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"What If" says Steelers lose division and miss play offs.

Postby thesteelhammer » Thu Jun 19, 2008 10:20 pm

"What If Sports" not only has the Steelers finising 2nd in the AFC North to the browns, but also has Pittsburgh missing the play-offs. High praise for Mendenhall, but more Interesting is the take on the schedule. At least they back it up with a game-by-game prediction.

http://www.whatifsports.com/beyondtheboxscore/default.asp?article=20080611
By Paul Bessire, WhatIfSports.com
June 11th 2008

Pittsburgh Steelers (9-7)
It is not a bad season for the Steelers; they just do not quite make the playoffs. Pittsburgh actually has a fairly explosive offense for 2008, but the defense is not what it has been. The schedule is tough, and the Browns are just a little better. The Steelers average 24.7 points per game (#13) and allow 23.2 points (#17) against a schedule featuring eight games against 2007 playoff teams.

Absolute Record: 10-6 - This would suggest that the team is actually better than the Buffalo Bills, which get a Wild Card due to a higher number of non-rounded expected wins, despite also rounding to a 9-7 record.

Most Significant Newcomer: Rashard Mendenhall, RB - This may not be a big breakout year for Mendenhall, but he looks like a future All-Pro and could still be an electric back as a sub and goalline specialist for Willie Parker. This analysis expects Mendenhall to total 1,008 yards from scrimmage and score 10 touchdowns.

Biggest Strength: Running Offense - Alan Faneca may be gone, but this team just added one of the most NFL-ready backs to come out of the draft in years to an attack that finished third in the NFL in rushing in 2007. Receiving deep threat Limas Sweed should also come in and help Santonio Holmes to keep defenses honest.

Most Exploitable Weakness: The Schedule - Again, this is neither a bad team, nor a bad year. It is just a bad schedule (for the Steelers and their fans at least). For a team that won its division in a year when no other team from the division made the playoffs to have to play eight games against playoff opponents from the previous year is astounding. The AFC North plays a round-robin with both divisions in the league that placed three teams in the playoffs in 2007. Adding the Patriots and Chargers to the mix is torturous.

Possible Fantasy Sleeper: Santonio Holmes, WR - Everyone knows who he is, but this, his third season, should be the year that Holmes becomes one of fantasy football's elite receivers. Hines Ward will likely be limited again by age and nagging leg injuries, so Holmes needs to step up. We have him as the 13th best receiver with 65 receptions, 1,091 yards receiving and seven touchdowns.

Closest Game: @ Cleveland (Week 2) - Referenced in the Browns' write-up above, this could be the game that decides the AFC North crown - and it happens in September.

Fantasy Notables: Ben Roethlisberger (8) 3,455 yards, 23 TDs, 10 INTs; Willie Parker (13) 1,500 total yards, 12 TDs; Rashard Mendenhall (33) 1,008 total yards, 10 TDs; Santonio Holmes (13) 65 receptions, 1,091 yards, 7 TDs; Hines Ward (45) 64 receptions, 738 yards, 5 TDs; Heath Miller (9) 52 receptions, 613 yards, 4 TDs; Jeff Reed (11) 42/42 XPs, 26/34 FGs

Projected 2008 Results:
Week Opponent Win% Avg Score
1 Houston Texans 69 27-15
2 @Cleveland Browns 49 18-24
3 @Philadelphia Eagles 54 24-23
4 Baltimore Ravens 71 29-17
5 @Jacksonville Jaguars 42 21-30
7 @Cincinnati Bengals 67 28-25
8 New York Giants 37 22-25
9 @Washington Redskins 55 22-22
10 Indianapolis Colts 33 25-28
11 San Diego Chargers 52 27-21
12 Cincinnati Bengals 66 30-19
13 @New England Patriots 29 21-33
14 Dallas Cowboys 37 24-28
15 @Baltimore Ravens 62 25-21
16 @Tennessee Titans 68 23-20
17 Cleveland Browns 58 28-20


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Re: "What If" says Steelers lose division and miss play offs.

Postby Steel_Buckeye » Thu Jun 19, 2008 11:40 pm

This suits me just fine, when everyone thinks we are down, we do good, but when everyone picks us to win and make it to the SB, we crap the bed!!!!!
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Re: "What If" says Steelers lose division and miss play offs.

Postby StillMill » Fri Jun 20, 2008 12:30 am

I've been meaning to write an article on this subject (yes, I'm delinquent!)....

I don't buy into this "tough schedule" mularkey. A playoff team from LAST year is not necessarily a playoff-caliber team THIS year. Retirement (Favre, for example), free agent defections, and injury can rapidly change a half decent 10-6 team into a 4-12 team. A poor draft will prevent a team from keeping pace with others. Locker room problems, player dissent and moping, players bickering among one another, and random drug testing suspensions (ie, Merriman, et al) can further hinder a team come Sept or Oct. A 10-win team from LAST year can very easily get crippled by FA losses, injury, drug suspension, police arrests, and player bickering, and finish with 6 wins.

The Stillers need to play good, tough football regardless of who is on the schedule or what that opponent's record was last year. And, last time I checked, this Stillers team had a tough problem facing weak-assed teams that they took all too lightly (Jets, Dolphs, etc.)

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Re: "What If" says Steelers lose division and miss play offs.

Postby steelthenewplatinum » Fri Jun 20, 2008 1:56 am

they're predicting FWP and mendenhall to have a combined 2500 yards and still miss the playoffs. hmm...... 1000 yards his rookie season, AND obviously taking a lot of pressure off of wille. what a crapshoot.

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Re: "What If" says Steelers lose division and miss play offs.

Postby ILLSTILL » Fri Jun 20, 2008 2:30 am

"Most Exploitable Weakness: The Schedule"

Oh, yes, I'm sure every team they play is going to try to beat the Steelers by attacking their schedule! :?

Why would teams try to attack concrete problems such as the steelers poor pass blocking, terrible special teams, or another Anthony Smith blunder, when it's smooth sailing as long as they just stick to exploiting something they have zero control over?

For the record: This is the dumbest shit I've heard in this ENTIRE FUCKING OFFSEASON.

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Re: "What If" says Steelers lose division and miss play offs.

Postby stillthere » Sat Jul 19, 2008 6:40 pm

These guys every year for about ten years have been picking Cleveland, Tennessee, Jacksonville, Baltimore, Or Cinci to take the division and Pittsburgh still comes away with it more times than the others combined. It would be boring to pick Pittsburgh every year if you are a writer. Another thing is if the "insert team" actually wins the division the guy that wrote it can claim he knew and that he was ahead of the curve or evaluated "x" stat or angle better than some other blowhard that he knows or works with or for.

Eff em. I hope everone picks us 3rd to cinci and cleve. just so the players don't think it is all a cake walk. this shit is mostly filler to say I wrote an article on the NFL so he can get his check and fuel for message boards to ramble about. On those two counts mission accomplished.

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Re: "What If" says Steelers lose division and miss play offs.

Postby Nel » Sat Jul 19, 2008 8:36 pm

I think the Steelers finishing at 2nd place is probably accurate, but the author's write-up strikes me as complete B.S. But I am no football writer so what I say about it does not matter.

Yet, I think the Steelers' offensive and defensive lines are to have a good deal of trouble this year, which will place a lot of pressure on Roethlisberger to create scores.

I am calling an 8-8 season for Pittsburgh this year, maybe tied for second place, out of the playoffs. There is no way our backs rush for 2,500 yards this season, that is ball control and I don't see that as possible with the average line play.

I think the schedule is tough, but no excuses there. It will be exciting and fun, though, and I am looking forward to rooting for the Stillers.

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Re: "What If" says Steelers lose division and miss play offs.

Postby The Fan Of STEEL » Sun Jul 20, 2008 9:12 am

I agree with Mill about the "tough" schedule.

"What if" picked cleveland because it was the easy pick, not because it was well thought out.

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Re: "What If" says Steelers lose division and miss play offs.

Postby darthsteel » Sun Jul 20, 2008 11:08 am

Makes me laugh how these people think the stillers are still a run 35 times a game team.
you dont give your qb 100 mil to throw the ball 20 times a game lol, where do these writers come from?

With the shedule this season I would bet half of the games the stillers will be playing from behind in the second half and will be in passing mode the entire 4th qt!

stillers will avg throwing 28 to 32 times a game, not 20 to 24!

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Re: "What If" says Steelers lose division and miss play offs.

Postby jstallworth82 » Sun Jul 20, 2008 11:11 am

What if I win 2 billion dollars, What if the Dolphins go undefeated, What if blah blah blah What if we just not play the season out because the media know everything.....

What if we do not win division? Ahhhh we find the problem and fix it. Daaaaaaahhhhhh

What if we don't make P.O.s refer to answer 1

Now move on to the next stupid article written by some other expert publication. Who cares about posting articles thought up by others write your own original opinion here. have a poll about the schedule and see how many here do better than the experts instead of wasting time posting their BS be original....

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