Steelers Today - A Pittsburgh Steelers blog


Steelers win, but don’t make playoffs

January 03, 2010 By: Admin Category: Post-Game Reports

Well, the 2009 season is a wrap for the Pittsburgh Steelers.  Despite beating the Miami Dolphins 30-24, the Steelers didn’t get the help that they needed from other teams in order to get into the playoffs.  So the team goes into the off-season with lots of questions to answer.

But before we get to that, let’s review the game.  Several players had especially good performances that are worth noting.  Firstly, LaMarr Woodley had his coming out party in 2009.  With Troy Polamalu on the sideline, Woodley became the most dominant member of the defense.  Woodley showed no mercy to Dolphins quarterback Chad Henne, despite the fact that they were college teammates at Michigan.  Woodley sacked Henne twice, and pressured him many more times.

Willie Parker also had a very good game.  Despite not being utilized very much this season, Parker rushed for 91 yards on 12 carries against the Dolphins.  That was a nice final performance as he enters free agency.  Good luck next year, Willie.  You won’t be playing for the Steelers.

Big Ben also had a very good game.  He threw 3 touchdowns without an interception.  2009 was a great year for Big Ben.

Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger

The Steelers’ cornerbacks finally got an interception.  Both Ike Taylor and Deshea Townsend got interceptions against the Dolphins.  It’s too bad they also made Dolphins 3rd string QB Tyler Thigpen look like Dan Marino.

Mike Wallace also had a good game.  He caught another long touchdown pass.  I knew this kid was going to be good.  I could see it back in training camp.  I even wrote about it here.

Rookie WR Mike Wallace

Finally, offensive coordinator Bruce Arians called a pretty good game.  I’ve been pretty tough on Arians this season, so I owe it to him to point out when he calls a good game.  Bruce actually called a pretty balanced game.  He used his running backs 32 times, and called pass plays 28 times.  You can’t get much more balanced than that.  Moreover, Ben had a great game while the backs rushed for almost 200 yards.  See, you CAN run the ball and pass it too.  Of course Arians did call for that asinine pass by Santonio Holmes.  But I’m going to ignore that, and focus on the positive.  Good game, Bruce.

But despite their victory over the Dolphins, Sunday was not a happy day for the Steelers.  The bad news started early, and just kept on coming.

The bad news started when the Houston Texans beat the New England Patriots.  The Steelers needed the Texans to lose more than any other team.   Once the Texans won, the Steelers needed the Oakland Raiders to beat the Baltimore Ravens.

The Raiders were actually beating the Ravens, but then their quarterback got hurt and they had to call on JaMarcus Russell.  The moment JaMarcus Russell came into the game for the Raiders, any hope the Steelers might have had went out the window.  Russell is probably the worst quarterback in the NFL.  Having to depend on him to win a game is like depending on Whitney Houston to say “no” to crack; it’s just not going to happen.  So the Raiders lost, and the Ravens were in the playoffs.  Then, to toss salt in the wound, the Cincinnati Bengals completely shut it down against the New York Jets.  Not that it mattered at that point, but I’m sure the Bengals enjoyed knowing that they did absolutely nothing to help the Steelers’ chances.

So the Steelers now head into the off-season with a long list of questions.  Will Casey Hampton be signed to a new contract?  Will Ryan Clark be with the team next year?  Will Troy Polamalu’s knee heal completely?  Will Willie Gay get burned for touchdowns even when the Steelers aren’t playing?  Will Bruce Arians return as offensive coordinator?  Will the Steelers hire a new special teams coach?  Will Jeff Reed be back for another season with the Steelers, or will he get arrested first and force the Steelers to let him go?

The Steelers won’t be in the playoffs, but the off-season is still going to be very exciting for Steeler Nation.  The team has lots of questions to answer.  I expect this team to make significant changes in the months to come.  Stay tuned.


(If you enjoyed this article, please consider leaving a comment below. Also, please subscribe to our blog by pressing the orange button below. You can also follow us on Facebook or Twitter by clicking the doohickies at the bottom of the right column of this page.  Thanks.)

Subscribe in a reader

Top NFL Fan Sites


Do the Steelers deserve to make playoffs?

January 01, 2010 By: Admin Category: Uncategorized

Since last week’s win against the Baltimore Ravens, Steeler Nation has been obsessing over the various scenarios that will result in the Steelers making the playoffs.

The purpose of this article is not to discuss the chain of events that needs to happen in order for the Steelers to make the playoffs.  There are plenty of articles out there that do that.  Just Google the words “Steelers playoff scenarios”, and thousands of articles will pop up that outline the myriad playoff scenarios.

The purpose of this article is slightly different.  In this article, I want to answer a different question.  Rather than focus on what needs to happen for the Steelers to make the playoffs, I want to answer the question “Do the Steelers deserve to make the playoffs?”

This year’s Steelers team is unlike any that I can remember.  For the first time, I find myself feeling embarrassed about the Steelers.

When I look at the Steelers special teams, I see a unit that is the worst in the entire NFL.  They seem to enjoy watching their opponents celebrate touchdowns.  Perhaps that’s why they’ve given up so many of them. 

When I look at the Steelers’ defensive backs, I see a unit that doesn’t seem to be able to stop even the most meager  passing attack.  The cornerbacks can’t catch a cold.  It’s hard to see this unit as being playoff worthy.

The Steelers’ offensive line doesn’t seem to be able to get an adequate push to allow the running game to operate effectively.  That’s part of the reason why head coach Mike Tomin seems content to allow the offense to throw the ball 90% of the time.  He doesn’t have confidence in the Steelers’ ability to run it effectively.

Kicker Jeff Reed couldn’t make a kickoff reach the endzone if his life depended on it.  His lack of distance further exacerbates the problems the Steelers have with their special teams.  It’s a good thing Reed is able to kick field goals accurately at Heinz Field (which isn’t easy to do), otherwise the Steelers would probably have gotten rid of him years ago.

Steelers kicker Jeff Reed

Offensive coordinator Bruce Arians doesn’t believe in traditional smash-mouth Steelers football.  He doesn’t believe in using a fullback.  He shows no commitment to running the ball.  Nope, Bruce loves to throw the ball.  In fact, I’d be willing to bet that Bruce Arians will be the first NFL offensive coordinator to utilize a 9 wide receiver set.  Or perhaps 5 wide receivers and 4 tight ends.  Either option would probably give Arians the orgasm of a lifetime.

The majority of Steeler Nation would probably like to see Arians executed, rather than just fired.  Is execution legal in Pittsburgh?

I’ve been a Steelers fan for a long time.  I can remember some terrible Steelers.  Cliff Stoudt.  John Reinstra.  Jamaine Stephens.  Tim Worley.  Delton Hall.  Sean Mahan.  Huey Richardson.  Troy Edwards.  Tom Ricketts.  Limas Sweed.  You get the picture.  Yet I can barely remember an entire Steelers team that was as flawed as this one.  O-line, D-backs, special teams, coaching, etc.  That’s a lot of  flaws.

This Steelers team is just barely over .500.  Two weeks ago, they were below .500.

The 2009 Steelers have managed to play down to the level of their opponents, no matter how bad the opponent may have been.  The Kansas City Chiefs, Oakland Raiders, and Cleveland Browns were the worst of those opponents, and the Steelers lost to all three of them. 

So, does a team that has struggled to stay above .500, and that has lost to several of the worst teams in the NFL deserve to make the playoffs?  Surprisingly, I believe the answer is “yes”.

Despite their many shortcomings, the 2009 Steelers have just as much chance to win it all as any team in the playoffs.  I guess that’s NFL parity for you.

If the playoffs were to start today, the Steelers would not be in them.  However, they will have played 5 of the teams that would make the playoffs.  Moreover, they’ve beaten 4 of them (San Diego Chargers, Minnesota Vikings, Denver Broncos, and Green Bay Packers).  The Cincinnati Bengals would be the only playoff team that has beaten the Steelers this season.

Of course, that doesn’t change the fact that the Steelers have lost to the 3 worst teams in the AFC.  But if they do get into the playoffs, winning is actually a possibility.

Some fans probably hope that the Steelers don’t make the playoffs.  That way, they’ll get a better draft pick and can begin fixing their woeful offensive line and defensive backfield.  I can understand that line of thinking.  However, if the Steelers DO make the playoffs, they can actually win some games.  Just so long as the Chiefs, Raiders, or Browns aren’t in the playoffs.  Then the Steelers wouldn’t have a chance.


(If you enjoyed this article, please consider leaving a comment below. Also, please subscribe to our blog by pressing the orange button below. You can also follow us on Facebook or Twitter by clicking the doohickies at the bottom of the right column of this page.  Thanks.)

Subscribe in a reader

Add to Technorati Favorites

Top NFL Fan Sites

Why the worry? Steelers will make the playoffs.

December 03, 2009 By: Admin Category: Uncategorized

Following Sunday’s loss to the Baltimore Ravens, I started reading some of the comments from Steelers fans.  Many took the same path as Hines Ward and questioned Ben Roethlisberger’s toughness.  Others had a few choice words for the Steelers defense.  Of course there were some who blasted the Steelers special teams (nothing new there).  And we can always count on the “Fire Bruce Arians” crew to be vocal about their views.  Heck, there were even some who called for Mike Tomlin to be fired.

Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin

Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin

As I read the comments in total disbelief, I found myself asking, “what’s everyone so worried about?”

The Steelers’ loss on Sunday definitely made it much more difficult for them to make the playoffs.  But they are still right in the chase for a wildcard playoff spot.  They are currently behind Denver (7-4), but I don’t think that is going to last.  Then they’re tied with Jacksonville (6-5) and Baltimore (6-5) for the final wildcard spot.

The Steelers look like a probable playoff participant.  Moreover, they’re 6-5, not 5-6.  So why is Steeler Nation in such a panic?

If we look at the Steelers’ future opponents, the challenges don’t look daunting.  They have what look like easy wins against Oakland and Cleveland remaining.  Yeah, I know that we said the same thing about Kansas City, but that was an anomaly.  The Steelers also have to face the Baltimore Ravens here in Pittsburgh.  The Ravens just barely beat us in overtime with our 3rd string quarterback starting, and without Troy Polamalu.  Let’s see them do that in Pittsburgh with Big Ben at the helm, and Troy likely in the line-up.  The Miami Dolphins’ record (5-6) is below .500, so the Steelers should be able to beat them.  The greatest challenge may be the Green Bay Packers.  They’re 7-4, but they’re trailing the Minnesota Vikings (who the Steelers already beat) in the NFC North.  That game will be in Pittsburgh, so the Steelers should have a decided advantage.

When we look at that schedule, it is very easy to envision the Steelers winning each of those games.  Going 5-0 is very feasible.  However, the other teams that are in the playoff hunt probably can’t say the same thing.

The Denver Broncos currently hold the first wildcard position.  However, they have lost 3 games in a row, and they still have games remaining against the Indianapolis Colts and the Philadelphia Eagles.  That is hardly an easy path to the playoffs.  In fact, they’ll probably be underdogs in both of those games.

The Jacksonville Jaguars’ path doesn’t look much easier.  Jacksonville has games remaining against Houston, Indianapolis, and New England.  They could easily lose all of those games.  They’ll likely lose 2 of them.  Count them out.

The Ravens still have out-of-division games with Green Bay, Detroit, Chicago, and Oakland.  They might lose one of those games.  But the biggest obstacle in the Ravens’ path is another meeting with the Steelers.  This one will be in Pittsburgh, and the Ravens will be the underdogs.

So as you can see, the Steelers fate is really in their own hands.  If they take care of business, the playoffs are within reach.

Does anyone really think that Jacksonville is going to beat Indy and New England?  Me neither.

Does anyone believe that Denver is going to beat Indianapolis and Philadelphia?  I didn’t think so.

Does anyone believe that Baltimore is going to beat the Steelers in Pittsburgh?  Of course not.

So I’ll ask the question again, “what’s everyone so worried about?”


(If you enjoyed this article, please consider leaving a comment below. Also, please subscribe to our blog by pressing the orange button below. You can also follow us on Facebook or Twitter by clicking the doohickies at the bottom of the right column of this page.  Thanks.)

Subscribe in a reader

Add to Technorati Favorites

Top NFL Fan Sites

Super Bowl XLIII Preview: Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Arizona Cardinals

January 28, 2009 By: Admin Category: Pre-Game Analyses

January 27, 2009
By Donald Starver

A little less than a week to go until the Super Bowl, and I’m already tired of all of the hype. Let’s get it on already!!!

If I had my way, the NFL would eliminate the extra week between the AFC/NFC Championships and the Super Bowl. In my opinion, two weeks is just too much time. Fans get tired of hearing the media rehash the same stories over and over (and over, and over, and over) again. By the way, did you know that Cardinals’ head coach Ken Whisenhunt was once the Steelers offensive coordinator and was passed over for the Steelers’ head coaching job that eventually went to Mike Tomlin? Oh, so you’ve heard that story 97 times today too? Darn, I thought I had a scoop.

Well, since I can’t get a scoop on the Whisenhunt story, I guess I’ll have to write my normal pre-game analysis.

First of all, these two teams aren’t strangers.  They played one another in 2007.  That was both Mike Tomlin’s and Ken Whisenhunt’s freshman years as head coaches.  Whisenhunt’s Cardinals won that game 21-14.

For those who say that the Cardinals don’t have a chance against the vastly superior Steelers, I would remind them that that was exactly what they said last year (when the Cardinals beat the Steelers despite the supposed hopelessness of their cause), and these two teams haven’t changed very much.

So let’s take a look at exactly how the Cardinals beat the Steelers last year, and see if those factors still apply, or if things have changed significantly.

The thing that I remember most about that game was that the Cardinals played “Steeler football” much better than the Steelers did.  They manhandled us.  Everyone expected the Cardinals to be a finesse team, but instead they came out and showed the Steelers just how physical they could be.  They controlled the line of scrimmage, particularly on defense, and imposed their will on the Steelers.  Nobody was surprised that they were able to outplay the Steelers’ offensive line.  Afterall, just about every team dominated the Steelers O-line last year.  But nobody expected the Cardinals to have success against the Steelers’ defense.  Some attributed it to “the Gruden Effect”;  Coach Whisenhunt knew Dick LeBeau’s defense, and was able to game plan against it.  I don’t really buy that theory, but it was suggested by many.

Let’s first look at what happened when the Cardinals were on defense.  Despite a history of being a “smash mouth” football team, the Steelers Offense were the ones who got their mouths smashed.  The Cardinals lived in the Steelers’ backfield.  They sacked Ben Roethlisberger 4 times, and had him on the run plenty more.  It was definitely not a fun day for Mr. Roethlisberger.

Even more telling was the fact that they held the Steelers’ running backs to 52 yards rushing.  That’s right, 52!!!  Willie Parker got 37 yards on 19 carries.  That’s 1.9 yards per carry.  I hate to say this, but that’s not very impressive.  Especially not against a team that was thought to be “soft” prior to the game.

So why did the Cardinals’ defense dominate the Steelers’ offense so effectively?  Well, the biggest reason, in my opinion, was Sean Mahan.  The former Steelers center was absolutely owned by Cardinal’s DT Darnell Dockett.  Dockett was bull rushing Mahan on every play, and Mahan couldn’t hold his position.  Dockett spent more time in the Steelers’ backfield than Willie Parker did.  He was the biggest reason that the Steelers’ running backs couldn’t run the ball.  Moreover, he also harrassed Big Ben all day, and ended up with 2.5 sacks.

That type of performance was Sean Mahan’s trademark, and it’s a key reason why he’s no longer on the team.  The Steelers now have Justin Hartwig, and he is much more stout at the point of attack than Mahan was.  I doubt that Dockett will be quite as effective this time around.

But it wasn’t only Sean Mahan who played poorly.  The entire Steelers offensive line was plagued with penalties.  They had 4 false starts, and 2 holding penalties.  That’s just not going to win you very many games.  Of course, two of those penalties were on Mr. Dependable, Willie Colon.  If there is one thing that Steelers fans can count on, it’s Willie Colon getting called for at least one penalty every game.  You can set your watch by it.

The Steelers offensive linemen weren’t the only ones making mental errors.  The defense also had their share.  Ike Taylor was penalized for taunting.  I know that players get emotional during games, but that’s just not acceptable.  Be a professional.  If you make a good play, go back to the huddle and get ready to make another one.  There’s no need to taunt.

Clark Haggans and Lawrence Timmons both picked up off-sides penalties.  In total, the Steelers were penalized 13 times, while the Cardinals only got 5 penalties.  The official box score says that the Steelers were penalized 11 times, but that’s only because twice the Steelers had two penalties on the same play, and the Cardinals had the luxury of declining the lesser penalty and taking the one that worked most to their advantage.  But regardless of whether there were 11 penalties or 13, either is way too many.  A team that beats themselves with mental errors can’t expect to win a Super Bowl.  I expect Mike Tomlin to have rectified this problem, and to have the Steelers ready to play both physically AND MENTALLY on Sunday.

The other factor that played heavily into the outcome of that game was special teams.  The Cardinals’ Steve Breaston returned a punt 73 yards for a touchdown.  That seemed to happen a lot last year.  It almost never happened this year.  That’s another thing that I give Mike Tomlin a lot of credit for.  Special teams has been a weakness for the Steelers since the last 3 years of Bill Cowher’s tenure as coach.  Tomlin has changed it into an actual strength for this year’s team.  The Cardinals shouldn’t count on picking up any free touchdowns due to poor special teams play by the Steelers.

The Steelers were also without Hines Ward during that game.  So even if Hines plays hurt during the Super Bowl, he will contribute more than he did to last year’s loss.  That is a good thing.  Hines is the emotional leader of the team.  His presence on the field means a lot, even if it is in a limited capacity.

Despite missing Hines Ward, Big Ben still passed for 244 yards.  That not a good outing for Drew Brees, but it is a very good outing for Ben Roethlisberger.  Santonio Holmes had 128 yards receiving, and scored two touchdowns.  Unfortunately, Big Ben also threw two interceptions.

On defense, the Steelers were fairly successful.  The special teams touchdown can’t be attributed to the defense, so they actually held the Cardinals to two scores.  The Cards got a rushing touchdown from Edgerrin James, and Kurt Warner threw a touchdown pass to WR Jerheme Urban.

Both Matt Leinart and Kurt Warner played during that game.  The Steelers held the two to a combined 225 yards passing, while sacking each quarterback once.  Kurt Warner tossed for 132 of those yards, and had a QB rating of 99.7.  I’d say he had a pretty good game.

The Steelers did a pretty good job of stopping the run.  The Cardinals rushed for 86 yards on 25 carries.  However, 9 of those yards came from Matt Leinart, so the Steelers held the Card’s running backs to 77 net yards rushing.  The Cards’  longest running play of the game was a mere 9 yards.

The bottom line is that weak offensive line play and mental errors killed the Steelers in a game that they should have won.

So fast forward to this year’s matchup.  What will be different, and what will be the same?

Firstly, the Steelers’ offensive line is not going to let Darnell Dockett build a house in their backfield like he did last year.  Justin Hartwig will see to that.  Hartwig has held his own against much stronger players than Dockett.  I don’t think you’ll be hearing Dockett’s name very often on Sunday.

Secondly, the Steelers won’t kill themselves with stupid penalties.  Sure, Willie Colon and Chris Kemoeatu are each going to get their mandatory stupid penalties.  Probably an off-sides call for Kemo, and a holding call and an off-sides call for Colon.  But beyond that, Mike Tomlin is going to have this team mentally ready.  Unfortunately, even Vince Lombardi couldn’t keep Kemo and Colon from making stupid mistakes.  That’s a sad fact that Steelers fans have just come to accept.

Lastly, the Cardinals will not get a special teams touchdown.  Not on THIS Steelers team.  Not in the Super Bowl.  No way, no how.  You can bet your life on that.

So if the Steelers won’t beat themselves by making the same mistakes that they made last time these two teams played, then what SHOULD we look for in this game?

Everyone is predicting that Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin are going to be the stars of this game.  They are supposedly an unstoppable duo.  When you add in Steve Breaston, the Cardinals may have the deadliest receiving trio in the NFL.  The Cardinals were the 2nd leading passing offense in the NFL this year.

While the Cardinals’ receivers are scary, the Steelers have faced quality receiving corps before.  Let’s look at who they faced in 2008.  They held the tandem of Braylon Edwards and Donte Stallworth to 17 yards on 2 catches.  They held Dallas’ duo of T.O. and Roy Williams to 5 catches for 48 yards.  New England’s duo of Randy Moss and Wes Welker were held to 8 catches for 75 yards.  Chad Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh had 16 catches for 110 yards.  Reggie Wayne and Marvin Harrison combined for 9 catches for 151 yards.  And finally, the NY Giants’ Plaxico Burress and Amani Toomer had 5 catches for 64 yards.  So with the exception of Harrison and Wayne (with the help of a guy named Peyton Manning), the Steelers have stopped some of the most potent receiving corps in the NFL.

Kurt Warner has always been a difficult quarterback to play because he is very experienced and can get rid of the ball quickly.  Warner is very hard to sack because he reads defenses so well.  When defenses try to blitz him, he makes them pay by completing short passes to his receivers or running backs.  Just ask the Philadelphia Eagles.

Fortunately, the Steelers have the top ranked passing defense in the NFL.  The #1 passing defense facing off against the #2 passing offense should make for quite a battle.  The Steelers’ defense was 2nd in the NFL in sacks, so if anyone can get to Kurt Warner, it will be the Steelers.

These two units are pretty evenly matched, and should cancel one another out.  That means that the outcome of the game will probably be determined by the matchup of the Steelers’ offense against the Cardinals’ defense.

The first key is probably going to be the Steelers’ running game.  The Steelers MUST get Willie Parker going if they hope to win.  The Cardinals have a very average run defense, both literally and figuratively.  Literally, the Cardinals were #16 out of 32 teams in 2008, so that makes them very average (and if any of you statistics geeks write in about the “mean” versus the “mode”, I’ll shoot myself).  The Cardinals weren’t particularly stout against the run during the regular season.  However, they seem to have corrected that during the playoffs.  In the NFC wildcard game, they held Atlanta’s Pro Bowl running back Michael Turner to 42 yards rushing.  Next, they held the Carolina Panthers’ duo of DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart to only 75 yards rushing.  Finally, in the NFC championship game, they held Brian Westbrook and Correll Buckhalter to 66 rushing yards.  Those defensive performances are Steeler-esque.

Steelers’ offensive coordinator Bruce Arians must avoid his tendency of giving up on the run halfway through the first quarter.  Arians is in love with the passing game.  It’s like girl-on-girl porn to him; he can’t seem to get enough of it.  But he has to remember that the running game enables the passing game.  Without a legitimate running threat, the defense can concentrate solely on stopping the pass.  And that is a formula for failure for the Steelers.

But having looked at all of these elements, the truth is that the outcome of this game will probably come down to one factor; the Steelers’ gazillion dollar man.  No silly, not Max Starks.  I’m talking about their OTHER gazillion dollar man, Ben Roethlisberger.

As has become a recurring theme this season, the Steelers’ fate will depend on Big Ben.  The Steelers will go as far as Big Ben takes them.

If “Good Ben” shows up, then the Steelers will probably leave Tampa with their 6th Super Bowl trophy.  “Good Ben” is the Ben Roethlisberger who efficiently manages the game, avoids careless turnovers, and doesn’t take needless sacks.  “Good Ben” was the quarterback who made the Pro Bowl last year, and who had one of the highest QB ratings in the NFL.

Contrarily, if “Bad Ben” shows up, then it could be a long day for the Steelers.  “Bad Ben” is the Ben Roethlisberger who tries to win the game all by himself, holds onto the ball way too long, throws interceptions at the most inopportune times, and doesn’t seem to realize that throwing the ball away is better than taking a sack.  “Bad Ben” was the quarterback who started for the Steelers during most of the 2006 season.

Of course, the Steelers could still win even if “Bad Ben” shows up.  Afterall, they managed to win Super Bowl XL despite Ben recording the lowest QB rating by a winning QB in Super Bowl history.  In that game, Ben had a QB rating of 22.6.  To illustrate just how bad that is, if Ben had spiked the ball after every snap, he would have ended up with a QB rating of 39.6.  Yeah, he played that bad.

So history has shown that the Steelers CAN win with “Bad Ben” at the helm.  Unfortunately, they aren’t likely to.  If “Bad Ben” makes an appearance at Super Bowl XLIII, then Steelers fans may be treated to unpleasant memories of Neil O’Donnell, and the Cardinals should make preparations for a parade in the desert.

From the press conferences, it is clear that Roethlisberger wants to erase the memory of Super Bowl XL.  He seems to be embarassed by that performance, and desparately want to do better this time around.  Hopefully, he won’t try too hard and put undue pressure on himself.

If Ben remains calm and just takes what the Cardinals give him, the Steelers should leave Tampa with a victory.  I fully expect that to happen, and am predicting a 27-14 Steelers win.

Here we go Steelers, here we go!!!!

For even more Super Bowl analysis, please see our Steelers vs. Cardinals Key Matchups which can be found here.

(If you enjoyed this article, please consider leaving a comment below. Also, please subscribe to our blog by pressing the orange button below. Thanks.)

Subscribe in a reader

Add to Technorati Favorites

Top NFL Fan Sites

Purple dragon: Resurrection

January 21, 2009 By: Admin Category: Post-Game Reports

January 20, 2009
By Donald Starver

Special thanks to “Mutt” for suggesting that the “Purple Dragon” series needed to be a trilogy.   Great idea, Mutt.  And so, as you requested, here is part 3 of the trilogy.

For those of you who haven’t read the first two segments, please do so before reading this final chapter of the trilogy.

Click here to read chapter 1 of the trilogy.

Click here to read chapter 2 of the trilogy.

Chapter 3: Resurrection

The villagers of Pittsburgh didst enjoy a time of great peace and prosperity following the defeat of the purple dragon many months ago by their beloved Men of Steel.  Little did they know that the beast had not been destroyed, but rather, it had simply been diminished.  Whilst the beast appeared to be dead, it didst yet cling to a flicker of life.

The beast had been laid low in his last encounter with the Men of Steel by a killing stroke by the young squire “Santonio of the smoky weed”.  Yet the powerful magicks that did empower the beast proved more difficult to overcome than had been originally believed.

While the great beast appeared to be vanquished, it was secretly resting in a death-like state as its powers were being renewed.  The beast’s powers were fed by the faith and worship of its followers, the orcs and trolls of Baltimore.  Their unwavering devotion to the foul creature didst resurrect him, this time more powerful than before.

The purple beast remembered being humbled at the hands of the Men of Steel, clad in their black and gold armor.   He recalled the might of Lord Ben, Sir Hines, Sir Heath, Sir Willie, and the rest of the heroic band of brothers from Pittsburgh.  The very thought of them made the beast’s blood boil.  He hated them more than any could imagine.  He longed to destroy the Men of Steel once and for all.  And woe be unto any who sought to deny him his revenge.

Having tasted the might of the Men of Steel once before, the dragon had his mightiest sorcerer, the dark lord Rex Ryan, devise even more powerful defenses than the beast enjoyed before.  The Dark Lord conjured forbidden defensive magicks that made the beast virtually unbeatable.

Emboldened by his newfound might, the beast set his eyes upon an even greater prize than he had before.  In times past, the beast had challenged the Men of Steel for dominion of the Northern portion of the Kingdom of AFC.  This time, the hell-spawned behemoth would seek to rule the entire Kingdom of AFC.

Rather than challenge the Men of Steel right away, the beast didst devise a plan most foul.  He would first test his newfound powers against the mighty Titans of Tennessee.  The Titans were a strong but arrogant army.  While the Men of Steel ruled the northern realm of the kingdom of AFC, the Titans ruled the southern realm.  The Titans had proven themselves to be more powerful warriors than even the gallant Men of Steel.  Recently, the Men of Steel dared challenge the Titans in their home territories of Tennessee, only to be rebuffed most brutally.  Not only did the Titans soundly thrash the Men of Steel, but they also desecrated their sacred gold and black coat of arms.

The Beast knew that by first defeating the mighty Titans, it would send a powerful message to the Men of Steel that their age-old foe was back, and that he was even more powerful than before.

And so it went that in a battle that saw the Titans show forth great might and prowess, the beast did yet prevail.  He vanquished the Titans, and sent forth word that he was coming next for the Men of Steel.  Unlike times past, this battle would not be for the Northern realm of the kingdom of AFC.  Nay, this battle would determine who would reign over the entirety of the kingdom.  The winner of this battle would be the Champion of the kingdom of AFC.

The last time they battled, the Men of Steel had vanquished the purple dragon in his own lair.  This time, the dragon would take the battle directly to the Men of Steel.  He would challenge them in their vaunted Field of Heinz.

And so on a Sunday that will be sung about for generations, the purple dragon did enter the Field of Heinz to do battle with the Men of Steel.  The clash was both violent and vicious.  Some used the term “smash-mouth”.  The dragon and the Men of Steel battled as the Field of Heinz ran with blood (or was that ketchup?).

Early in the battle, the Men of Steel were dealt a devastating blow when the dragon injured the mighty Sir Hines, and rendered him unable to fight on.  Sir Hines’ strength was admired by all of the Men of Steel, and having him removed from the battle was a crushing blow to the morale of the black and gold.

Without Sir Hines, the Men of Steel were forced to call upon Sir Hines’ young apprentice Limas Wastedpik.  Wastedpik had been taken under the wings of Sir Hines when Sir Hines noticed that Wastedpik had been born with a severe deformity; he had no hands.

In the heat of the battle, young Wastedpik had an opportunity to deliver the killing blow to the dragon.  Unfortunately, his handicap came back to haunt him as Wastedpik dropped his sword.

And so the battle waged on, with each side being battered and bruised yet refusing to budge an inch.  limbs were severed and bodies broken, yet still the struggle continued.

It appeared that the conflict would not end until the final combatant lay dead on the battlefield.  As day turned to night, and the number of wounded mounted, the battle raged.

Lesser warriors, like those who dwell in the valleys of Ohio, could never even dream of participating in a battle of such consequence.

The Men of Steel and the purple dragon were locked in a battle of the ages.  The two forces were locked in stalemate, until finally, one of the mightiest warriors on the field of battle rose to the occasion.  The gallant knight “Sir Troy of the flowing hair” lifted his gilded blade and drove it deep into the heart of his purple nemesis.  The beast lurched as it belted out its final death knell.

And so the Men of Steel didst claim the title of champions of the entire Kingdom of AFC.  None could stand before their might, and all hailed their accomplishments.  Mugs were lifted and songs were sung in celebration of the final victory of the Men of Steel over the purple dragon from Baltimore.

(If you enjoyed this article, please consider leaving a comment below. Also, please subscribe to our blog by pressing the orange button below. Thanks.)

Subscribe in a reader

Add to Technorati Favorites

Top NFL Fan Sites