One goal down and two to go
Goal number one has been accomplished - Pittsburgh is the AFC Central division champs. Step two? The Stillers need to stay focused and become AFC conference champs. Step three? No details needed there - Disney World here we come...
Ok, great thought, but let's not get ahead of ourselves. There are still games to be played and issues to be addressed.
- The season is not over! The Stillers need to control their own destiny and wrap up home field advantage. This means that they cannot take off the rest of the regular season. All three remaining teams, Detroit (don't laugh, they've been in position to win many games in the 4th quarter), Cinci and Cleveland, are all capable teams and could whip the Stillers if the they decide to take a week off. The division championship is great...hopefully the team celebrated it Sunday night, but on Monday, it's time to focus on Detroit.
- Kick coverage is a huge liability! The kick coverage was absolutely atrocious and Baltimore embarassed the coverage teams! Imagine giving the ball at midfield or better against a solid offensive opponent. This issue, especially in a playoff dog fight, could present the team with an early, stage left exit. In addition to the coverage being bad, the kickoff depth remained a major concern. Brown needs to find some way, any way to drive the ball deep.
- Field goals in the playoffs are essential. Kris Brown needs straightened up his FG kicking. That will be done if the boy ever find his testes DAMNIT! Come playoff time, any points are welcome whether by 3's or by 7's so the team can't have him fading in and out of focus.
Finally, by beating the Ravens on prime time and with Kordell amassing 333 yards, Pittsburgh will get the national recognition it deserves. The critics have been waiting for the team to flounder...waiting for the Ravens to take charge. Well wait no longer my friends, it ain't happenin'!
How great is it to start the week off knowing the identities of the division champs - the Pittsburgh Steelers - and the division wannabes - the Baltimore Ravens? For me it's great...it's Monday morning and I'm loving life! But, keep in mind that Pittsburgh may still have to run through the defending champs come playoff time. If so, it will be at Heinz field and the team will have to overcome a homefield jinx in which the visitors have now won six straight.