The First Annual Steelers Defend The Lombardi Trophy Thread

(AKA, The Fourth Annual Steelers March To The Super Bowl Thread)

My God, is it that time already? I rushed home today to see the Raiders play the Eagles, because loathesome as I might find those teams to be, it’s FOOTBALL! This is the earliest I’ve started my annual smack-talking, but I simply couldn’t contain myself anymore. Anyway, let’s get to it.

The Defending Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers (God, it feels good to be able to say that) open their campaign for number 6 in a few short weeks. With the loss of Bettis, von Oelhoffen, Hope and Randle El, you might think that I’m concerned. Not at all. Let’s look at their division rivals:

Cincy- In typical Cincy fashion, they follow up an outstanding year with a total collapse. Under ordinary circumstances I would be inclined to show them some respect, but not this year. The Bengals have turned into the NFL version of Animal House. They have more criminals in the lineup than Baltimore, Carson Palmer won’t be up to snuff, and because of this Marvin Lewis will to all appearances look like the second coming of Sam Wyche. Get ready for it, Cincy fans. Futility beckons.

Cleveland- Well, what is there to say about Cleveland? Same old Brownies, different year. Who’s starting at QB this year, Ken Dorsey? Hey, maybe Kellen Winslow will actually play this year ([sub]yeah, right…[/sub]), but hey, look on the bright side: Old (and I do mean old) timers Willie McGinest and Ted Washington might come through for you. For your sake, Cleveland fans, I hope they can score, too.

Baltimore- Hope abounds for Ratbirds’ fans with the acquisition of Steve McNair. I tend to think it’s misplaced, because he usually gets a flayed chest by week 2, but you have to hang your hopes on something, and what better person to hang those hopes on than an over-the-hill, oft-injured quarterback? Hey, at least you have Boller to fall back on… ([sub]chuckle…[/sub])

So all anybody really has to do to stop them is put 8 in the box to stuff Jamal Lewis, who hasn’t been the same since he got out of prison, a common story in Baltimore. Luckily for the Rats, they still have a strong defense. Or do they? Their usually strong linebacker corps is unproven with the exception of Ray-Ray and Terrell Suggs, which gives the Steelers time to pick their vaunted secondary apart.

I’m not worried. It looks like the Steelers will take the division with ease. And why shouldn’t they? The 1st round pick, Santonio Holmes, will make a quite capable number 2 receiver and compliment to Hines Ward, They always manage to fill the line capably, and Troy Polamalu will amply take up the slack in the secondary.

As for the rest of the AFC, we must always start with the Colts: chokers, through and through. I called Peyton Manning a choker in the playoffs last year and once more he came through for me. How about the Broncos? Two words: Jake Plummer. 'Nuff said. Maybe the Patsies will rise back up to attempt to stake a claim, but they are but a mere shadow of what they were just a few years ago, as evidenced by their less-than-dominant season last year. They’ll have their hands full with the resurgent Miami Dolphins (!), so again, I’m not worried.

The Steelers will win no less than 13 games this year on their way back to claim what is rightfully theirs. Who, pray tell, will they meet there? Time will tell, although Seattle looks like they have the best chance to suffer humiliation once more at the hands of the Steelers. The NFC East teams will be too busy beating themselves up to get very far, and if Vick stays healthy Atlanta will take their creampuff division, and they’re no threat.

My prediction: Seattle gets their rematch in Miami come February, whereupon they start wishing they were anywhere else when the Steelers take them behind the woodshed. No close result this time, friends. No, this one will be decisive and will give the Steelers the distinction of back-to-back Super Bowls not once, not twice, but three times, along with their unprecedented 6th Lombardi Trophy.

That, my fine friends, you can take to the bank.

Bring it.

Hmmm…as I sit here looking at a list of AFC teams, I find that I can’t argue with much you’ve said – the Steelers do have an excellent chance at repeating as AFC Conference Champs.

Then they lose to the Giants two weeks later, but hey, making it to two in a row is still good.

Lead Pipe Lock: The Seahawks finish out at 7-9.

They’ve got a good chance as long as they kept Leavy, Waggoner, Hittner and DeFelice.

Just 3 posts before this happens? Didn’t you get the official memo; the Steelers have drafted all the NFL referees and will make a complete mockery of the sport.

Now, back to reality (as it seems), anyone going to Latrobe this year?

yawn I suppose the refs caused them to win out during the playoffs? Or maybe it was the refs that tried to stop them from doing so when they disallowed the obvious interception by Polamalu.

Let me give you a hint: the referees didn’t win the Super Bowl, the Steelers did. Be upset because Seattle got caught. Be upset because they couldn’t take advantage of the myriad of mistakes that the Steelers made. Or, alternatively, you could stick to this same tired nonsense. It doesn’t matter. This year there will be no doubts.

I’ve got little to contribute. Since my team is expected to be one of the league’s biggest trainwrecks this year, I’ll just say I’m glad Doors gets to have this thread. And while I’m here - the Steelers deserved that game.

Woohoo! It’s football baby! :slight_smile:

I confess that I go into the year with a little fear - we lost some key players and of course I’m still pissed at Big Ben for his major leage screw up.

But football is coming (and thank god, cooler weather!)

I think the Steelers might have a chance if they can keep all of their players away from motorcycles.

Great re-titling, Doors. I was actually curious how you were going to handle that.

I agree with your assessment of both your division and conference opponents. Regarding the NFC? Not so much.

The NFC outplayed the AFC last year, though not in the one game that mattered most. I think the AFC is in for a rude awakening this year.

But of course, only time will tell.

Ahhhh, preseason football. High expectations. Blind devotion. Big dreams, and even bigger delusions.

Just some things to point out:

  1. Last year, The Steelers couldn’t even win their division.
  2. The Steelers didn’t play well at all in the Super Bowl. The Seahawks, fortunately for Doors, played worse.
  3. Antwaan Randle El was more important to the Steelers than people seem to think. Punt returns, taking pressure off of Ward, downfield blocking, and his trick play abilities were invaluable. Santonio Holmes, all 190 pounds of him, isn’t half the player Randle El was.
  4. Big Ben and Willie Parker get hit by the reality of NFL football…it’s really tough once teams key on you.
  5. Mike Anderson, Steve McNair, Trevor Pryce, Sam Adams, Ted Washington, and Willie McGinest. The AFC N added more big run stuffers on defense and the Ravens improved on a poor offense. The Browns are the Browns, but the Bengals improved defensively, the Ravens improved offensively, and the Steelers… well, they lost Bettis, Randle El, and another year on Ward.
  6. Their obsession with motorcycles, Ben, Bill, and Brooks, shows they’re making up for some serious… shortcomings.

The Steelers are a very good team, and will likely make the playoffs again. They will not repeat.

Oh, I forgot to mention:

  1. Charlie Batch? Duce Staley? Cedrick Wilson? Chris Kemoeatu? Mike Logan?

One injury to an important starter (and there will be injuries this year), and the drop off is huge, especially in the skill positions.

How many teams are any different?

Don’t hate on Batch too much. As a Giants fan, I’d trade backup QB situations with the Steelers in a heartbeat. And Staley is plenty good enough at a position where traditionally any schmoe off the street can do a fine job. People claim Denver’s success is because of scheme, but look at the Packers and Vikings. How deep into the depth charts did they dig while still coming up with consistently decent runners?

I don’t know who Wilson, Logan and Kemo are, so I can’t comment on those. But if some of them are linebackers, I’d assume that they’re fine. Pittsburgh isn’t known as a linebacker factory for nothing.

I do agree with your points 1, 2, 4, and especially 5, which is particularly insightful, though some of those additions are past their prime.

I’ve been fascinated with how divisions define rosters for a few years now, along with my overall fascination with divisions in general. For example, note how the marquee tight ends and safeties seem to migrate to the same divisions. (AFC North, NFC East, AFC West.) This is the reason I think that the 49ers will reap nice dividends from that TE they drafted so high; the NFC West is ill-equipped to handle a premiere TE.

The Steelers had their first preseason game yesterday, and they didn’t look too bad considering that a whole bunch of their starters were sitting on the bench. All the same, the defense got a bit chewed up by the Cardinals, who look like they might be ready to step up into the fray for the first time in a long time.

Big Ben survived his first hit, Willie Parker and Verron Haynes looked good, and Santonio Holmes did very well for a rookie. The offense looked pretty good for it being this early. The defense was playing a bit too soft and got torched a few times. Hopefully that will improve.

All in all, a good showing for the first preseason game. Now, if this were the first real game I’d be concerned. But not yet.


Go Cubs!

If the Seahawks finish at 7-9, who would win the NFC West?
I’m a 49ers fan hoping to sneak into the playoffs, what are my chances?

And you guys say I have blind faith? My grandfather wasn’t even alive the last time the Cubs won!

I suppose if every team in the NFL stopped playing en masse for a month in the middle of the season the Niners would have a small chance of making the playoffs. Barring that I think you’re in for a rough year.

I thought Ben looked OK. He didn’t break any big plays, but he was consistent and I was content. The defense disappointed me and I hope that they step up their game. We allowed way too many third down conversions (but I seem to recall that we did last year too.)

It was the first pre-season game, so I don’t really care.

Unfortunately, it seems the NFL beat the Steelers to the punch on the making a complete mockery of the sport. Have you seen the new referee uniforms?

Also, the Steelers played Shane Boyd in a preseason game. That’s grounds for retroactively revoking last year’s win. Shane Boyd has no business being paid to play football. If you ever doubt that, find a tape of one of his starts at Kentucky.

Aw, man! I was hoping this year’s thread would in the Pit. :frowning:

Think Big Ben will forget his helmet in the season opener? :stuck_out_tongue:

I only saw the highlights on Sportscenter, and the whole time I kept saying to myself “My God, that stadium is fantastic!”

I thought the Cards should have kept with an open-air stadium to capitalize on home field advantage with the oppressive heat, but it’s hard to argue against their new digs.