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Blog Entry

Flashback, Fast Forward and Deja Vu

Posted on: October 23, 2008 7:33 pm
Edited on: October 23, 2008 7:48 pm
 
Some have called this the game of the year, I’m not sure why, but if some in the media want to hype it that way, go for it, though I doubt if the teams will bite.  I’m looking at it as more of a game of eeriness, shall we say.  Perhaps that’s good though, given it’s a home game at Heinz Field so close to Halloween.  No black and orange here though, just black and gold … oh and the white, blue and red of that other team.  You know the team I’m talking about, the one that will have the bulls eye on their back all season long because everyone wants to beat last years Superbowl champions.

I’m calling it kind of spooky myself.  No, there won’t be any ghosts or goblins, after all, the game will be a day game, however, some events are just a little uncanny to be just, well, to have just happened.  Flashback to 2004 with me for a moment. 

Preseason draft, two young first round draft picks, quarterbacks of course.  One, the first one or the number 1, the other drafted at number 11.  Okay, even that may be a stretch at numerology.  The one would start off as the hope of the franchise, the other proved to be the pride of the franchise, that year. 

Still with me in 2004?  Good, because that was the last time the Steelers hosted the Superbowl champions in Heinz Field.  Guess what, it was on October 31st, 2004 when the Patriots were defeated at Heinz Field by the Steelers.  That Superbowl team was met with a stifling defense, a solid running game and a quarterback who didn’t throw away the game.  Later that year, they would also face the loser of the Superbowl.  Okay, this is as far as I want to take this coincidence, because we know what happened at the end of that year.

Oh yeah, one more thing, last time these two teams met, these two quarterbacks played each other, 2004.  Steelers won that game too.

Now fast forward to October 26, 2008.  Two quarterbacks from the same draft class will be meeting for the first time on the field since their draft year.  One will be the Superbowl champions, the other will be one of the recipient of the Superbowl ring from a few years before. 

One other canny thing here.  On October 26, 2008, the two teams that  are meeting are 5-1, have each registered their only loss to their opponents division rivals. 

Okay, so it’s easy to draw coincidences in this game and make parallel universes appear when there really isn’t any.  However, as I mentioned in the beginning, some are touting this the game of the year.  I can understand why. 

Sunday’s Steelers game against the New York Giants at Heinz Field could very well turn into the battle that the hype may allude it to be.  The hype, two first round draft choices of 2004, two quarterbacks who’ve grown into their own.  Each having their own Superbowl ring. 

Not hype.  Each team having a balanced offense, with a running back tandem that can burn defenses.  For the Giants, Brandon Jacobs could be compared to…well…Jerome Bettis.  A beast on the field that could run over defenders.  Add to that the presence of Derrick Ward.  Combined, both backs have accumulated a total of 853 yds in six games.  Add to that Eli Manning’s arm and the wide receiving talents of Plaxico Burress, Steve Smith and Amani Toomer and this offense has the potential to be lethal.  That’s why they’re 5 and 1 and sitting on top of their division and their conference.

However, the Steelers offense is no slouch either, especially since showing it’s depth with the loss of Willie Parker for several games and Rashard Mendenhall for the season.  In fact, Mewelde Moore was able to fill in quite nicely having accumulated 219 yds in his first two starts.  With the possibility of Parker returning to the game on Sunday, we could see a switch off of the two backs against the Giants 4-3 defense.  Add to that the passing attack of Ben Roethlisberger to Hines Ward, Santonio Holmes and Nate Washington (not to mention tight end Heath Miller) and the Steelers offense can be just as potent. 

Still not hype.  Giants 4-3 defense and the Steelers 3-4 defense.  Steelers defense have only allowed a total of 418 yds on the ground, Giants, 507.  Steelers lead in sacks 25 to 21 and have allowed fewer passing yards 952 to the Giants 1144. 

Here I’m liking the Steelers defense to match up well against the Giants offense.  However, this will be the first real test of the Pittsburgh oline since the Philadelphia Eagles game, especially with Justin Tuck and Fred Robbins on the Giants defense. 

What I’m also liking is that, with the exception of the Redskins, the Giants oline hasn’t really been truly tested this year in the protecting against the constant pressure of the blitz and a 3-4 defense.  When the Browns played the Giants, there were 3 interceptions and 1 sack, and the Giants loss that game. 

Given that this is at home, the Steelers coming in with the momentum, a defense that can force turnovers and leads the league in sacks.  I’m liking the Steelers chances, but it will be close and it will be defensive. 
Comments

Since: Sep 16, 2006
Posted on: November 27, 2009 11:10 pm
 

Flashback, Fast Forward and Deja Vu

That was meant for Rivers. Sorry 'bout that.



Since: Sep 16, 2006
Posted on: November 27, 2009 11:07 pm
 

Flashback, Fast Forward and Deja Vu

How'd I know this was you? "Thier"

First time this year to check it out.

Might have to return here next year to make picks...in addition to OTF.



Since: Oct 19, 2007
Posted on: October 26, 2008 11:51 am
 

Flashback, Fast Forward and Deja Vu

Good luck on your game today against Jacksonville...I have the Browns to win today. Thanks for the endorsement (I think).  For the Browns, this season hasn't progressed as expected.  Everyone thought the Browns secondary would be awful, but in fact it has played fairly well.  The much improved run defense hasn't improved much on the other hand.  But the Browns problem this year isn't with their defense at all but with their inconsistent offense.  Where are the 35 - 27 victories we all expected this year? 



Since: Sep 9, 2006
Posted on: October 26, 2008 9:22 am
 

Flashback, Fast Forward and Deja Vu

pittcontact,

Yeah, I've seen the billing of the Superbowl preview.  Interestingly enough when asked about the game some of the Steelers player say...it's just another game.  Good to see they're not buying into the hype.  Of course, we fans are allowed to though...lol.

As far as the weather...looks like rain is due to start at game time.  We'll see how well a mudder Moore is. 



Since: Sep 9, 2006
Posted on: October 26, 2008 9:19 am
 

Flashback, Fast Forward and Deja Vu

BigBlu

Well today's game will definitely be competitive no doubt, even without Holmes being in.  Giants may want some ketchup but may go home with pickles instead. 



Since: Sep 9, 2006
Posted on: October 26, 2008 9:18 am
 

Flashback, Fast Forward and Deja Vu

Jelly,

The nice thing about Ben against the Giants defense, the chances are pretty good we'll see the same defense that we saw with the Eagles.  If Ben and the oline haven't learned what to do against that now...they need to lose and Arians needs to be fired.

There's questions in the 2ndary with Polamalu being questionable, though it looks like he'll be playing today...and with McFadden out with his fractured arm, Steelers lost a big playmaker, though Townsend will fill in fine for him. 

Good luck on your game today against Jacksonville...I have the Browns to win today. 



Since: Mar 24, 2008
Posted on: October 24, 2008 9:51 am
 

Flashback, Fast Forward and Deja Vu

Mom, It has been billed as a preview to the Super Bowl... it very well could be, but let us remember that October 26th is not the Super Bowl... The idea of having two of the three quarterbacks selected in the first round a few years ago is appealing... they have taken different roads to success in the NFL... the debate as to who would you rather have is almost comical... for the teams that have the quarterbacks, the choice is easy... we want who we have... is there another choice that would make sense... with all the money and time that they have invested in these young men, it would be ridiculous for either team to even think about life with the other... now the other 30 teams can have their fun and decide who they would rather have but the teams playing on Sunday @ Heinz Field are happy with their quarterbacks... Sorry, that was a rather long digression... as a Steeler fan, I want to see the Steeler play a good game... as I stated this will be a good measuring stick for the team... the offense will have a chance to see a defense that is similar to the Eagle defense that caused us so much trouble... they have a stout front four that can create some chaos, so let us see what we have learned from our past... hopefully we will continue to adjust the offense and make the smart plays with screens and quick hitting passes to counterbalance the Giants formidable pass rush... defensively, we need to be aggressive, put pressure on the offensive line of the Giants... they are dinged up and we should be able to apply consistent pressure on that unit whether it be against the running game or the passing game... There are similarities between the teams as well as the players... my hope is that the weather does not interfere with what can be one of the best games of the year...




Since: Jan 18, 2008
Posted on: October 24, 2008 2:42 am
 

Flashback, Fast Forward and Deja Vu

Great story & preview momluvs!

I love the fact that you can have passion for your team and also write a well-balanced article that looks at both sides - past and present, good and bad. I agree with the Steelers being favored, I mean they've only lost one regular season game at home dating back to last year - Heinz field is a tough place. Hopefully the Giants are in the mood for some ketchup. I just want a good competitive game... nah, of course I want a Giants blowout (why lie). How about a good clean game without injuries for either team. That would be nice. No matter what happens it's gonna be a good one!

As always... nice work momluvs! Thanks for the read.




Since: Jul 24, 2007
Posted on: October 24, 2008 12:19 am
 

Flashback, Fast Forward and Deja Vu

Indeed.

I thought it appropriate to comment because of the title of your article.

Great job with the writing BTW.

Thanks for remembering me.

Regards and talk to you soon,

"RIVERS-('side', 'back', 'front') and now -BETA"

"LUCK"




Since: Oct 19, 2007
Posted on: October 23, 2008 8:54 pm
 

Flashback, Fast Forward and Deja Vu

I think one key will be the Steelers mixing up the blitz.... bring a linebacker, send Polamalu in every once in a while, even a corner.  Keep the pressure on Eli.  The Browns only had one sack against the Giants, but they rushed Eli, and he made mistakes. 

Another key will be the Steelers O-line protecting Ben Roethlisberger.  Give him time, and he will hit those reliable receivers.  Derek Anderson was never sacked versus the Giants, and had plenty of time to set and throw. 

The media will hype this game using the Eli Manning versus Roethlisberger, and rightfully so.  As you point out Mom, two all star quarterbacks with lots of skilled weapons both from the same draft that have super bowl rings.  It doesn't get much better.

I'd love to pull up a chair and pop open a beer and watch except..... except I can't. The Browns also kick-off versus Jacksonville shortly after 4:00 on Sunday.  Even if I wanted to, our local network won't be showing the Steelers. 

Mom, enjoy your Sunday ticket and the game.  May the better team win. 



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