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Friday, October 04, 2013

Division floundering along

The Cleveland Browns currently sit in first place in the AFC North at 3-2 following Thursday night's win over Buffalo, but lost quarterback Brian Hoyer, who had started all three of their wins, to a torn ACL while doing so.

Cincinnati (2-2) hosts 4-0 New England this week after losing to the Browns last week, while Baltimore (2-2) is at 3-1 Miami.

The Steelers are, of course, off this weekend. BTW, I have been asked why they didn't practice more at 0-4. The new CBA mandates four consecutive days off during the bye week. So if they had practiced Thursday, they would not have been able to do so Monday.

Next week, Cincinnati heads to Buffalo, which beat Baltimore at Ralph Wilson last week, while Baltimore hosts Green Bay and Cleveland hosts Detroit. The Steelers are at New York against the Jets.

Why do I bring this up?

People keep wondering why I have remained optimistic about the Steelers' chances to win the North this season despite their 0-4 start.

I keep looking at the schedule and, if the Steelers can cut their turnover ratio down, I see a bunch of wins coming up - at least three in the next four games.

With Le'Veon Bell now back, the Steelers have a running game to take some pressure off of Ben Roethlisberger.

And the most glaring number of Pittsburgh's 0-4 start is minus-11 in turnover ratio. If that were to continue, the Steelers would crush the NFL record for worst turnover ratio in league history of minus-30 held by the 1965 Steelers and 1948 Chicago Rockets.

In other words, that's not very likely.

A 9-7 record is very likely to win the AFC North this season based on current level of play of all the teams in the division. And once you get into the playoffs, anything is possible.

The last team to make the playoffs after an 0-4 start was the 1992 San Diego Chargers, who interestingly enough, also turned the ball over 11 times in their first four games.

San Diego rattled off wins in 11 of its final 12 games. This is not to say these Steelers are going to do that.

But there is enough talent on the roster to win eight or nine games the rest of the way.

20 comments:

Greg Mercer said...

i think another thing to remember is that we've only played one division game.

Dale Lolley said...

That is true as well. Win at least four of the division games and they'll be in it.

Baltimore is not the Ravens of old - neither are the Steelers. But Pittsburgh is still better at QB.

Anonymous said...

The Steelers would have to go 9-3 from here on out to get to 9-7. With roadies to NE and GB along the way.

PSD said...

I think while the offense is receiving the bulk of the crticism (and rightfully so), let's not forget that this defense cannot stop anybody. Regardless of turnovers the scheme is tired and old and simply does not work. Even avg Qb's realize the 7 yard out is open 100% of the time. Do that all day and you win. And don't give me the number 1 D in the NFL last yr crap. Anyone who watches the games knows that this D is built to concede field goals and pray not to give up TD's. But many NFL games, including the Steelers' games, come down to 3 pts or less. This D in no way is built (or coached) to make a stand in the final 2 minutes of a game. They just aren't. Tackle the catch is the most ridiculous thing I have heard. And that is why this team won't sniff the playoffs this yr even if the O eliminates the turnovers.

Anonymous said...

The D is fine schematically, it's just the talent has dropped off. Jarvis Jones doesn't have much of a pass rush yet and Woodley's play has declined since the moment he signed his new contract.

Pressure=turnovers.

The worst thing that could happen to this team would be to make the playoffs at 9-7. That would sweep large problems under the rug and give a false sense of security. This team needs a new GM. A team this bad should not b up against the cap.

Dale Lolley said...

Hard to get pressure when you trail all the time. IF they can get some leads, you'll see the sacks totals go up.

In theory, the defensive scheme still works - if you tackle.

Anonymous said...

Good thing they spent all that extra time on live tackling in camp.

Anonymous said...

Good one sir.

Scott said...

Dale,

Put the pie down.

just say No

Scott said...

Dale

Put the Pipe down.

Just say no.

Anonymous said...

What's in the pie?

Anonymous said...

Jason Biggs

Greg Mercer said...

i don't know about you, but that third rounder for Sanders is looking pretty good right now.

Something about that guy rubs me the wrong way. There's not many Steelers I've disliked over the years, but he's one of them. At least Wallace had elite speed.

Anonymous said...

I don't dislike Manny Pedi. I just think he's soft, delicate.

Mike said...

Division floundering, huh...at least Mike Wallace had a crappy day. Strap in for a long season boys.

Anonymous said...

Let's see, Balt, Cleve and Cinn all won this weekend, all are 3-2. So which team is floundering in the AFC North? Speaking of flounder, Ben, I hope you watched the Denver-Dallas game, maybe you can learn how to get the ball out quickly watching Manning. Fat, dumb and drunk is no way to go through this season son. BTW, that OC guy that "retired" from the Steelers who is now coaching the Cards is also 3-2. Give 'em hell Mike.

Anonymous said...

The other 3 AFCN teams have 4 games remaining between them head to head. One of those teams will win 2 of those games, minimum. So one of those teams is already guaranteed 5 wins on the season. That team would have to go 4-5 in it's remaining games and lose a tie breaker to the Steelers for the Steelers to steal the division at 9-7. If 9-7 wins it outright for the Steelers, that team would have to go 3-6. Not impossible, but a long shot at best. Steelers almost have to sweep the division along the way.

Frank Beans said...

Amusing and sad...

http://triblive.com/sports/joestarkey/4821412-74/award-steelers-game#axzz2h2YeL2IH

phil said...

PLAYOFFS!?!

Anonymous said...

Frank Beans:

Way too funny! But again, the team is only a reflection of the coach