Also read that Clark won't be going to Denver. With Pola back, that's less worrisome, though not sure who slides to free. Carter and Mundy don't appear to have the requisite speed, so Shea, perhaps?
7 Sun, Oct 25 Minnesota 1:00 PM - 45F and mostly sunny? Bah, let's hope a stray snowstorm blows up. Vikes have been coddled playing in domes, and this game may not mean as much to them as us. Harvin's got a gimp wing, but if he plays our porous STs better watch out. Seems to come down to a Ben vs. Favre shootout, and frankly I think that favors us in the elements. Steelers giving 3.5-4.0, which means this one should require having paddles handy and someone who knows CPR. Finny sez: Steelers 31, Vikings 30. This is the weekend of Wakes' 11th anniversary, and do I need to tell you what the traditional gift is for 11 years? STEEL.
8 BYE WEEK
9 Mon, Nov 9 @ Denver 8:30 PM - Do we get up for MNF or what? The Denver OL and running game is for real, but Orton is the classic game-manager. The DBs blanket Marshall, Royal, and Stokely, and the pressure gets to Orton, this team will fold up. The Broncos D under former Ratties DC Nolan is running the 3-4 much better than expected, but my main worry here is letting STs returners get untracked (uhhh, Royal). Broncos have a bye, then head to Baltimore before this scrum, so not sure if we'll be breaking the cherry, but have a feeling that this game will be easier than suspected. Yes, I believe Denver is "for real." No, I do not believe they're on some magical fucking carpet ride. Someone's gotta bring this fools back to earth, and it might as well be us, in classic beatdown fashion. Just a gut feeling. Finny sez: It gets ugly fast and is over early, Steelers 38, Broncos 17.
10 Sun, Nov 15 Cincinnati - What I hope I'm anticipating, in wins over the Vikes and Broncos, is two-fold. First, that we play to the level of our competition. Second, that we begin our usual annual march into November and December coming together and playing a more complete game. We utterly dominated these sad fucks and let them steal one away. Now they're coming to our house. Die, you motherfuckers, DIE! Finny sez: Steelers 31, Bengals 10.
11 Sun, Nov 22 @ Kansas City 1:00 PM - Kansas City is one of a handful of teams that are just truly and historically bad. With the Bucs, Rams, Chiefs, Browns, and Lions around, it's like having the '76-'77 Bucs in all their hilarious creamcicle glory. I know, we beat the Lions in less-than-brutal fashion, and some of these teams (and the insipid Bills and Redskins) have eked out a win (or two). But come on. Come the fuck on. I don't care if our guys are playing this with cement shoes on and the Chiefs are allowed to shoot at us from the sidelines with thirty aught sixes, the Chiefs are a ginormous pile of scrotosity. Seriously. How they were ever in that game with the Ravens is still a mystery. Finny sez: Steelers 24, Chiefs 17, playing down to LOC, maddeningly.
12 Sun, Nov 29 @ Baltimore 8:20 PM - Ugh, I smell a split with the Ratties. Their defense is off the mark, but the offense is improved. Sound familiar? It's like facing your evil twin, on his turf. We can hope that Fucko goes in for his weekly unibrow tonsuring and the barber is momentarily distracted by some breaking news of Kate and Jon's kids floating around in some runaway balloon in some copycat news-whoremongering gone terribly, terribly wrong, and Fucko gets his one cornea shorn off. Because, fuck, nothing sucks like having a cornea-flap hanging down your face when you're about to face the Steelers. But short of that, I'm gonna guess we stumble here. Finny sez: Ravens 17, Steelers 13, a classic slop-grunt-bleed.
13 Sun, Dec 6 Oakland 1:00 PM - Just as nothing helps a NyQuiltini-and-Johnny night hangover like a bg pile of eggs, and a plate of greasy fried pork product, the best tonic for a loss to the hated Ratbirds is to get a team like the Raiders on the brutal west-to-east odyssey. For some reason, west coast teams that have to play on the east coast at 1:00 are usually overwhelmed, especially when they are as sucktastic as the Raiders. Now, granted, the Raiders sacked Donovan McNabb 6 times and pulled the stunning upset Sunday, but the Eagles line is sloppier than the sneeze guard at Old Country Buffet. "Lookit, Mama, somebody put some green Jell-O on the sneezy thing and it rolleded onto my meat loaf!" That, and Andy Reid wisely chose not to run the ball against an insipid run defense. Seriously, the only other win for Cable and the Jawbreakers was the aforementioned Chiefs. Opposing QBs have been having good days against us, for whateverthefuck reason, so JaMarcus Russell should have a sweet passer rating of 40 or something. Finny sez: Steelers 31, Raiders 13.
14 Thu, Dec 10 @ Cleveland - I was pretty pissed that the Steelers were only up 17-14 in the third quarter of the Browns game last week, but I suspect the Mangini Free Fall will be in full effect for the home fans. When you get a second chance to stomp your enemy's guts, take it. Take it and stomp. Stomp the guts until you wonder how you'll ever get the bits of bowel out of the tread. Stomp it so bad stray cats are following you home, hoping for bits of gut to fall to them like manna. The template here should be that Patriots-Titans trouncing, but with less finess and more gut stomping. Put the gut stomping boots on eBay. Post a vid of the guts coming out and the boot coming down on them, and then sliding on them, on YouTube, with plenty of slo-mo and overdubs of "No you DI'INT!" Finny Sez: Steelers 42, Browns 9.
15 Sun, Dec 20 Green Bay 1:00 PM - I was a lot more afraid of this game until I realized the Green Bay OL is actually worse than ours. Still, the Packers will likely be scrapping for a wild card, and Aaron Rodgers is a decent arm. This could be one where we get caught sleeping, especially if our boys spend all week cleaning Brownie guts out of their cleats. I think we're superior in all the matchups, but shit happens sometimes. You know it, I know it, the drunken guy who's not really a Salvation Army santa but who needs the booze money knows it. And in case you're wondering, hustling coin in front of Wal-Mart for NyQuiltinis while your feet are slowly freezing and every fucking three-toothed rube who drops Chicklets or buttons or empty tins of Skoal in that damned kettle and then strolls past the slobber-goobery greeter with that sense of pride that can only come from giving wanton socialism the finger, well, lemme tell ya that shit sucks, but usually you can get enough money to get crocked and pay for a frostburn amputation or two. Finny sez: Packers 24, Steelers 21.
16 Sun, Dec 27 Baltimore 1:00 PM - The other half of the split. How sweet is a division-deciding home game as a post-Christmas goodie? Let me tell you how sweet it is. It's sweet. It's fucking sweet. It's sweet to see Harbaugh carrying on the hilarious tradition of the Billick freakout after we shove his face in dogshit, again. It's sweet to see Fucko getting media slobber and then doing jack fucking shit against us. It's sweet to see Ray Ray crying, or bitching about some grave moral injustice we incurred at his expense, or whateverthefuck Ray Ray is gonna do when we beat his ass like a pimp comin' down on his bitch with the heavy rings. It's sweet to see Ed Reed get toyed with by Ben like a cold lump of ham loaf that Junior pushes around the plate with no intention of ever eating. It's all sweet, and I love it, every single time we whup they stupid asses. But of course, this game will be too fucking close until too late, and the ambulance will be pulling into the driveway as the clock ticks off the final seconds and Mrs. F. runs out to wave them away, again. With any luck, we'll be keeping the Rats out of a wild card, but those purple fucking dickles have a way of getting into the post just to piss me, personally, right the fuck off. Finny sez: Steelers 21, Ravens 13.
17 Sun, Jan 3 @ Miami - All right, so if we're at 11-4 and the Ratties have no shot of climbing back in, we're not giving a flip about this game. If it's coming down to the wire, then yeah. I don't think the Fins are climbing back into this season, to be honest, so it's less about them than it is us. They beat a suckass Bills team and a slumping Jets team, which impresses me as much as a free couch propped curbside on trash day. That Wildcat shit is so annoying I cannot even begin to form the words, and anyway, the Rats pretty much showed that any real defense can take it down. Miami had one of those weird years last year after a fucktastically Lion-esque 1-15 season, hoorah for the indomitable genius that is Man-Tits and his boy Tony Soprano for pushing past the reasonable limits of credulity and making the post, but trend this shit out year to year and usually you see teams settle back to earth again the next year. So, assuming we've taken care of bidness, I see this as the classic blowoff game... that we somehow win anyway. It doesn't make sense, but there you have it. Finny sez: Steelers 14, Dolphins 10.
Now, that would bring us to 12-4, which may be foolhardy, wildly optimistic, and come back to bite my ass like a rabid chihuahua, but I'm going to roll with that shit and frankly anyone who doesn't like it is welcome to trail ten paces behind me and voice their complaints as I evacuate copious amounts of defecatorily-scented methane in their direction, and if you smoke, then ha ha, the joke's on you, because your face will be crisped off in a brutal and fiery jetstream of horror and pain. But otherwise, I understand why some folks may be a tad concerned, given the ups and downs thus far.