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Author Topic: Week 7 - Oct. 20 - Baltimore @ Pittsburgh  (Read 4900 times)
Finnegans Wake
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« on: Oct 17, 2013 at 11:34 »

Don't like being the 2.5 favorite, but I do think we have a good chance to win this.  Have to do better vs. the run, and then double down on Torrey Smith and don't allow the long ball.  On offense, no turnovers, keep Suggs out of Ben's face, just keep slinging it to AB, Heat, Sanders, Bell. 

Feels like another 16-13 kinda game.  Hoping we come out on top. 
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« Reply #1 on: Oct 17, 2013 at 12:03 »

I'm really not seeing it. Hope that I'm just channeling my inner pessimist here, but I don't see how the offensive line can handle Ngata and Suggs. I think the Ratbirds will continue to improve on defense, and it's hard for me to believe that we can muster enough to stop the run game.

And then there's this:  http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/10/16/jarvis-jones-misses-practice-with-head-injury/  (Apologies for posting a Florio link)

On the other hand, the Ravoons have been known to soil the bed, as has their QB...here's to hoping he has a game/playcalling like he did vs. Buffalo. But I doubt it, particularly coming off their mediocre performance last week.
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« Reply #2 on: Oct 17, 2013 at 13:37 »

I just don't think the Ravens O is anything.  Rice has been dinged, and Pierce is OK, but the passing game is Torrey Smith, and little else.  The D is going to get after Ben, but if he can get the ball out quickly and avoid turnovers that's the key.  Hasn't Ngata been dinged up too?

As for Jarvis, well, what he done so far?  I mean, a couple of nice plays, shows some OK run stoppage, but if he sits a week it won't kill us.
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« Reply #3 on: Oct 17, 2013 at 15:38 »

Think the number is down to -1.  Depends where you look, tho.  This is Baltimore's 3rd road game of their last 4 games.

On offense, no turnovers, keep Suggs out of Ben's face

Key.

*initiate air quotes usage*

I'm not gonna call it a "must win" because in the NFL (16 game "season"), they're all "must wins," but this is definitely a "turning point" in their season.  Win and they're right back in it in the AFCN.  A loss puts them at 1-5; not mathematically eliminated, but might as well be.  Would likely finish somewhere in the 11-16 range and possibly flirt with a top 10 pick .

Was really hoping to have Brown at tackle for this one.  Beachum is gonna need a lot of help.  Maybe they can just line Adams up as eligible on the weak side for support the entire game.  Single back set.  Let Bell pick his spots when they run it.  Or, just go 4 wide and force the defense out of their base D and into nickel.

I don't see this one as a low scoring affair.  Both defenses are far from great and will definitely give up some points.  26-20 or something like that.
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« Reply #4 on: Oct 17, 2013 at 20:39 »

Quote
Or, just go 4 wide and force the defense out of their base D and into nickel.

This.

I've said all year that I felt the Ravens would improve on D as the season progresses. We'll see if, for once, I might be right. Would love to be wrong.

Quote
As for Jarvis, well, what he done so far?  I mean, a couple of nice plays, shows some OK run stoppage, but if he sits a week it won't kill us.

Thought he made some significant strides vs. the Jets, was hoping that might continue this week. We'll see. I have no idea what Worilds is, but it doesn't appear that he'll be much. I was just optimistic that Jones might have turned a corner, whereas Worilds pretty much is what he's going to be, it appears.

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« Reply #5 on: Oct 18, 2013 at 14:39 »

Ravens @ Steelers but the National game for that CBS time slot is Texans @ Chiefs.

That pretty much sums it up.

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« Reply #6 on: Oct 18, 2013 at 16:37 »

I get the Jets at 1, so no four o'clock at all.  Stupid NFL.  I hate going to bars to watch anymore.
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« Reply #7 on: Oct 20, 2013 at 15:32 »

Mesko is as bad as Butler was
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« Reply #8 on: Oct 20, 2013 at 15:33 »

Picked up an authentic Harrison #92 off of the sale rack in the mall for $20.  Hope it brings good luck, though I expect little to go well for us today.
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« Reply #9 on: Oct 20, 2013 at 16:34 »

Defense looks on/off but the offense has been on until the last drive.  This team shoots itself in the foot more often than not.  15 yard facemask penalty on Bell (who has been otherwise good) and then Heath has the ball knocked out of his hands.  Lucky to only give up 3 on that TO but what could have been had the last O series gone differently.
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« Reply #10 on: Oct 20, 2013 at 17:16 »

So why exactly is Will Johnson on the team?  I never see him used in short yardage situations.  In the RZ in the 3rd quarter.  It's 2nd and 2 after a nice run from Bell.  No FB.  No room.  Play over.  #84 Brown gets a FS penalty.  Ultimately get a FG. 
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« Reply #11 on: Oct 20, 2013 at 17:43 »

Moye lets a TD pass go through his hands, one that really would have forced the Ravens' hand on O on the next series.
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« Reply #12 on: Oct 20, 2013 at 19:48 »

Good win.  We might get to 7-9 this year.
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« Reply #13 on: Oct 20, 2013 at 19:54 »

OL did really well.  With Whimper at RT, I would have expected worse as Suggs and Elvis are a really nice tandem.  One of the sacks was on Ben as he stepped in to it (I think it was Velasco's guy). 

D did not create a turnover again and had one sack.  The pass rush was pretty bad.  Woodley had his sack and got close to another but was out-manuevered by Flacco on another. 

Miller did not have a good game, though maybe he was better as a blocker in the run game. 

Suisham is pretty underrated.
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« Reply #14 on: Oct 20, 2013 at 21:54 »

It's a W, always take that, especially against the Ratbirds.  Finny's 16-13 prediction pretty darn accurate.  Take out the Heat turnover at the end of the first half and might have been dead on.

We usually get reamed by Oakland when we're good.  Hopefully can reverse that since we currently suck.
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« Reply #15 on: Oct 21, 2013 at 06:23 »

I was wondering why Ben never runs anymore.
Then I saw that Kosar scamper, yesterday.
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« Reply #16 on: Oct 21, 2013 at 09:02 »

Baby steps.  Some interesting flashes here and there, but nowhere near as consistent as we should be.

If Heat hadn't gotten the ball knocked out (how often does that happen?!), would have easily been 13-3 at the half, maybe 17-3.

So far, Raiders have beaten Jax (so, nothing to see there) and SD (better than I expected them to be this year).  I like our chances, especially given msdmnr's Weirdo Raiders Inversion Theory.

Patriots... always dicey, but they are down this year.  Jets showed they can be run on, sans Wilfuck.  Beardy's got Gronk back, but not a ton of other weapons.  Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers.  Be nice to get to 4-4.
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« Reply #17 on: Oct 21, 2013 at 09:56 »

Be nice to get to 4-4.

I don't know...sounds like blasphemy to say it this early in the season, but with the Bengals at 5-2 (and have already beaten us once), the Browns and Ravens at 3-4, and the Steelers in the cellar at 2-4, and with one of either the Broncos and/or Chiefs pretty much locked in on one Wild card spot, it seems to me that every win just means a worse draft pick next year. I'm almost hoping for a tank for the rest of the season (though it will be hell to sit through it each week) to get the top tackle in the draft (not that I have a clue who that is/will be).
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« Reply #18 on: Oct 21, 2013 at 11:38 »

Be nice to get to 4-4.

I don't know...sounds like blasphemy to say it this early in the season, but with the Bengals at 5-2 (and have already beaten us once), the Browns and Ravens at 3-4, and the Steelers in the cellar at 2-4, and with one of either the Broncos and/or Chiefs pretty much locked in on one Wild card spot, it seems to me that every win just means a worse draft pick next year. I'm almost hoping for a tank for the rest of the season (though it will be hell to sit through it each week) to get the top tackle in the draft (not that I have a clue who that is/will be).

I might agree if there were 4 games left and we were out of contention, but can't agree just yet. 

NY Giants are headed for an early pick, and I assume LT will be their calling (Matthews).  That leaves Lewan (top 10) and Kouandjio (top 20) in play, although the big guy from Bama could move up if his play improves.  Should be some quality WR and CB in the top 15 or even 20.  Even if we're not taking QB in R1, Bridgewater, Mariota, Boyd, maybe Manziel should be hearing their names early, so that means more likelihood of WR/CB/OT for us.

Plus, you play... to win... the game...
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« Reply #19 on: Oct 21, 2013 at 13:32 »

Plus, you play... to win... the game...

Yeah, they're already sucking me in, they get to 4-4 and I'm thinking playoffs.
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« Reply #20 on: Oct 21, 2013 at 13:34 »

BTW, we got Houston and KC ota and I couldn't listen online yesterday.  So, Beachum and Whimper were serviceable?  Sounds like a new buddy cop duo.
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« Reply #21 on: Oct 21, 2013 at 14:25 »

A win is a win is a win.  Overall, I'd say more good than bad.  Light years from the mess we saw the first two games.

Considering the issues and injuries along the offensive line, I thought the front five did a pretty nice job.  It seems like they're getting [minimally] better and better each week.  Beachum has been OK at LT; saw some nice work from DDC at the point of attack and moving on to the second level; and Velasco has really mitigated the loss of Pouncey.  When you hear a lineman's name getting called a lot, it's usually because he's getting beat or committing some dumbassed penalty.  I don't think Velasco's name was mentioned at all yesterday.  Coincidentally, a lot of the positivity surrounding the ground game came up the middle.  #26 be lookin' good.  For a guy that's 240#+, he's got some nice quickness to him.  Saw him make a couple nice hits in blitz pickup.  I'd like to see him get more looks in the passing game too.  Several times Ben could've just dumped it off to him in the flat and chose to try and force it downfield.  He didn't even look that way.  He was just radar locked on the big play.  Can't really nitpick too much there...pretty easy to armchair QB it when there isn't a purple haze swirling about me.

IMO, good production across the board from all the offensive skill positions.  The Heath fumble sucked, but it's about as common as a solar eclipse.  Happens.  The only downer was the timing in that it felt like Pittsburgh was really moving toward taking a strangle hold on the game.  Someone mentioned earlier that it was a big mo swing before the half as the Steelers were driving and would've likely put up at least another 3 on the board.  Moye had a monster catch while getting upended, but he also let that one slip right through his fingers in the EZ.  It's a give and take with the youts, I guess.  Crotchety also had some timely grabs.  All he does is make big 3rd down catches.

The defense still scares the hell outta me.  I kinda wince every time a ball is snapped.  Other than Troy being all over the goddamned place, that group is so streaky.  I'd really like to see Pittsburgh draft (or sign) a true 30 technique nose.  Mclendon is a really nice player, but he belongs on the outside in a 3-4.  Just my take.  Timmons and Woodley had their moments and I felt like I saw some improvement from Worilds on the outside.  Seemed to do a better job of having a nose for the ball and not looking lost.  If JJ can develop into an outside threat, they might be a decent group.  Think they need some help in the middle, though.  The secondary did a nice job of keeping their splits in check.  Taylor got in the way enough and Gay/Allen made some nice plays on the ball.  It was against Jump Ball/Dumpoff Joe, though.  We'll see how they do against a QB that can pick apart a zone.  Shamark made his presence felt on more than one occasion too.

The ***skins so made the right move going with Graham Gano over Suisham.  Excellent choice, Danny Boy.  Somewhere a restroom paper towel dispenser paid the price.  YIIJay tweeted that Quadzilla texted him a pic of the carnage and resulting tramp stamp tattoo from the three night bender.
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« Reply #22 on: Oct 21, 2013 at 15:55 »

True to all dat, aj.  Was expecting Ben to get killed by Suggs, pleasant surprise there.  And for as bad as Guy Whimper Abdullah the Butcher was elsewhere and in the preseason, there were plays when Ben had lots of time in the pocket.  It was weird to see.

Bell is a very pleasant surprise.  Does not look 240#, not in frame, and not in quickness.  From Football Outsiders:

Quote
Look at Bell's tape and you see a quick athlete ... not a quick guy for 240 pounds, but quick, period, end of story. Bell has a 6.75-second, three-cone drill. That's a faster time than Giovani Bernard, Stevan Ridley, Doug Martin, LeSean McCoy, or Mike Goodson. It's also equal to Jahvid Best's time -- in fact, it's the 12th best three-cone time I've seen from a runner since 2006 and he's the biggest player in that top-12.

Really like his patience and vision, waits for it and then zip!  He's got 6 yards in a blink.  So hard to evaluate some of these Big 10 RBs (SING RON DAYNE!!!!11), but Bell looks like a nice pickup.  With AB, a good young core.  If Sanders could be more consistent, and Wheaton comes on...  dare to dream.

Also agree with how disappointing and streaky the D is.  Although there was some good energy - Woodley nearly popping the ball and then intercepting it!  Pola flying around like it's 2008!  Willie Gay making good breaks!  Shamarko layin' some wood! - FO also had the Ratties ranked as the #31 offense, and dear Fucco still brought them back for the tie.

McLendon looks like he'd be a good DE.  Say it once more, all together:  gets push upfield on passing plays, too soggy on run D... although nice goal line stop, and overall rushing numbers for the Rats weren't anything too amazing.  Problem is, I don't see a good crop of 3-4 NTs.  The kid for ND, maybe, but I can think of a bunch of better R1 prospects...  who else ya got?

For as much as we watched FG attempts through our hands the last few years, Swiss Ham has shown really nice accuracy... and pretty decent length.  He's hitting high 40s and even some 50+ with amazing accuracy.  Consider: from 2005-09, he was 87-110 (79%).  Since coming here in 2010, he's 79-91 (86.8%), and three of his four seasons he hit 90+% (2010 - 93.3%, 2012 - 90.3%, 2013 - perfect).  But I thought Heinz was a kicker's nightmare?
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« Reply #23 on: Oct 21, 2013 at 21:56 »

Never been so thrilled to be wrong in all my life.

I still don't think we're a very good football team and will end up with a fairly high draft pick. However, it's just nice to see some fight back in this team, and some improvement.
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« Reply #24 on: Nov 04, 2013 at 08:32 »

Be nice to get to 4-4.

I don't know...sounds like blasphemy to say it this early in the season, but with the Bengals at 5-2 (and have already beaten us once), the Browns and Ravens at 3-4, and the Steelers in the cellar at 2-4, and with one of either the Broncos and/or Chiefs pretty much locked in on one Wild card spot, it seems to me that every win just means a worse draft pick next year. I'm almost hoping for a tank for the rest of the season (though it will be hell to sit through it each week) to get the top tackle in the draft (not that I have a clue who that is/will be).

I might agree if there were 4 games left and we were out of contention, but can't agree just yet. 

NY Giants are headed for an early pick, and I assume LT will be their calling (Matthews).  That leaves Lewan (top 10) and Kouandjio (top 20) in play, although the big guy from Bama could move up if his play improves.  Should be some quality WR and CB in the top 15 or even 20.  Even if we're not taking QB in R1, Bridgewater, Mariota, Boyd, maybe Manziel should be hearing their names early, so that means more likelihood of WR/CB/OT for us.

Plus, you play... to win... the game...

So can we revisit this now?
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« Reply #25 on: Nov 04, 2013 at 08:55 »

Should have won against the Raiders, Tomlin's record against the silver and black is one of the uglier facets of his litanies of failure.  Could have certainly won against the Pats, but looking down the sched I don't think we have to try to tank.  I don't know if there are any games we are going to actually win.  Maybe one or two here or there.  Not going to beat the Bengals, or the Ravens in Balty.  Browns are improved, and I think they sweep us, maybe if we're lucky we go 2-4 in the division.  For all the issues at QB the Bills have, they've been competitive.  Miiiiight win that.  Lions, Megatron is too much.  Dolphins appear to be better than us, but another maybe on the slate.  Packers, don't fucking kid yourself.  I think the ceiling for this team is 5-11.

That should get us our choice of a top LT, WR, or maybe even QB.
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« Reply #26 on: Nov 04, 2013 at 10:56 »

Should have won against the Raiders, Tomlin's record against the silver and black is one of the uglier facets of his litanies of failure.  Could have certainly won against the Pats, but looking down the sched I don't think we have to try to tank.  I don't know if there are any games we are going to actually win.  Maybe one or two here or there.  Not going to beat the Bengals, or the Ravens in Balty.  Browns are improved, and I think they sweep us, maybe if we're lucky we go 2-4 in the division.  For all the issues at QB the Bills have, they've been competitive.  Miiiiight win that.  Lions, Megatron is too much.  Dolphins appear to be better than us, but another maybe on the slate.  Packers, don't fucking kid yourself.  I think the ceiling for this team is 5-11.

That should get us our choice of a top LT, WR, or maybe even QB.

Maybe we were actually agreeing all along now that I read this response. I don't think the team should try to lose the games (and if they do before they are actually eliminated, then heads should roll). What I am suggesting is that we, as fans, should probably be careful about being happy for any win that happens to occur throughout the rest of the season because at this point the season is lost and it is just screwing up our chances of turning it around next year or the year after.

Here are the teams in the league that are .500 or worse (I'm not sure how the tie-breakers work out):

Rank From Bottom (lowest possible)TeamRecordWin PCT
19Bears (Could be .500 tonight)4-3.571
18Dolphins4-4.500
18Cardinals4-4.500
18Titans4-4.500
18Chargers4-4.500
14Eagles4-5.444
14Browns4-5.444
12Ravens3-5.375
12Raiders3-5.375
12Redskins3-5.375
9Bills3-6.333
9Rams3-6.333
7Steelers2-6.250
7Texans2-6.250
7Giants2-6.250
7Falcons2-6.250
3Vikings1-7.125
2Bucs0-8.000
2Jags0-8.000

Point is that if we drafted today we would draft as low as 7th. There is not that much difference between drafting there and drafting 19th (2 wins). None of the teams on this list are very good and any win the Steelers get just puts distance in there. I'd be horrified every week to go 2-14, but I think the joy of any win should be short-lived once you realize that the effect of that win is a reduced draft pick (possibly significantly).

Sorry to be the harbinger of doom.
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« Reply #27 on: Nov 04, 2013 at 11:15 »

Should have won against the Raiders, Tomlin's record against the silver and black is one of the uglier facets of his litanies of failure.  Could have certainly won against the Pats, but looking down the sched I don't think we have to try to tank.  I don't know if there are any games we are going to actually win.  Maybe one or two here or there.  Not going to beat the Bengals, or the Ravens in Balty.  Browns are improved, and I think they sweep us, maybe if we're lucky we go 2-4 in the division.  For all the issues at QB the Bills have, they've been competitive.  Miiiiight win that.  Lions, Megatron is too much.  Dolphins appear to be better than us, but another maybe on the slate.  Packers, don't fucking kid yourself.  I think the ceiling for this team is 5-11.

That should get us our choice of a top LT, WR, or maybe even QB.

Maybe we were actually agreeing all along now that I read this response. I don't think the team should try to lose the games (and if they do before they are actually eliminated, then heads should roll). What I am suggesting is that we, as fans, should probably be careful about being happy for any win that happens to occur throughout the rest of the season because at this point the season is lost and it is just screwing up our chances of turning it around next year or the year after.

Here are the teams in the league that are .500 or worse (I'm not sure how the tie-breakers work out):

Rank From Bottom (lowest possible)TeamRecordWin PCT
19Bears (Could be .500 tonight)4-3.571
18Dolphins4-4.500
18Cardinals4-4.500
18Titans4-4.500
18Chargers4-4.500
14Eagles4-5.444
14Browns4-5.444
12Ravens3-5.375
12Raiders3-5.375
12Redskins3-5.375
9Bills3-6.333
9Rams3-6.333
7Steelers2-6.250
7Texans2-6.250
7Giants2-6.250
7Falcons2-6.250
3Vikings1-7.125
2Bucs0-8.000
2Jags0-8.000

Point is that if we drafted today we would draft as low as 7th. There is not that much difference between drafting there and drafting 19th (2 wins). None of the teams on this list are very good and any win the Steelers get just puts distance in there. I'd be horrified every week to go 2-14, but I think the joy of any win should be short-lived once you realize that the effect of that win is a reduced draft pick (possibly significantly).

Sorry to be the harbinger of doom.

Careful.  Slippery slope.

Quite a few shitty teams on that list that are still playing hard week in, week out.  Pittsburgh has kinda been one of those groups.  That kind of mentality and those kinds of players are what you want on your squad going forward.  When you start to think and play otherwise, you become addicted to losing and you forget what it takes to be a winner.  Then, you wake up one day and realize it's been 5 years since you had a +.500 season...

These guys are playing for themselves and for pride now.  I've said it many times, adversity doesn't build character, it reveals it.  Gonna really find out what a lot of these guys are made of in the second half of the season.
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« Reply #28 on: Nov 04, 2013 at 11:31 »

Should have won against the Raiders, Tomlin's record against the silver and black is one of the uglier facets of his litanies of failure.  Could have certainly won against the Pats, but looking down the sched I don't think we have to try to tank.  I don't know if there are any games we are going to actually win.  Maybe one or two here or there.  Not going to beat the Bengals, or the Ravens in Balty.  Browns are improved, and I think they sweep us, maybe if we're lucky we go 2-4 in the division.  For all the issues at QB the Bills have, they've been competitive.  Miiiiight win that.  Lions, Megatron is too much.  Dolphins appear to be better than us, but another maybe on the slate.  Packers, don't fucking kid yourself.  I think the ceiling for this team is 5-11.

That should get us our choice of a top LT, WR, or maybe even QB.

Maybe we were actually agreeing all along now that I read this response. I don't think the team should try to lose the games (and if they do before they are actually eliminated, then heads should roll). What I am suggesting is that we, as fans, should probably be careful about being happy for any win that happens to occur throughout the rest of the season because at this point the season is lost and it is just screwing up our chances of turning it around next year or the year after.

Here are the teams in the league that are .500 or worse (I'm not sure how the tie-breakers work out):

Rank From Bottom (lowest possible)TeamRecordWin PCT
19Bears (Could be .500 tonight)4-3.571
18Dolphins4-4.500
18Cardinals4-4.500
18Titans4-4.500
18Chargers4-4.500
14Eagles4-5.444
14Browns4-5.444
12Ravens3-5.375
12Raiders3-5.375
12Redskins3-5.375
9Bills3-6.333
9Rams3-6.333
7Steelers2-6.250
7Texans2-6.250
7Giants2-6.250
7Falcons2-6.250
3Vikings1-7.125
2Bucs0-8.000
2Jags0-8.000

Point is that if we drafted today we would draft as low as 7th. There is not that much difference between drafting there and drafting 19th (2 wins). None of the teams on this list are very good and any win the Steelers get just puts distance in there. I'd be horrified every week to go 2-14, but I think the joy of any win should be short-lived once you realize that the effect of that win is a reduced draft pick (possibly significantly).

Sorry to be the harbinger of doom.

Careful.  Slippery slope.

Quite a few shitty teams on that list that are still playing hard week in, week out.  Pittsburgh has kinda been one of those groups.  That kind of mentality and those kinds of players are what you want on your squad going forward.  When you start to think and play otherwise, you become addicted to losing and you forget what it takes to be a winner.  Then, you wake up one day and realize it's been 5 years since you had a +.500 season...

These guys are playing for themselves and for pride now.  I've said it many times, adversity doesn't build character, it reveals it.  Gonna really find out what a lot of these guys are made of in the second half of the season.

Yep...I agree and again, I am only talking about us as fans. Anyone on or affiliated with the team that is thinking or playing this way should be replaced ... period. And sooner rather than later.

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« Reply #29 on: Nov 04, 2013 at 12:41 »

My mantra shall continue to be, "Top 5 pick!  Top 5 pick! Top 5 pick!"
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