Saturday, September 11, 2010

Who I like, Week 1

This isn't likely to garner me any friends here, but I like the Falcons this week for a couple of different reasons.

First is obviously Dennis Dixon starting at QB.

I think the Steelers will try to play things close to the vest to limit his mistakes and that will be a mistake. It's like playing not to lose rather than playing to win.

Also, unlike Baltimore last season, the Falcons have had time to prepare to face Dixon. They'll have something drawn up to limit his scrambling ability and take advantage of the things he doesn't do well throwing the ball - ie. checking off his first option.

Finally, there is the old hidden vigorish. The Steelers have the league's longest active winning streak to start the season at seven. They have also won their past seven home openers.

The longer streaks like that go on, the more likely they are to end.

That's why I like the Falcons to win this one, 16-13.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow, you're a hater. I know you're just miffed that Tomlin isn't starting Batch, but hopefully Dixon proves you wrong.

Anonymous said...

I think you're right and Dixon will make some mistakes but I also think the vanilla defense we've played up until now will come to a screeching halt. Defense and running will dominate this game and the Steelers will win a close one.

emac2 said...

This feels like as sure a bet for a Steelers win as I can imagine.

Atlanta has nothing and even their "big streak" to end last year included 10 whole points against the Jets before beating Buffalo and Tampa bay.

People like to make this a Dixon vs. Ryan fantasy battle of some sort but it's, in fact, a very good Steelers team against a pretty bad Falcons team.

And no. Matt Ryan is not an elite QB. I will give Atl the advantage at QB but that's about it.

John said...

Dale,

I'm along the same lines as you, but my feeling is the team will move well between the 20s, but will get very conservative inside the red zone. I think they'd rather come away with a field goal than risk a Dixon mistake. I think they're going to hope for a big play or defensive touchdown to help put the points on the board. I like Atlanta 17 - 12.

datruth4life said...

Dale, if the Steelers really want to make Dixon comfortable, then why don't they spread the field some and let him play pitch and catch like he did at Oregon State. That is what he's most used to. I think the Falcons game will be tough, but the Steelers should be able to pull this out if the D and special teams comes to play and the offense can put some points on the board. The opener is very hard to predict. Let's see how much Dennis Dixon has grown from Denver preseason game, where he looked like he was far from being ready.

Anonymous said...

Just hand the ball to "redzone" 50-60 times and we will win 100-0.

Mrs. Isaac Redman

Dale Lolley said...

If they did that Datruth, all the Bruce Arians haters would go wild if Dixon made a mistake and lost the game. I can hear it now, "Why didn't he run the ball. Damn Arians."

I'm no Arians lover, but that's what would be said.

And this pick has nothing to do with Tomlin or anything else. It's just what I see happening.

Anonymous said...

So you're saying Arians won't do that because he's afraid of the fan fallout if it failed?

other_Patrick said...

Last time I checked "the Hidden Vigorish" requires a consistent underdog to rise up.

Are you suggesting that the 7 teams that we beat on week one are texting the Falcons about how pissed they are at the Steelers?

Farmer Fran said...

Atlanta wins due to Steeler mistakes, too many penalties and turnovers, Offense can't get any consistency. Defense is on the field too long resulting in players getting nicked up. Atlanta scores late to pull out a win. Sounds like last year?

Hines Bourne said...

"The longer streaks like that go on, the more likely they are to end."

This is statistically inaccurate. The streak's duration has 0 to do with the outcome of the next event. So the streak neither helps nor hurts the Steelers' chances.

I like the Steelers by 4.

datruth4life said...

Dale,

Who said you only have to play pitch and catch in the spread offense? You can come out in a 3-wide, 1 TE, and 1 RB and still run the ball. Dennis Dixon played in a spread offense in college so, at the very least, use some of those plays that he likes and feels confident in. Arians has a great opportunity to shut up the critics. If he can bring Dixon along during these next 4 weeks and DD plays well and then Ben jumps back in and the offense remain productive, then that'll be a strong statement in the last year of his contract. I still think Kirby Wilson will be the OC next year, but Arians can land in a nice spot with a good year.

Is Tony Hills playing some RT too in practice? With the progress he's made, I wonder how soon he might make a bid for the starting lineup. I don't want to see Starks hurt, but I would like an alternative to Flozell's struggling against speed pass rushers on the right side. It seems Starks hasn't had the best preseason either, particularly in pass protection. At least the team finally has a anchor on the OL to build around for years to come in Pouncey.

Dale Lolley said...

I didn't see Hills work any at RT in practice, but I did see some guard work out of him. Wasn't paying too close attention to him, though. It's a moot point because he's inactive this week.

As for the Arians comment, I'm just saying that he's damned no matter what he does. If they come out and try to pound the ball, people will wonder why they didn't come out in the spread.
If he comes out in the spread, people will wonder why he didn't try to pound the ball.

I've seen it again and again. Even when they win, people in Pittsburgh are very rarely happy with the offensive coordinator.

Dale Lolley said...

And before you start bombarding me, think about that last comment.

Were you one of the people who said that they won a Super Bowl two years ago despite Bruce Arians?

Patrick said...

Steelers 20, Atl 17

I think Dixon comes out nice, mistakes start next week against TN.

Anonymous said...

I hate to say I told you so Dale, but at 5:42 I TOLD YOU SO :-)

Dale Lolley said...

That was easily a game that could have gone either way. I overestimated how good Matt Ryan is. Don't get to see him very often, other than highlights. I came away very unimpressed.