Wednesday, August 03, 2005

AFC North Pittsburgh Steelers



Finished 2004 season 15-1, 1st place in the AFC North, lost in AFC Championship game to eventual Super Bowl Champions New England Patriots 41-27

Key returning starters:
Ben Roethlisberger – QB
Hines Ward – WR
James Farrior – LB
Joey Porter – LB
Troy Polamalu - S

The Steelers finished with the best regular season record in the NFL last season by winning 14 straight games with rookie sensation QB Ben Roethlisberger. With a top notch defense and power workhorses on offense, the Steelers are hoping for another successful year.

2004 Stats:
Ranked 16th overall in offense, #8 ranked in AFC
Ranked 1st overall in defense, #1 ranked in AFC

Your thoughts on the Pittsburgh Steelers this upcoming 2005 season...strengths/weaknesses and your prediction on where they will finish in the division.

7 Comments:

Blogger Steve said...

As much as I'd like to see the Steelers have another excellent year...it just won't happen. Big Ben Roethlisberger had a lot of support around him and with the #1 ranked defense, all Ben had to do was not make big mistakes - Accomplished. The Steelers were more of a running team...and if you don't believe so, then believe this - in the games that Roethlisberger played in all season, he only had 295 attempts. Sure he completed 66% of his passes, but by limiting the amount of passes, offensively you take less risks. Of course it doesn't matter when you have the type of rushing attack the Steelers have.

Here's the facts we have to look at - The Steelers should have a dominating defense, maybe not a #1 defense again but most likely a top 5. Their offense is going to struggle a bit. They will still have a rushing attack, but it won't be balanced with a possible passing threat since Plaxico is gone (35 receptions 698 Yards 5 TD) and Hines Ward is a no-show in Steeler country wanting a new contract. Who does that leave? Antwaan Randle El...not enough to keep teams from stacking 8 in the box against the run.

Because of their offensive losses, I don't see the Steelers finishing above the Ravens in the AFC North. They will struggle to even make the playoffs this season which I'm guessing they won't! A 9-7 season but missing the playoffs is my prediction.

7:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you're awfully pessimistic on this one, Lil' Stevie. The team is almost entirely intact, and Plaxico Burress was not a huge threat last season. Look for more dual HB sets and plenty of flares out of the backfield for Deuce. You act like what Big Ben accomplished last season was nothing big--in fact it was huge for any starting QB--and downright miraculous for a rookie. The Steelers will fo 11-5 at worst and deep into the playoffs...
---OTG---

9:59 AM  
Blogger Steve said...

I disagree OTG...what Ben did last year was indeed spectacular, I take nothing away from him, but lets face it, he came into a well-oiled machine. All Ben had to do was NOT make mistakes and the offense was going to click just fine. Sure Plaxico wasn't the go to man, but you have to realize two things here OTG, 700 yards off of 35 catches is 20 yards per catch - if that isn't a deep threat or big play receiver I don't know what is. Plus he lead the team in receiving TDs last season. Secondly Hines Ward who is the go-to-man is still sitting out, the two main receivers on this team aren't on Ben's side right now. If you think that Ben can come in and perform as he did last season without those two receivers then perhaps you're overly optimistic.

As far as their team in tact, they do have a good core returning, but they lost two great defensive starters, Kendrell Bell and Chad Scott.

As far as their running game is concerned, sure they should have a nice 1-2 punch, but don't forget both backs are over 30 and are getting to that age where injuries happen more frequently.

11:51 AM  
Blogger CosmicPal said...

I happen to agree with Steve. Nice, insightful post regarding the Steelers. Teams have had all off-season to study and focus on Big Ben- combined with the absence of Plaxico and now, Hines Ward- it could make for a difficult run offensively for the Steelers.

I honestly believe this team has nowhere to go, but down. They are also in a very tight division- with the exception of the Browns- I believe both Cincy and Baltimore have improved their teams enough to compete head-on with Pittsburgh.

It will be an interesting year...

7:02 PM  
Anonymous JohnnySox said...

The Steelers were excellent in 2004 and benefited from a relatively easy schedule. In 2005, their road games include an improved Cinn and Baltimore,at San Diego, at Geen Bay and Minnesota, at Indy, home against Patriots, Jags and Ravens, overall a very tough schedule. Baltimore or Cinncinatti may steal this division, Carson Palmer is the real deal!

1:21 PM  
Anonymous JohnnySox said...

The Steelers were excellent in 2004 and benefited from a relatively easy schedule. In 2005, their road games include an improved Cinn and Baltimore,at San Diego, at Geen Bay and Minnesota, at Indy, home against Patriots, Jags and Ravens, overall a very tough schedule. Baltimore or Cinncinatti may steal this division, Carson Palmer is the real deal!

1:21 PM  
Anonymous Lance said...

Time for reality check solid team but power in the AFC is widspread no domination but good team.

3:06 PM  

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