 • Exclusive contests and giveaways.

 Donate to Steelers Fever, Click here
 Our 2013 Goal: $400.00 - To Date: $00.00 (00.00%)
 Home | Forums | Editorials | Shop | Tickets | Downloads | Contact Pittsburgh Steelers Forum Feed Not Just Fans. Hardcore Fans.

Go Back   Steelers Fever Forums > Steelers Football > Pittsburgh Steelers


Steelers Fever Fan Shop

Doc's Sports Get FREE NFL Picks and College Football picks as well as Football Lines like live NFL Lines and updated NFL Power Rankings all at Doc's Sports Service.

Steelers Steelers - Giants Giants
August 9th, 2014, 7:30pmET

CBS
Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 02-11-2010, 06:29 PM   #1
mesaSteeler
A Son of Martha
Supporter
 

Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Mesa, Arizona
Posts: 7,976
Gender: Male
Member Number: 10438
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Is the AFC North outdated?

Is the AFC North outdated?
By James Walker
ESPN.com
http://espn.go.com/blog/afcnorth/print?id=9447

Cedric Benson, Rashard Mendenhall and Ray Rice all rushed for more than 1,000 yards in 2009, but their teams failed to win more than 10 games and make a deep postseason run.

If you look at various rule changes over the years and the two teams playing in Super Bowl XLIV, one thing is clear:

The NFL wants offense and scoring -- and plenty of it.

So what does this mean for the future of the AFC North?

It's one of the few divisions which, from top to bottom, continues to try to win championships with great defense and a strong running game. Last season, three of the four teams in the AFC North had 1,000-yard rushers and top-five defenses. Yet none of those teams finished with more than 10 wins or got within striking distance of capturing this year's Super Bowl title.

Is The AFC North Stuck In The Past?

On Thursday's Football Today podcast, AFC North blogger James Walker discusses whether the division is outdated. Listen
The Baltimore Ravens were the only team to advance past the wild-card round. Then they were dominated by the Indianapolis Colts, 20-3, the following week.

Want more evidence that the NFL is a pass-happy league?

Consider that 27 out of 32 teams passed the football more than they ran in 2009. Of the five teams that ran the football 50 percent or more, only the New York Jets won in the playoffs.

"I certainly think it's a quarterback-driven league and it's a pass-first league," Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. said. "You need to be able to do those things very well."

Steelers ahead of the curve

When it comes to the AFC North, the Pittsburgh Steelers, directly or indirectly, were ahead of the curve.

Despite their lengthy history of ground-and-pound football, the Steelers began passing the ball more often than running it the past two seasons. That included most of their title run in 2008 when the fate of the season rested on quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's arm down to the last drive in Super Bowl XLIII.

Run-pass ratios in the AFC North
Team Run pct Pass pct
Browns 51.3 48.7
Bengals 50 50
Ravens 46.2 53.8
Steelers 42.2 57.8
Source: ESPN Stats & Information.
According to ESPN Stats & Information, Pittsburgh had the highest pass percentage in the division this past season by a sizable margin. The Steelers threw the football 57.8 percent of the time and ran just 42.2 percent of time.

As a result, Roethlisberger became Pittsburgh's first 4,000-yard quarterback, and Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes also gained more than 1,000 yards receiving.

Many have criticized offensive coordinator Bruce Arians for gradually changing Pittsburgh's longstanding identity. But the Steelers are adjusting with the times and remain ahead of the curve in the AFC North in terms of putting together a high-powered offense. Pittsburgh was ranked seventh offensively in the NFL last season.

"That Steeler offense is a handful for anyone, and they will probably be better than ever next year," Williamson said. "They can throw with most teams, and I think they can run."

Baltimore had the second-highest pass percentage in the AFC North at 53.8. But that number was heavily influenced by a ton of passing in the first half of the season.

The Ravens eventually reverted back to what they do best and became a run-dominant team the rest of the year. They even ran the football an astounding 52 times in a postseason win over the Patriots.

Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco made good strides in his second year, but the Ravens' passing game still needs a lot of work to become elite. The inability to keep up with Peyton Manning and the Colts cost Baltimore in the divisional round.

Five most run-heavy teams
Team Run pct Pass pct
Jets* 59 41
Browns 51.3 48.7
Panthers 51.3 48.7
Bengals* 50 50
Titans 50 50
* Made the playoffs.
"We've got to get better, because if we ever get involved in a shootout, I want to win the shootout," Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome said during the team's season-ending news conference. "We don't want to have the Pro Bowl game, but if we ever get involved in that, I want to be able to win a game like that. And I want to be able to win a 6-0 game, too. That's my goal."

The two Ohio teams were among the most run-heavy clubs in the NFL last season. The Cleveland Browns had the second-highest percentage (51.3) of running plays called in the league, and the Cincinnati Bengals were fourth (50 percent).

Cleveland's quarterback situation is in flux. It clearly is the worst in the division. Brady Quinn and former Pro Bowler Derek Anderson went back and forth as Cleveland's starter. New team president Mike Holmgren hasn't committed to either player for the 2010 season. The Browns reportedly are kicking tires around the league to see if they can strengthen the position.

The Bengals captured the division and had the most regular-season wins (10) but were one-and-done in the playoffs. Cincinnati struggled passing last season and didn't have any reliable receiver outside of Chad Ochocinco.

There is a debate in Cincinnati about how much blame can be placed upon Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer. But with no receiver or tight end depth, and an offensive line that struggled to pass protect, the Bengals' passing game was limited on many levels.

"In the end, it was their downfall," Williamson said of the Bengals. "Their passing game was such a liability this past year, and that's what held them back from being a true contender."

QB play is key

The AFC North currently is competing in one of the NFL's golden ages for quarterbacks.

In 2009 alone, there were at least four sure-fire Hall of Fame quarterbacks leading their respective teams to the postseason.

Manning with the Colts, Brett Favre of the Minnesota Vikings and Tom Brady for New England are first-ballot Hall of Famers. Also, Kurt Warner of the Arizona Cardinals has the potential for an early entry into Canton.

In addition, star quarterbacks such as Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints, the San Diego Chargers' Philip Rivers, Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers, Tony Romo of the Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles' Donovan McNabb all littered the playoff field.

There were 10 quarterbacks who threw for more than 4,000 yards last season. That makes it extremely tough for AFC North teams to shut down every opponent defensively over the course of a 16-game season and three or four additional games in the playoffs. At some point, teams in the division will have to air it out and put points on the board in order to win a championship.

"I know this: It's very, very important to have your quarterback play well to be successful," Holmgren said recently. "I think if you looked around the league everyone knows that."

In a division usually focused on defense, look for a majority of moves in free agency, with trades and the NFL draft to be geared toward improving offenses in the AFC North.

No one wants to be left behind.
mesaSteeler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2010, 08:07 PM   #2
SteelerEmpire
Team President
 
SteelerEmpire's Avatar
 

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 2,338
Gender: Male
Member Number: 14355
Thanks: 1,145
Thanked 1,531 Times in 696 Posts
Default Re: Is the AFC North outdated?

If the rest of the team players did what their paid six figures or millions to do...EACH GAME... it would all balance out... .... everyone hates a ' SLUGGARD' .....
__________________

A HOUSE DIVIDED WILL FALL TO IT'S ENEMIES;
BUT IN UNITY THERE ARE 6' SUPER BOWLS !!!
SteelerEmpire is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2010, 10:58 PM   #3
RoethlisBURGHer
Living Legend
Supporter
 
RoethlisBURGHer's Avatar
 

Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Clowns Town,Ohio
Posts: 5,941
Member Number: 370
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Re: Is the AFC North outdated?

The Ravens have to be run-heavy because they have no receivers for Flacco to throw to.

The Bengals were surprisingly run heavy compared to past years. However, Palmer was off most the season.

The Browns could only win when running the ball because I have seen potatoes play quarterback better than the Browns two starters last year.

The Steelers would have made the playoffs if they would have run a bit more. They were pass happy when they shouldn't have been at times last season and it cost them. However, our offense won us more games than our defense last season too.
__________________

Congrats to the 2009 Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins
RoethlisBURGHer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2010, 11:07 PM   #4
tony hipchest
IRONMAN a.k.a. Tony Stark
 
tony hipchest's Avatar
 

Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Give me back my game...
Posts: 38,111
Member Number: 658
Thanks: 1,468
Thanked 6,172 Times in 2,655 Posts
Default Re: Is the AFC North outdated?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RoethlisBURGHer View Post

The Steelers would have made the playoffs if they would have run a bit more. They were pass happy when they shouldn't have been at times last season and it cost them. However, our offense won us more games than our defense last season too.
how do you figure?

our defense went 9-7.

our offense failed to score more than 2 td's in 8 of 16 games.

our defense held the opponents offense to 2 td's or fewer in 10 of 16 games.



*ST fg's purposfully omitted even though they = offensive fail and defensive success*
__________________
tony hipchest is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2010, 12:36 AM   #5
steelerdude15
Assistant Coach
 
steelerdude15's Avatar
 

Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,311
Gender: Male
Member Number: 15774
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Re: Is the AFC North outdated?

So if everyone jumped off a bridge, would you?
Quote:
continues to try to win championships with great defense
Lets see here for a second, 2000 Ravens, 2006 and 2009 Steelers... defense defense defense. Of course we did throw alot in 2008 and 2009, I still believe running is important. You can't pass every single play of the game. You need to switch it up to confuse the defense of the opposing team. It helps open up the offense and helps tires the opposing defense, plus it helps with clock control.
steelerdude15 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2010, 01:54 AM   #6
mikegrimey
Assistant Coach
 

Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 1,014
Member Number: 15679
Thanks: 0
Thanked 162 Times in 101 Posts
Default Re: Is the AFC North outdated?

Quote:
Originally Posted by steelerdude15 View Post
So if everyone jumped off a bridge, would you?

Lets see here for a second, 2000 Ravens, 2006 and 2009 Steelers... defense defense defense. Of course we did throw alot in 2008 and 2009, I still believe running is important. You can't pass every single play of the game. You need to switch it up to confuse the defense of the opposing team. It helps open up the offense and helps tires the opposing defense, plus it helps with clock control.

Don't stop there either, remember the Bucs and Giants won superbowls largely predicated on the play of their defense (especially the Bucs who had the mighty Brad Johnson at the helm).
Don't forget the three patriot superbowls too---they were foremost a defensive team until 07.

In fact take all the SB winners of the decade, hell, even include the last one and you get:

Offense lead: Colts (2006) and Saints (2009) you can even throw in the Rams SB victory in 99 so the list isn't that short

Defense lead: Ravens, patriots, buccaneers, patriots, patriots, steelers, giants and steelers.
mikegrimey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2010, 12:28 PM   #7
RoethlisBURGHer
Living Legend
Supporter
 
RoethlisBURGHer's Avatar
 

Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Clowns Town,Ohio
Posts: 5,941
Member Number: 370
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Re: Is the AFC North outdated?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tony hipchest View Post
how do you figure?

our defense went 9-7.

our offense failed to score more than 2 td's in 8 of 16 games.

our defense held the opponents offense to 2 td's or fewer in 10 of 16 games.



*ST fg's purposfully omitted even though they = offensive fail and defensive success*
Fourth quarter leads that the defense didn't protect. Allowing the Bears and the Bengals to score in the final seconds of games. If the defense makes a stop in either of those games, the Steelers are in the playoffs.
__________________

Congrats to the 2009 Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins
RoethlisBURGHer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2010, 12:31 PM   #8
truesteelerfan
Team Captain
 
truesteelerfan's Avatar
 

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Northern CO
Posts: 694
Gender: Male
Member Number: 11218
Thanks: 43
Thanked 37 Times in 20 Posts
Default Re: Is the AFC North outdated?

What a dumb article! It's been almost 368 days since we won the title, now we're outdated? I'd love to see us run every single play in a game if we won! Balance is nice, but it's also nice to be able to tell a team we're going to run this next play....and we still do it successfully!
truesteelerfan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2010, 02:32 PM   #9
steelerdude15
Assistant Coach
 
steelerdude15's Avatar
 

Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,311
Gender: Male
Member Number: 15774
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Re: Is the AFC North outdated?

Quote:
Don't stop there either, remember the Bucs and Giants won superbowls largely predicated on the play of their defense (especially the Bucs who had the mighty Brad Johnson at the helm).
Don't forget the three patriot superbowls too---they were foremost a defensive team until 07.

In fact take all the SB winners of the decade, hell, even include the last one and you get:

Offense lead: Colts (2006) and Saints (2009) you can even throw in the Rams SB victory in 99 so the list isn't that short

Defense lead: Ravens, patriots, buccaneers, patriots, patriots, steelers, giants and steelers.
Thank you my friend, this is all true. Defense is not outdated nor is running, but yes this is starting to become a more pass type league.
steelerdude15 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2010, 04:12 PM   #10
WH
Guest
 

Posts: n/a
Member Number:
Default Re: Is the AFC North outdated?

Can I skip the article and say ''suck it author''?
  Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:49 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Shoutbox provided by vBShout v6.2.1 (Lite) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2014 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging v3.0.8 (Lite) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2014 DragonByte Technologies Ltd. Runs best on HiVelocity Hosting.
Navbar with Avatar by Motorradforum
no new posts