So, the Steelers trounce the Houston Texans in week one. Last years hottest team loses their quarterback for the entire season. The Indianapolis Colts lose badly. The Chargers do even worse. Oh yeah, and the team that was predicted to challenge the Steelers for AFC North supremacy got their a**es kicked worse than me fighting Kimbo Slice in a street fight. All of this can mean only one thing, right? Superbowl here we come!
Not so fast, Bucko! Slow your roll. All of the above week 1 events mean absolutely nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Okay, maybe Tom Brady’s injury is meaningful, but the rest doesn’t mean squat. Does anyone really think the Chargers are out of it? The Colts? Or does anyone really think Cleveland is that bad? Ummm, nevermind on that last question, we all know that Cleveland sucks. But other than Cleveland, there are lots of teams that are still in this thing. Does anyone remember Jacksonville? You know, the team that manhandled the Steelers in the regular season and in the playoffs last year?
Don’t get me wrong, the Steelers looked dominant on both sides of the ball. However, it is only week one. The Steelers started out strong last year too, before fizzling out at the end of the season. Some questions have been answered, but most of them are still hanging over our heads like crime, pollution, bad schools, unemployment, and urban blight hang over Cleveland.
The one question that was answered pretty definitively was whether Willie Parker was back. “Fast Willie” racked up 138 rushing yards, and he looked……..fast. If there were any doubts whether Parker had any lingering effects from the injury, those doubts were put to rest. But all of the other questions still linger.
While the offensive line looked dominant, they still gave up 2 sacks. It might have been more, but it was clear that Ben Roethlisberger has been practicing getting rid of the ball quicker. Justin Harwig looked strong, but he was playing against a 4 man front. Wait until he plays one of the monster nose tackles that populate the AFC North. Hopefully, practicing against Casey Hampton everyday will get him ready for those upcoming meetings.
The defense looked dominant, but that was against a team has never been known as an offensive juggernaut. What will the Steelers do against an offense like the Colts, Chargers, or (gulp!) the Jaguars? To be fair, Lamarr Woodley did look promising. But on the other hand, The Shadow was practically invisible. Heck, did he even play last Sunday? I can’t remember. The bottom line is that the jury is definitely still out on the defense.
With questions remaining about both the offensive line and the defense, it is probably too early to book tickets to the Superbowl. But week 1 did give positive indications of a potentially bright season for the Steelers. The Steelers still have to face the most difficult schedule in the NFL this season, but they were dominant in week 1, and that is good enough for me. Bring on the Browns.