January 3, 2008

The Jaguars Are Like, So Hot Right Now...

"It reminds me of a couple of years ago with Indianapolis. I hope it turns out that way. It's good to play a home game. That's big in the playoffs."
- Ben Roethlisberger
Hey, have you guys heard how good the Jacksonville Jaguars are? Do you know that they have won six of their last eight games? And over those eight games they have scored an average of 32 points per game? Or that David Garrard threw only three interceptions in 325 pass attempts this season? How about that Fred Taylor has averaged 120 yards per game over his last five games and is headed to his 1st pro bowl? I hear he even fathered Jamie Lynn Spears' lovechild...[see below]

Yeah, I think we've heard all this and more since the Jaguars secured a playoff spot a couple weeks back. They say that no one wants to play Jacksonville right now. Jacksonville is the AFC's equivalent of Britney Spears circa 1999, you know, because she was hot then (ironically, so were the Jags). I'll be honest, it's understandable why so many people would feel this way. No matter what I might say here this week, by no means should my thoughts be construed as a lack of respect for the Jagoffs. I understand how good of a team they can be and have been. After all, December 16 was not even three weeks ago.

But getting back to the point, the truth is - I'm not actually all that angry about the fact that no one seems to be giving the Steelers a chance, outside of us devoted Steeler fans. Frankly, I think it might be better that way. Like we discussed yesterday, the Steelers need to light a collective fire under their ass. They need to get hold of something that can motivate them. Well how about this - Not only did the Jaguars recently come into your house and knock you around for 60 minutes, but now they're getting more attention from the media than Jessica Simpson at a Dallas Cowboys game. I seem to remember a similar buzz after the Steelers beat the Bengals (which was a surprise to many) back in 2005 and were set to face the "unbeatable" Indianapolis Colts. We all know how that turned out.

Any way you slice it, this will be a tough game, yes. The Jags sure do seem to be in a better position than the Steelers. But winning streak or not, scoring machine or not, neither Jack Del Rio (as a head coach), nor David Garrard, nor Maurice Jones-Drew have ever seen the post season before. Indeed, Jacksonville has not even seen the post season yet this century. Consider that Big Ben is 5-1 as a starting QB in the post season. Add to that the fact that while few 1st year head coaches make it to the playoffs, those who do have been known to win, and things might skew a little differently.

So while it would be nice to be on a hot streak right now - we're not, and they are. Nonetheless, the more people talk about how hard it will be for the Steelers, the more motivated I think they can be. And the more motivated they are, the hungrier they are. The hungrier they are, the more lethal they are. You can do the math from there...

Now, be honest - Am I just spouting nonsense? Is any of this worth your time? Anything else you might like to discuss? I'm all ears. Oh, and Photoshop ideas are always accepted.

PS - Maybe the Mountaineers can come show the Steelers how to run the football...how many rushing yards was that last night? Something like 350? Damn.

Jacksonville Heads to Playoffs Everyone's Darkhorse [USA Today]
Wobbly Steelers Trying to Regroup for Jags [ESPN]
Tomlin Throws Steelers For Video Loop [Tribune-Review]
Garrard Shrugs Off Playoff Hype [FloridaToday]
Broken Hand Sidelines Jags LB Peterson [Associated Press]
Big Ben's Throwing May Be Steelers Only Chance [Associated Press]
1st Year Coaches Often Win Playoff Openers [Tribune-Review]
Steelers Limp Into Playoffs with #4 Seed [Behind The Steel Curtain]
Exhaustive Jags Replay a Thorn In Steelers Side [Post-Gazette]
Jaguars a Thorn in Steelers Side [Post-Gazette]

Ballhype: hype it up!


Anonymous said...

I don't know. I guess I'm just tired of hearing about how good the Jaguars are. Everybody keeps saying the Jaguars play smash mouth Steelers footbal, that they are the Steelers of the south. They are molded in the form of the Steelers, a warm weather team bred for cold weather football. It's giving me a headache. It's like those stupid Diet Dr. Pepper commercials. "Diet Dr. Pepper tastes more like Dr. Pepper, than regular Dr. Pepper." NO IT DOESN'T. It's similar, but they're not the same. So what do I think? I like Dr. Pepper BETTER than Diet Dr. Pepper, regardless of what any sportscaster thinks. As Alan Faneca said- "Not too many times in life where you get to right a wrong, especially in this game." I think that's what's going to happen. They're going to right a wrong, and win the game.

Anonymous said...

I guess some good news would also be the fact that we just played them recently. The loss is still fresh on their minds.

Can't remember which player said it, but it was mentioned how the Steeler defense is a prideful group and they wouldn't allow so many rushing yards this time around.

Nice sentiment...now hopefully, they can put that into action.

I have hope for this game, hell yeah. I'm ridin till the very end....

MDultrarunner said...

Speaking of Mountaineers, maybe the Steelers can draft that FB Schmitt in the fourth or fifth round this year. Kid's got some legs! Did you see him outrun the DB last night? Heaven knows FWP runs better behind a FB than a tight end.

On Post-Gazette, either Dulac or Bouchette mentioned that they've been playing the tape of the Jags-Steelers on a constant loop at the training facility. That would be enough to drive me into a testosterone-induced frenzy ready to rip Fred Taylor's head off with my teeth. (Nice photoshop work, by the way.)

Not surprisingly, Peter "Butt Sex" King picked the Jags this week. Between his love-fest for the Patriots and his distaste for the Steelers, he's a real douche.

Where am I going with all this? Oh, yeah, right, the Steelers relish the underdog role. I think they've been waiting for this. This is what's going to get them going and will get them up for Sunday's game. I feel better about it with each passing hour.

tecmo said...

I'd father Jamie-Lynn Spears' baby...if she was 18.

No joke.

I rule.

That Taylor photoshop looks like the real deal. Absolutely killed me.

I know Garrard only threw 3 picks, but one of em was against the Stillers. I'm hoping we can get in his head a bit on Saturday night.

Cotter said...

notgomu ~ Precisely my motivation for writing this post. They may be good, but all of a sudden we're supposed to crown them Kings of the AFC playoffs? Maybe they will be, but how can you say that without having even seen them in the Wild Card Round? PS - I like Dr. Pepper too, Diet is garbage.

anon ~ Yep, and not only was it so recent, but as MdUltraRunner pointed out - Tomlin's got the game replaying all week in the practice facility. If the Defense doesn't come out and attack Jacksonville like Rosie O'Donnell on a cupcake, I'll be very disappointed. Big Snack man - big. snack.

mdultrarunner ~ You read my mind. Schmitt would be an excellent addition. Plus, I dig that sick mohawk. Always wanted one but never had the chance to do it without people looking at me like I had a third eye. As for Peter King - I'll start listening to him when he can utter a sentence that doesn't contain the words "Brett Favre." Don't get me wrong, I like Brett Favre too, but that whole suckfest is just inappropriate.

Tec ~ Turnovers will be key as usual. By the way - Is 16 still old enough to consent in PA?

Tobiathan said...

Our guys do relish the underdog role. That could bode well for us. I'm still nervous about this game, but i think our guys will do every thing they can to win. As long as the Stillers play hard and smart and don't beat themselves i'll be satisfied.

I've been hit-and-miss on posting the last few weeks. Honestly, I've been kinda down on our guys. I'm just starting to realize it today. I'm disappointed, and expected a lot more out of this team in December. Somebody said earlier that they think Tomlin's too cool for his own good, and i believe that. For as passionate a guy as he obvuiously is he doesn't seem to get very involved in games emotionally. That's one thing i liked about the Chin: he put EVERYTHING into every game(except last year, of course). I think Cowher's emotion got his teams to 5 AFC Championships. No matter how ya slice it that's a lot. Tomlin needs to open up his heart and mouth this post-season.

If that happens i think this team will respond. It was built by the Chin to react to emotion. Tomlin doesn't need to be the anti-Cowher and be totally emotionless. It'll hurt him in the long run to try to.

So- i'm going the roundabout way in saying that i kind of blame Tomlin and his apparent apathy for the recent struggles and my lack of faith going into today's playoff game. Sad to say, i know, but true enough.

I feel better for admitting it.

See you guys at gametime i hope-