July 14, 2008

Cry Me A River Three Rivers...

Let's see...14 days 'til training camp...we've covered pretty much everything...except...no, we covered that one...uh, well there's...no, that won't work, we don't have a Santa suit...uh...hey, look, it's Ben Roethlisberger!

/Cotter vanishes in a poof of dust like some crazy ass cartoon character

Just kidding.

Here's something we haven't talked about in a while - our schedule sucks. But this time, don't take my word for it. Here's what Mike Florio says...

Whether the Steelers, Browns, Bengals or Ravens can get to .500 comes back to those eight games against the AFC South and NFC East. A uniform failure by the AFC North's squads in those eight games could lead to the first 7-9 division winner in league history.
So if it comes down to the AFC South and NFC East, how will this really pan out?

That's the Peytons Colts, the Jagoffs Jaguars, the Oilers Titans, and the Nobodys Texans, as well as the New Jerseyites Giants, the Cowgirls Cowboys (yes I went with the obvious joke), the Who's your Coach? Redskins, and the Eagles (Eagles spared from wittiness due to my friendly allegiances). None of these teams were below .500 last year. In fact, they were a collective 82-46. Six of them were playoff teams. And oh yeah, I think one of them won the Super Bowl or something.

So, I guess we have our work cut out for us. But you know what? If we want to compete this year, we're going to have to play [most of] them eventually anyway. And listen, if anyone's going to beat any or all of them, I have to believe it'll be the Steelers, and not the Browns, Bengals or Ravens. Though, I guess you could say I'm a little bias.

I'll tell you who worries me in the division though, Baltimore. The Browns are catching more attention than a Britney Spears sighting at Spago, and the Bengals are just a god damned mess (still). But the Ravens, on the other hand, had one big problem last season - scoring. By all accounts, that situation may have rectified itself with the additions of Ray Rice and Joe Flacco(/Troy Smith). Couple that with the same nasty D? The Ravens always look like they're a tough team to beat..that is, except for that one time when Silverback pretty much beat them single handedly and Hines damn near knocked Ed Reed into the third row.

I guess what I'm saying is - if it really does come down to beating those eight teams, as Florio opines that it will, the one team to give us a run for the division will be the Ravens. Put my Anthony Smith hat on and call me "Prophet." Because that's how I see it, folks.

Anyone have thoughts on this? Are my thoughts on the schedule misplaced? Are you worried about the Browns or Bengals?

Oh, and as usual, here's a recap of what you missed this weekend while you were busy denying Facebook friend requests from people you never talked to in high school...You may have noticed the glaring omission of the story that just won't go away. Yeah, that was on purpose. Pass the pain killers please.


tobiathan said...

Personally i like our tough schedule. It means that there are fewer games we'll be "expected" to win. Our Steelers have often stumbled against substandard teams. It's almost like a tradition. With a sched of tough competition i think our guys will stay more focused and have a better, more consistent season.

I agree with Cotter's assessment of Balti. In fact- i think Troy Smith might be the biggest surprise at QQB in the league next year. He's a smart guy, a hard worker, talented athlete, and finally has a real chance at being an NFL QB under a new coaching regime that isn't tooo stubborn to allow change.

To go back in time a ways: i though Kordell was a great fit in Balti when he was there. If Billick had given him half a chance i think Stewart coulda led them into the playoffs, and the Ravens have had a very solid D for years.

Tyhat said, i think Smith can be a smaller, more-accurate-thrower version of Kordell. Look out for the Ravens.

BTW- Why does no one ever mention the fact that NE plays in football's weakest division?

Anyha- that's mah thoughts...

tobiadude said...


How'sa boot a new poll? I'd like to see the votes on how many W's we'll rack up this year, and/or how deep into the post-season we'll get if we get there?

BTW- i finally checked out "The Dude Abides". Good stuff!

Marc said...

I think it's funny that Baltimore has a 5"11 QB and a 6'7 QB fighting for the starting job. They are old (starting for their D Ray Lewis, S. Rolle, Chris McAllister) on D. We should be able to pick them apart, as long as we don't let their pass rush kill us like we have in the past we'll be fine. Cleveland will be tougher, but the same, shitty secondary, good pass rush, albeit a much better offense.

Marc said...

Also I failed to mention their WRs are not great, Derrick Mason is old and Mark Clayton is unproven, Todd Heap is made of glass. Not exactually the best for a young QB. Willis McGahee is a shitty person but a good runner, Ray Rice will be more than servicable.
In other words I feel Baltimore will be no real threat.

domski43 said...

Although the Ravens still do not have any wide receivers they still scare me. When teams fly under the media radar they usually have a tendency to sneak up on people. The Ravens' d is getting a little old, but is still pretty nasty when healthy. Thankfully the future hall of fame anchor to the Ravens offensive line, Jonathan Ogden, retired. So, hopefully this means getting into their backfield will be a little easier. All the Steelers can hope for is that Kyle Boller gets the starting quarterback job.

The Bengals could be called a mess, but this is the NFL and anything can happen. Carson Palmer, Ocho Cinco, and Housamanilla would love to spoil the Steelers season.

The Browns look better on paper, but their secondary looks like its going to be garbage. If the Browns play the way they did @ the end of last season, they will be the same old Browns we all know and love. We will see how they perform under the bright lights and microscope when the expectations are higher than ever in Cleveland.

The schedule is what it is, and the toughness of schedule is based on how well teams did last year. New year...new rules! The focus needs to be winning the division games and everything will work itself out beyond that.