Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Pittsburgh Steelers Season Preview: Schedule

We conclude our season preview today by looking over the Steelers schedule and giving you our completely unlikely predictions on how the season will turn out. As you've probably been able to tell over the last few days, this is the deepest team either of us can remember the Steelers ever putting out on the field. We're very excited for the season and we expect big things from the black and gold.

Ian's Prediction: The Titans are coming in with an attitude of superiority. LenDale White is going to have a giant target on him wherever he goes, and the Steelers are going to come out in mid-season form. Tennessee is a very good team, but Pittsburgh will just be too much to handle. Steelers 24-14

Ian's Prediction: The Steelers get 10 days off after their battle with the Titans before they have to travel to Chicago. Don't believe the Jay Cutler hype, there's no one there for him to throw to. Steelers defense with 6 sacks, and the Steelers roll. Steelers 31-6

Ian's Prediction: Ben Roethlisberger has never lost an NFL game in Ohio. Don't bank on it happening any time soon either. Big Ben and Holmes torch the Bungles secondary for a big day. Holmes finishes with over 150 receiving yards and Ben breaks 300 yards passing. Willie Parker has a solid day and Rashard Mendenhall finally gets his feet under him. The defense plays huge and racks up 5 sacks. Steelers 34-14

Ian's Prediction: The Chargers have never won a regular season game at Heinz Field. They do have the advantage of playing in the evening (which will be like afternoon for them). However, the Steelers just don't lose night games at home. Rivers gets terrorized by Woodley and Harrison as the defense seals the victory. Steelers 23-13

Ian's Prediction: Matthew Stafford gets his first look at a real NFL defense. Detroit will be better than last year, but they're still nowhere near the Steelers. The first team gets to sit for the 4th quarter and rest. Steelers 31-0

Ian's Prediction: By this point in the season, the Steelers offense is clicking on all cylinders and the defense is leading the league in every major category. Brady Quinn and Derek Anderson both see time, but neither can find the end zone. Steelers 27-3

Ian's Prediction: Brett Favre comes to town. The question here is whether or not he will leave walking. The Vikings have one of the best O-lines in the league, and Adrian Peterson is a beast. They push the Steelers to the wire, but Ben leads the team on a game-winning touchdown drive to preserve the undefeated season. Steelers 24-20

Ian's Prediction: If Mike Shanahan was still coaching, I would say this is a trap game for the Steelers. However, with Kyle Orton at the helm, and one of the worst defenses in the league, the Steelers should be able to pull this one out. They'll surprise many and push the Steelers, but Ben will once again come through and the defense will seal the deal with a late interception. Steelers 17-13

Ian's Prediction: The Steelers come back home on a roll and keep things going. Ocho is suspended from the game for Tweeting during the Ravens game. Another big game for the defense and the Steelers running game gets back on track. Steelers 24-6

Ian's Prediction: Having an undefeated record this late in the season means the target is even more squarely on our backs. This could be a trap game going into Kansas City, but Ben and the defense bail us out again, particularly against KC's medicore defense. Jeff Reed wins the game with a field goal. Steelers 17-14

Ian's Prediction: The Ravens whined and moaned and complained that they did not want to have to play a night game in Pittsburgh. So the NFL made the Steelers go to Baltimore. This game has "disaster" written all over it. The Steelers are tired from their long flight back from Kansas City and come out flat. A late drive stalls and the Ravens pull it out. Ravens 13-10

Ian's Prediction: Fresh off a loss, the Steelers are out for blood. The defense is hungry and who better to come to town than Oakland's terrible, terrible offensive line. The offense struggles in the first half, but turns it on in the second and the Steelers get back to their winning ways in front of the home crowd. Steelers 24-3

Ian's Prediction: The Steelers have a short week before they travel to Cleveland for a Thursday night game. The offense will be rusty, but the defense will be sharp again. Cleveland may be starting a cardboard cut-out of Santa Claus at quarterback by the time this game rolls around. Steelers 17-3

Ian's Prediction: The Steelers get 10 days to prepare for this game, but blow a late lead as Aaron Rodgers leads the Pack to a victory in front of the Heinz Field crowd. Packers 24-21

Ian's Prediction: The Ravens come to town and the Steelers win another gritty slug-fest. The Steelers wrap up the division and remain in the hunt for the #1 seed in the playoffs with New England, Tennessee, and Indy. Reed with a late field goal to seal the deal. Steelers 16-14

Ian's Prediction: With the division wrapped up, Tomlin opts to rest the starters. Miami is still fighting for their playoff lives and is able to come through with some plays against our second-team defense to pull out a late victory. Dolphins 17-13

Ian's Prediction: 13-3

This is a very, very good Steelers team, and there isn't anyone on our schedule that we can't beat. That being said, there are a few "trap" games on the schedule. However, most of the difficult games are either at home, or we have 10 days of rest before them. This is a very good, and very deep team. We have some very talented players waiting in the wings should one of our starters go down with injury. The offensive line will struggle again, but they will be better than last year, and the Steelers will roll to their 3rd consecutive AFC North title.

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