Big Lead Sports Bar

11/15/2006

More Like One in a Million? So You're Saying There's a Chance...

I know, I stole the famous Lloyd Christmas line from Dumb and Dumber. But the popular word around town this week is that Your Steelers were still alive for a playoff birth. While this is technically correct, I find a hard time believing that a team as inconsistent as this one, who just got done allowing 500+ yards to the Saints, would plan for such a possibility. So let's examine the current state of the AFC. Should the playoffs start today, the qualifiers would look like this:
Indianapolis, 9-0, AFC South Champion
Denver, 7-2, AFC West Champion
Baltimore, 7-2, AFC North Champion
New England, 6-3, AFC East Champion
San Diego, 7-2, Wild Card
NY Jets Jets, 5-4, Wild Card
The Steelers currently sit at 3-6, or just two games out of a spot. However, they would need to not only leapfrog the Flying Manginis, but also pass Jacksonville, Kansas City, and Cincinnati, while holding off any current 3-6 pretenders (Miami, Cleveland, and Buffalo).
So let's analyze this scientifcally. What are the Steelers (and their playoff-spot rivals) facing down the stretch? Here are the remaining seven games for the Team That Cowher Built and Will Soon Abandon:
1. At Cleveland (3-6)
2. At Baltimore (7-2)
3. Tampa Bay (2-7)
4. Cleveland (3-6)
5. At Carolina (5-4)
6. Baltimore (7-2)
7. Cincinnati (4-5)
Total: 31-32
Comments: Lucky to split with Baltimore; could easily split with Cleveland, who just took down a Falcons team that the Steelers did not beat; at their best, I think about 5 wins from this stretch, which would leave them 8-8; at their worst, probably 3 wins, with a 6-10 mark to show for their efforts in 2006.
New York Jets (5-4) remaining schedule
1. Chicago 8-1
2. Houston 3-6
3. At Green Bay 4-5
4. Buffalo 3-6
5. At Minnesota 4-5
6. At Miami 3-6
7. Oakland 2-7
Total: 27-36
Comments: The easiest schedule of the contenders, facing only one playoff lock. If they stay on course, this could be a 9-10 win team. Which is still totally unreal to me.
Cincinnati (4-5) remaining schedule
1. At New Orleans 6-3
2. At Cleveland 3-6
3. Baltimore 7-2
4. Oakland 2-7
5. At Indianapolis 9-0
6. At Denver 7-2
7. Pittsburgh 3-6
Total: 37-26.
Comments: The Schedule Gods are not Bengal fans. A team in turmoil facing 4 probable playoff teams as well as their biggest rival. Looks like a 7-9 team to me.
Jacksonville (5-4) remaining schedule
1. NY Giants 6-3
2. at Buffalo 3-6
3. at Miami 3-6
4. Indianapolis 9-0
5. at Tennessee 2-7
6. New England 6-3
7. at Kansas City 5-4
Total: 34-29
Comments: Three playoff locks, one playoff contender, and a game at Buffalo that I think they will struggle in. I'm thinking 9-7.
Kansas City remaining schedule:
1. Oakland 2-7
2. Denver 7-2
3. at Cleveland 3-6
4. Baltimore 7-2
5. at San Diego 7-2
6. at Oakland 2-7
7. Jacksonville 5-4
Total: 33-30
Comments: Three 7-2 teams, plus Jacksonville equals some tough games. I'm predicting either 9 or 10 wins.
I gave you my thoughts...so let's hear from the Steeler Nation...how do you think these teams will finish? What will the Steelers' final record be?

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Steelers will probably win out, go 10-6, make the playoffs, and win the Super Bowl.

I know James Harrison. He's a friend of mine and he's really mean.

Anonymous said...

I like the 'lers to make it back to .500 at a record of 6-6. But from there I only see them winning one more and probably finishing around 7-9.

I'd like to shake James Harrison's hand and tell him he's the man, but I'm afraid he'd break my arm off and slap a quarterback with it.

louis lipps is my homeboy said...

I say we go 7-9..... we haven't had a good ol' fashioned 7-9 season in awhile around here.

noixe said...

way to drink the baltimore kool-aid. they needed a miraculous come-back last weekend to beat tennesee. the ravens are chumps and are just as likely to lose out as we are to win out. is there a tough game on our schedule? only carolina (by which i mean steve smith) is a real challenge.

we aren't making the wildcard, but winning our sad, sad division is a definite possibility.

Anonymous said...

Say what you want about Baltimore, but they have a FOUR GAME LEAD ON YOUR CHAMPIONS!

Anonymous said...

Steelers will go 9-7! So what the Saints got 500+ offensive yards against our Steeler defense. We have them all right where we want them. Mark my words Steelers nation, no one knows what is about to hit them! If you think about it the 'Lers' have not been slaughtered in any game this season. A few close games that could have gone either way down the wire. We'll turn the tides.

Megatron said...

Kornheiser sucks! Steelers will go 3-13 you hosers. No, just messing. I agree with anonymous above me, probably because it is me Megatron who wrote under anonymous above, and I am back! The Steelers will pounce like the deadly Lions soon enough!!!

sunshinestillerfan said...

Ready for spring training yet?Sunshine steeler fan! Dave W should not be a canidate for the stiller job when Cowher leaves, unfortunately he will probably be hired!

Anonymous said...

At best, the Steelers will finish 8-8 and most likely 6-10. No team that loses to the Raiders should be allowed into the playoffs. I'd like the men of the square table to make that a Man Law. The awful defense of their Super Bowl title is primarily the fault of the awful defense they've played in the red zone. The turnovers commited on offense and special teams have not helped, but the Steel Curtain has turned into a shower curtain. The linebackers are making tackles, but not making plays. This team needs that unit to be disruptive and they, simply, are not. James Harrison may soon be playing in front of the least feared linebacker in football.

Hey Joey, this is no way to bolster your negotiating position.

So the next question is, Ken Whisenhunt or Russ Grimm as Cowher's replacement. I'll vote for Grimmsenhunt.

Anonymous said...

If they win the next two (at Cleveland and Baltimore) they'll definitely beat Tampa and Cleveland. Then they'd be 7-6 and on a roll.
I don't necessarily think they will win the next two, but if they do, then you can legitimately start looking at wildcard scenarios.
Lose one of the next two and start thinking of draft scenarios.