Big Lead Sports Bar


Why The New Orleans Saints Will Be Better Than the Steelers in 2007

I've thrown out a challenge to the followers of every other NFL out there: tell us why your team will be better than the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2007. And plenty of eager writers are lined up to tell you exactly why they will be superior to the Black and Gold. In the coming weeks, be prepared to get a gauge on exactly where the rest of the country ranks us in the NFL hierarchy this season.

Today is the first installment, so what better team to lead off with than tonight's opponent, the New Orleans Saints? Your author is Sunil from the excellent Saints blog Canal Street Chronicles.

Please visit his blog for all things Saints, including a preview of tonight's kickoff to the NFL season. And now, I turn it over to Sunil...

Full Disclosure: My parents lived in Pittsburgh during the 1970s and picked up an allegiance to the Steelers. Growing up, I always watched Steelers games with my Dad, so I have a soft spot in my heart for the Steelers. I would like to see them do well. Like, say, losing in the Super Bowl to the Saints.

Five Reasons why the Saints will be Better than the Steelers in 2007

  • Process of Elimination: No team has ever won the Super Bowl after playing in the HoF Game. Since the Saints are going to do it this year, well, the Steelers can't.
  • Consistency: Bill Cowher is a sure-fire Hall of Fame coach, but even he couldn't take last year's Steelers squad to the playoffs. His staff also included Ken Whisenhunt and Russ Grimm (who should also be a Hall of Famer), both of whom are turning the Arizona Cardinals' offense into an irresistible force. Look, nobody is saying that Mike Tomlin won't be a terrific coach, but to ask him to do something that Cowher couldn't do may be too much. To make things even more difficult, all world linebacker Joey Porter is now a Miami Dolphin and Alan Faneca is a lame-duck. The Saints, meanwhile, return most of their 2006 team, including the coaching staff. No signs of contract dissatisfaction, either.
  • Attention to Detail: Who is the last coach listed on the Official Steelers coaching staff? Ken Whisenhunt. Might want to fix that.
  • Stuff I Shoulda Graphed: In 2005, the Steelers won eight-straight games, including their four playoff games, en route to the franchise's fifth Super Bowl. For those eight games, the team was certainly on a roll. But not counting those eight games, the team has been 15-13 over the past two seasons. This is clearly a team on the decline. Meanwhile, the Saints' win total jumped from 3 to 10 over that same span. Sure, the Steelers have more aggregate wins, but they are moving in the wrong direction. Yeah, this point would have been much more powerful with the graph.
  • Schedule: The Steelers play in the AFC North, which has two teams with legitimate cases for being better than the Steelers. The Ravens were better than the Steelers in 2006 and have upgraded their offense with Willis McGahee. They may have the most dominant unit in the conference, their defense, and the best overall team. Although the Bengals finished at 8-8 last season, they were certainly distracted by the endless parade of arrests. As long as they aren't distracted by off-field issues, they should have a strong enough team to make the playoffs. It's also worth noting that the Bengals have finished above the Steelers in both of the past two seasons. Hence, the Steelers will probably play four divisional games against playoff teams. Godspeed. The Saints, on the other hand, play in the NFC South, where the opposing quarterbacks are Jake Delhomme, Joey Harrington and a three-headed hydra named Jeff Simmkowski. The Saints may not be a better team than the Steelers, but their record will be better.
  • Bonus Insult I: I think we all know who the best quarterback in Pittsburgh was last season: Terrelle Pryor, Jeannette High School. (Just kidding, it was Tyler Palko, New Orleans Saints.)
  • Bonus Insult II: The Curse of the Dump Truck: No team with Najeh Davenport has ever made it to the Super Bowl. Will this be the season that the greatest player ever to be arrested for taking a shit in someone else's closet finally drops that load (from his shoulders)?
  • Bonus Insult III: Rolling Rock. Ewwwwwwwwwwww.
  • Bonus Insult III: As a Cardinals fan, Matt Morris is one of my absolute favorite players. Ever. As a Cardinals fan, I'm also really looking forward to having him pitching in the NL Central. (Just so you know, he has the best pre-at bat music.)


HotDog_Zanzabar said...

Excluding the 100 losses the Pirates will have this year, they will be 60-0 otherwise. That statement makes about as much sense as the Steelers being 15-13 without their 8 game winning streak.

Sunil said...

Let it be known, I can count to four using Roman numerals.

I just can't proofread.

Adam said...

You also forget that the league has had an entire offseason to review tape of you guys.

Every year, a bust out team shows up. Last season, it was the Saints. However, subtract Joe Horn, and whatever Marques Colston did to suprise everyone last year, and you have a less potnet passing attack.

I'm sure you'll list reasons why I'm wrong, but mark it down:COlSTON WILL PLAY LIKE HE DID IN THE SECOND HALF, NOT THE FIRST.

Now, even that said, who won last year? O thats right, the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Saints are an upstart. Don't give me this crap that they're gonna win the Super Bowl. They'll be fun to watch, but championship team they are not.

Now onto a bonus question. Pitt fans, for all the crap I got last week for suggesting Pitt would not be at the top of the wish list for the Big 10, I want to know what you think. I'm back from vacation, so I'm more able to talk now than I was. So here it goes.

Would Pitt WANT to join the Big 10 if it came a calling?

There is a good article and Poll on Black Shoe Diaries, but the poll states (at this moment) that PSU fans want to play Pitt the most. I even said that although Rutgers would be a great fit, and I think Big 10 officials will prefer them to Pitt, I'd still rather see Pitt because I want us to play football again.

What do you guys think? Would Pitt join if Rutgers and ND said no?

Louis Lipps is my homeboy said...

I liked the arguement about the 8 game winning streak in 2005.

The old "Well, if you take away all that time that you were awesome... you guys really sucked!" arguement.

Either way, good job. But, if you're from Pittsburgh or you're raised a Steeler fan, turning to another team, even if you live there now, is just unforgiveable.

Steeler fandom is like joining the Corleone family my friend. I hope you don't own horses!

Louis Lipps is my homeboy said...

Holy crap!

Adam talked about the Steelers and not Penn State for half a post!

How did I miss that the first time?!

Louis Lipps is my homeboy said...

Adressing what you said Adam (sorry for posting for the 1 millionth time today),

I'd like to see all of the BE teams basically get together and tell the Big 10 that nobody is leaving. Then the Big 10 could go after Mizzou (which I think is the team it makes the most sense for them to go after anyways).

However, if Pitt were asked, and it was obvious that if we turned them down another, possibly top, Big East program would join, then I think Pitt should join for their own personal well-being.

I mean, if SOMEONE is gonna be the turncoat for the Big East, I'd rather it be us than have some other BE team do it and be left on the sinking BE raft afterwards.

But in MY ideal situation, no Big East teams accept the invite, or the Big Ten just gets Missourri.

Adam said...

Do you really think anyone in the BE would turn down the Big 10?

The Big 10 has its own TV Network, which means not only more football and basketball games will be widely available, but so will other sports. I don't know about you, but I've always like college baseball, but you can only really watch starting with super regionels. College hockey might be fun to watch as well.

Yes, yes, I know people won't watch women's field hockey, but lets face it, increased exposure creates fans, even in men's gymnastics. Sponsors will pay to advertise, and the schools will make money.

With this TV deal, the Big 10 is so far ahead of the BE, not only in football, but in presenting the product to the consumer.

Even take sports out of it. Schools like Rutgers and Pitt are more in line with the Big 10 than the BE.

I understand what your're saying, that everyone should rally and stay together in the BE, but judging by how things have gone in the past (VT, Miami, BC) do you honestly think anyone, if presented with the opportunity to go to possibly the best overall conf. in the country, with mega exposure available, will stay loyal to the BE?

I have a hard time seeing that.

If Pitt is serious about being a 2 sport school, then the Big 10 is a no brainer. Even if they want to be a top basketball school, then I think you've gotta look at the Big 10. It is high level competition with increased exposure (although to be fair, Pitt gets a pretty good deal from ESPN as it is).

I just think the Big 10 offers more opportunities for Pitt than te BE

bigmaq said...

Canal Street said..."I just can't proofread." Take you at your word, since you got the comment right about "lame duck" but inadvertently applied it to Faneca and not Cowher. Cowher won his ring and knew that he would be up for a sweepstakes contract come '08 regardless of what happened in '06. Every Steeler fan knows he was phoning it in last year (moving from Pittsburgh was only part of it). Had he played Batch a few times in place of Ben and not continued to play Colclough fielding punts. The record could have looked much different. Faneca, on the other hand, will be on a tear and play the best ever to prove to the league that his skills have not declined and he deserves a 5 year $50 million contract. While Whisenhut and Grimm admittedly will improve Arizona (when the standard was "pass the butta" Dennis Green that shouldn't be too hard) the Rooneys allowed both to depart the Burgh not the other way around. That means the Rooneys, who know something about choosing head coaches, believe that, in spite of how good Whiz was, Tomlin will be better. I trust their judgement over any of the pundits - including those with a tenuous connection to Western PA.

Matt said...

"It's also worth noting that the Bengals have finished above the Steelers in both of the past two seasons."

2005: 11-5
2006: 8-8

2005: 11-5
2006: 8-8

2005: Steelers defeat Bengals in Wild Card round of AFC playoffs. Bengals are eliminated.

2006: Steelers defeat Bengals in final game of regular season. Loss eliminates Bengals from playoff contention.

Wait 'Til Next Year

AJ said...

In regards to paying attention to detail, it should be noted that "Ewwwwww-ing" Rolling Rock Beer in these parts is no longer an insult.

Anheuser-Busch bought Rolling Rock, moved the brewing operations to New Jersey (Ewwww) and put the entire Latrobe Brewing staff out of work.

You know Anheuser-Busch... that Missouri based company that brews such swill as Budweiser and Natural Ice?

Otherwise... kudos on being a Saints fan. It hasn't been easy the past 40 years. You're kind of like the Pirates fans of the NFL.

TheStarterWife said...

Man, that Matt Morris trade is the pain that just keeps giving.

vinnie said...

Geez, the Saints make one lousy Championship game and suddenly they're the second coming. The Steelers have been to three AFC Championship games -- THIS DECADE.

Oh, and by the way, of the 41 AFC Championships the Steelers have played in nine (21.9%) and won six (14.6%). Both are records.

vinnie said...

Correction, the Steelers have played in 13 of the 41 AFC Championship games (31.7%). The nine games I mentioned were the number of those 13 that were played in Da 'Burgh.