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Author Topic: Sporting News Says Steelers Easiest Sept Schedule  (Read 2095 times)
Cogitobsw
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« on: Aug 28, 2007 at 15:33 »

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Can't say I really disagree or am too upset about it.  After last year and with a new coach, I think we have a great opportunity to start off well and and build on momentum.

Of course if we stumble out of the block with this schedule and what's coming for us later in the year, it could be a looooooooooong season
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« Reply #1 on: Aug 28, 2007 at 17:31 »

I agree it's easy on paper.  But we go through the same old SOS BS each and every year.  It's really only a valuable tool (and then not all that valuable for the NFL) after the season is over.  

Case in point, New Orleans, last season.  Or even to a certain extent, the Ratties.  No doubt every team had us circled as a tough opponent in week one, but those opinions had changed mightily by week 5.  
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« Reply #2 on: Aug 28, 2007 at 17:41 »

I think we match up well with those teams, but it is worth noting that the NFCW teams both could be improved this year.  Now, that may come more at the expense of the Seahags than us, but I think the Cards game in particular could be telling.  Whiz and Grimm against Tomlin?  I hope Coach Tomlin kills them.
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« Reply #3 on: Aug 28, 2007 at 18:29 »

True, but, let me play devils advocate on this one.

Who comes into that game wanting a "W" more? I'll  bet that Whiz and Grim are chomping at this bit for this game...if I'm Whiz, I've been planning for this one since I left. Both these guys got to be a tad bitter.

I wouldn't be the least bit shocked if we lose this one in an upset. Don't like it, but, wouldn't be surprised.

It would be particularly interesting to see how well Faneca performs...
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« Reply #4 on: Aug 28, 2007 at 20:59 »

IMO Faneca is more likely to bust his balls in that game than he is in any other.. DUDE WANTS PAID and if he's laying road against the Cards it goes a long ways for helping justify Whiz and Grimm wanting him and the upwards for 7-8 per that he'll want..  
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« Reply #5 on: Aug 30, 2007 at 12:20 »

I agree on paper it's easy, and if we want to get to 10 wins we better take full advantage of it.  We also have the advantage of one of our West Coast trips coming after a bye.  Here's my blueprint for 10-6:

Early season:  @ Cleveland, Buffalo, San Fran, @ Arizona, Seattle

All these, based on location, look winnable to me.  Cleveland's a mess, Buffalo, SF at home.  Arizona could be a stumbling block.  Seattle will want revenge, but again we're at home.

We break out of the gate fast:  5-0

Post Bye lull:  @ Denver, @ Cinci, Balt

This schedule would be tough under normal circumstances, but after two weeks of hearing how good we are, it's even more difficult.  We'll stumble here a bit:

After phase 2: 6-2


Second half burst:  CLE, @ NYJ, Miami, Cincy

Ends a string of 4 out of five at home, against teams that are beatable.  Jets may be the stumbling block.

Back on track:  9-3

Late season - Murderer's row:  @ NE, JAX, @ St. Louis, @ Balt

All I can say is - ugh.  NE is NE, Jax is always a slobberknocker that can go either way, and Balty on the road.  To make it worse, the most winnable game, St. Louis, is on the road on a short week (Thurs), coming off the brutal Jax game.  2-2 here would be good, but I'm not sure we'll get that.

Final record:  10-6

That's how I see us get to 10, and we get a playoff berth.  With our Oline questions, can't say we've done enough to catch Baltimore, though game planning might be better this year, and if Ben will continue to dump the ball to Willie, that may slow down the Balty pass rush.
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Hercules50
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« Reply #6 on: Aug 30, 2007 at 12:49 »

I like your predictions. Sounds about right.

I have to say, as much as I can't tell how good or bad we're going to be -- and I feel more uncertain than I have going into a season in a long time, like this team could go 6-10 or we could 14-2 -- I feel the same way about the division.

Balty, Cinci, Cleveland are all mysteries to me.
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« Reply #7 on: Aug 30, 2007 at 12:57 »

Quote
I agree on paper it's easy, and if we want to get to 10 wins we better take full advantage of it.  We also have the advantage of one of our West Coast trips coming after a bye.  Here's my blueprint for 10-6:
 
I like how you broke it down into phases, rather than go game-by-game assigning W/L.  Of course, any team can beat any team at any time .... BUT, the only teams that really scare me are NE (for obvious reasons), JAX (as you say, always a slobberknocker) and Balty - only b/c of the rapings last season.  Maybe they can put McNair on IR in the first meeting (not kidding).

Wouldn't be a bit suprised to see 10-6 take the division.
 
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« Reply #8 on: Aug 30, 2007 at 15:03 »

Quote
Quote
I agree on paper it's easy, and if we want to get to 10 wins we better take full advantage of it.  We also have the advantage of one of our West Coast trips coming after a bye.  Here's my blueprint for 10-6:
 
I like how you broke it down into phases, rather than go game-by-game assigning W/L.  Of course, any team can beat any team at any time .... BUT, the only teams that really scare me are NE (for obvious reasons), JAX (as you say, always a slobberknocker) and Balty - only b/c of the rapings last season.  Maybe they can put McNair on IR in the first meeting (not kidding).

Wouldn't be a bit suprised to see 10-6 take the division.
Agree with jonz that your breakdown of the season into phases is, well, outstanding.  10-6 +/- 1 seems where we're headed, IMO, and it could very well go as you say.

What I see as the critical matchups are the Balty games.  They annihilated us, embarassed us.  Since 2000 (their SB season), I believe there's been pretty good parity, and IIRC we are dead even in terms of record.  Usually we split, and I think we each had a season of sweeps?  Anyway, the balance of power never seems to swing one way too long, as opposed to the Browns.  

If we can split with the Ravens, I think we can beat any team out there.  Hell, if we can figure out their pass rush, we could conceivably return the favor by sweeping them, but I'll hope for a split for now.  

The Denver game is the first game that has me really worried.  In Denver, and IMO Denver is a bit underrated this year (all attention on SD).  I know we kicked the snot out of them in the 05 AFCC, and they may want to remind us of it.  If we do win the first 5 and then beat Denver, I will be ecstatic.  If we go 5-0, and then beat Denver and Balty (7-1 at worst), I will openly worship at the shrine of Tomlin.

It's hard for me to form expectations.  Also, more entertaining to say Hey, this year, if we do anything at all, it'll be beyond what anyone expected, so it's a free ride.  Lower the bar and then clear it by a mile, I guess.

All I know is that these writers who love Cincy are going to be deeply disappointed.
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« Reply #9 on: Oct 12, 2007 at 14:16 »

Just digging this thread up to update/analyze my predictions at the break.

I predicted 5-0 with Arizona as a possible stumbling block, so I was pretty close.  Even being a game behind on my predictions, I still see double digit wins.

The phase 2 teams (@Den, @Cincy, Bal) aren't nearly as imposing as they appeared in preseason.  Plus, we're still flying under the radar.  I think we can get on pace to 6-2 by winning 2 out of 3.

Phase 3 teams (Cle, @NYJ, Mia, Cincy):  If you had told me after week 1 the Browns would be the best of this lot, I'd have asked you what are you smoking and can I have some.  But I think that may be true.  No reason we shouldn't win all four of these, but weird things happen.  I'm going to keep my prediction at 9-3 just to account for a fluke or if we don't win 2 of 3 in phase 2, but 10-2 wouldn't surprise me if we can get healthy and stay that way.

Phase 4 (@NE, Jax, @ St. Louis, @ Balt) - this schedule is still a bear, even with St. Louis being worse than anticipated.  A lot can happen between now and then, but I really like how we're playing, the Arizona debacle excepted.  I think we do a little better than 1-3 in this stretch, so I'll change my prediction slightly to 11-5, which should be good enough to win the division, likely a #3 seed.

Basically, my feelings have changed from thinking we can win 10 in preseason to being disappointed if we don't win 10 now, despite not having the undefeated start I thought we'd need.  Mainly because we haven't just won those games, we kicked serious ass.  Shutting out Seattle with three Pro Bowlers out, plus another key starter?  You gotta be kidding me.
« Last Edit: Oct 12, 2007 at 14:17 by msdmnr2002 » Logged
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« Reply #10 on: Oct 12, 2007 at 14:55 »

Again, msdmnr, great breakdown.  I think I feel about the same way about each phase.  Apparently, so does this site (estimating 10.9 wins, so, 11).  They have the likelihood of each team making the playoffs, and its chances of winning a particular playoff berth.  Pats, naturally, faves for the 1 spot; Colts have a slight edge over us for #2; we look good for the three spot; the Chargers get some love for the 4.  And IIRC the two WCs are favored to also wind up in the AFCS, with the Jags and Texans edging out the next best competitor, Balty.  

Would not surprise me, and I like our chances against a Texans team at home.  I can see Jax upsetting SD unless their return to form gels and they play like they did last year.  With Norv there, I'm not confident of it.  So I can see Jax (again) going to NE, and us going (again) to Indy.  

That leads to four interesting permutations, likeliest of which start with "and the Patriots meet" and end with "in the AFC Championship.  I think we could beat Dungy's boys, but it really looks like a 50/50 proposition.  

So, in other words, I think an AFCC appearance is actually not impossible.  The first Pats matchup this year will tell us a lot about ourselves...
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« Reply #11 on: Oct 12, 2007 at 15:22 »

Also, working with the FO playoff odds for the NFC, it shakes out thusly:

1. Dallas
2. Green Bay
3. Tampa Bay
4. Seattle
5. Washington
6. Arizona

This gets somewhat confusing... Arizona has a 60.5% chance of making the playoffs, while Washington has a 52.7% chance... yet Washington's odds of making the 5 seed are better than Arizona's.  OK.  The closest team on the outside looking in is the Giants, who have showed some improvement since the early going.

If this seeding holds, I would say Arizona could actually upset Tampa.  Tampa comes out high in all the computer models, but that running game is going to hurt them, now and later.  Washington at Seattle, I see as a repeat of 2005, when Washington lost to Seattle.  Zona at Dallas, have to think Dallas.  Seattle at Green Bay, I like the higher seed again.  Green Bay at Dallas would be an excellent game, and much like Steelers-Colts, I have no clear favorite here.  It's going to hurt the Pack if they don't have a running game by then, so I can see that and HFA tipping the scales to Jerry's girls.
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« Reply #12 on: Oct 12, 2007 at 15:25 »

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It's going to hurt the Pack if they don't have a running game by then, so I can see that and HFA tipping the scales to Jerry's girls.
If that comes to pass, I hope Madden isn't doing the game.  "Heh, that Tony Romo is like a young Brett Favre.  Or is Brett Farve like an old Tony Romo?  HA!  BAM!  BOOM!  Pass the turducken."
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« Reply #13 on: Oct 12, 2007 at 15:46 »

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Quote
It's going to hurt the Pack if they don't have a running game by then, so I can see that and HFA tipping the scales to Jerry's girls.

If that comes to pass, I hope Madden isn't doing the game.  "Heh, that Tony Romo is like a young Brett Favre.  Or is Brett Farve like an old Tony Romo?  HA!  BAM!  BOOM!  Pass the turducken."




I really like what Tony Romo brings to this team, I mean, here... here's a guy who throws for a lot of yardage and everyone talks about that, but look how he looks like a young Brett Favre in this play, the way he, y'know, plants his feet like this here, and you see how he's looking over here, and his eyes are looking here but he's really looking over here, that non-throwing hand is right there, and he sliiiides that left leg up when he's getting to throw because, you know, like Favre, he's a lot like Brett Favre was, or like Brett Favre still is apparently, because people were saying Favre should retire, and all this stuff like that, but you know, when you're a Brett Favre or a Tony Romo, you can't listen to that, you have to just go out there and play the game the way you're gonna play it...  OOOOooooohh, and Romo throws a bad ball that gets intercepted there, maybe, maybe I put the whammy on Tony comparing him to Brett Favre, but ya know, ya know Brett throws a lot of picks, too, and so that just comes with the territory.  At least neither of them's a goddamned *edit*.
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« Reply #14 on: Oct 12, 2007 at 16:39 »

LMAO.  Great Madden dialog.  I bet Frank TV steals that.
 
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« Reply #15 on: Oct 13, 2007 at 09:27 »

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Apparently, so does this site (estimating 10.9 wins, so, 11). They have the likelihood of each team making the playoffs, and its chances of winning a particular playoff berth.

I like the way they break down the % chance of winning each seed.  Gotta hate it for the Rams - chances of winning:

#1 seed - 0.0%
#2 - 0.0%
#3 - 0.0%
#4 - 0.0%
#5 - 0.0%
#6 - 0.0%

They say you're not done until you're mathematically eliminated, but that's pretty bad.  At least the Phins have a 0.1% chance of winning the #6 seed.

According to this model, 8-8 wins the AFC West.  Not sure I'm buying that, but we'll see.

Strange things - the 1-3 Eagles, hopelessly behind the Cowboys in a division where everyone's predicted to finish .500 or better, have a 25.5% chance of making the playoffs.  On the other hand, the 3-2 Panthers, tied for the lead in a division where two teams should have 6 wins or less, have a 20.4% chance of making it.  Odd.
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« Reply #16 on: Dec 03, 2007 at 13:03 »

Just updating again into the last quarter of the season.  Yes, I realize I may dislocate my shoulder trying to pat myself on the back, but I don't get it this close to right very often.

So we're 9-3 as I thought we'd be.   My last prediction was 11-5, splitting the last four.  The difference between now and then is that the Pats if anything may be better than I thought at the time, Jax is still tough, the Rams are improving, and the Ravens are worse than expected.  That said, I'll resist the temptation to tick the win total up another notch and stick with 11-5.  It's still 3 out of four on the road where we haven't proven success outside the division, and St Louis is on the road on a short week.  I figure 20% chance of beating the Pats, and a 60% chance of beating each of the other three, which adds up to two wins.

BTW, the playoff odds report Finny linked in this thread has us looking pretty good.  Even without updating from this past weekend, we're at 81% to win the division, and 97% to go to the playoffs.  I suspect both of those will go up nicely - over 90% for the division and 99% for the playoffs would be my guess.  
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« Reply #17 on: Dec 03, 2007 at 14:20 »

About the whole strength of schedule thing...

You really can't measure it overall in a 16-game NFL season.  Yes, we lost to the Jets, but at a time when they are clearly starting to play better.  My point is that it doesn't really matter overall what the SOS is, it's about how a team is playing when you come up against them.  For example, last year we would have hurt any team's SOS at the midpoint of the season.  But we won 6 of our last 8, so that made it a tough game.  A team that's 5-11 brings you down, but what if they went on a 5-game run at the end?  Or like the Lions/Giants, they hit a skid after starting 6-2?

It just depends on how teams are playing when they are on the schedule.  Makes the SOS argument pretty irrelevant.
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