Friday, September 02, 2005

The Pittsburgh Steelers aka Andre "The Giant"

Andre “The Giant” was a colossal athlete who stood in the way of anyone who wanted to be the WWF heavyweight champion. He was never the top wrestler but he was a huge roadblock for anyone who wanted to be the champ. Andre fought Hulk Hogan, The Ultimate Warrior, and Randy “Macho Man” Savage for the title but never got a chance to hold the championship himself. Well, he actually did win the championship once but he immediately sold it to “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DeBiase. Andre will long be remembered as a dominating wrestler without the gold to prove it.

Does anyone really think the Steelers will win the Super Bowl? They have such a good team but with New England, Indy, KC and Baltimore in the AFC alone, the Steelers will probably be watching the Super Bowl on TV again. Ben Roethlisberger had an unbelievable rookie year leading the Steelers to a 13-0 record in the regular season. He’ll be a little better this year but I think it’ll take a few years for him to become a top-rate passer. He’s a good decision-maker and that’s all the Steelers need right now. The running game will be the bread and butter once again as Jerome Bettis and Duce Staley take turns. Bettis had 13 touchdowns and made the Pro Bowl. Bettis might be the first player in sports history to actually turn into his nickname (the bus) but he’s still bouncing off tacklers so it made sense for him to come back. The receiving corps won’t miss a beat without Plaxico Burress. Burress was not the most reliable receiver. His departure gives Antwaan Randle El a chance to shine. The Steelers also brought in Cedric Wilson. First round pick Heath Miller will pay immediate dividends from the tight end position. The offensive line is awesome. The Steelers have such a versatile offense that it’ll be difficult for any defense to shut them down.

I'm not sure if this is Andre's reaction to seeing Big John Stud naked or the news that there won't be a Princess Bride II.

The Steeler defense will again be among the league’s best. They led the NFL last season in points against, rushing yards against, and total yards against. They did lose Kendrell Bell and Chad Scott but that might not make too much of a difference. The Steelers have good players but they’re good in large part because of their defensive coordinator. They have some of the most creative blitz schemes in the NFL. They constantly apply pressure to the quarterback and make tackles in the backfield. The Steelers might have the best linebackers in the NFL with Joey Porter, James Farrior, and Larry Foote. James Harrison is supposedly one mean dude which I think we’ll get a chance to see this season. Casey Hampton is a dominating defensive tackle. The secondary could be green but Willie Williams and Troy Polamalu add stability to the unit. Plus, Polamalu trains in his bare feet which makes him tough!

The Steelers are a complete team. They’re good at every position. I think the one thing that separates them from being a very good team and being a Super Bowl champion is the quarterback play. Roethlisberger is good. He’ll probably end up being great. But, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning will probably consistently outplay Roethlisberger in big games.

The schedule is very accommodating especially for a team that’s as good as the Steelers. They get Cincy and Cleveland twice which should be four wins. They have to play Baltimore twice which should be at least one win. They matchup against the NFC North which should give the Steelers three wins. They play Indy, Tennessee, Houston and Jacksonville which should be three more wins. That leaves Cleveland and San Diego which will be at least one win and possibly two.

Predicted record: 13-3

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