Posted on: March 24, 2009 11:35 pm
Edited on: March 24, 2009 11:41 pm

A New Way To Do the NFL Schedule

 It has been announced that the Steelers will host the Titans in the opening game for the NFL season on September 10, 2009.  I was hoping it would be the Ravens for several reasons not to take anything away from the Titans, in what they did last year and can possibly do this season as they will definitely be a playoffs favorite before the season begins.  However the reason I was hoping Baltimore would be the opening opponent at Heinz Field had several reasons, they played the AFC Title game against them, when they play it will be a hard hitting game, so 10 days rest between games would had been nice, but most of all I believe the first three games for each team should be against a divisional opponent.  The Ravens playing at Pittsburgh week one would had accomplished at least one divisional game vs a divisional opponent, not to say the NFL would had the Browns and Bengals next on the schedule.  I'm going to make a mock schedule using the Steelers and try and explain out my idea the best way I can. Trust me I will try and explain this out to keep confusion down for anyone who reads this as it could be somewhat complicated.

So first three weeks the Steelers since they got the mandantory home game to open would had hosted the Ravens.  Afterward they would had went to the Browns and then hosted the Bengals.  That would mean AFC North wise week one would had been Browns at Bengals and week 2 Bengals at Ravens and week 3 Ravens at Browns.  Each team meets each other in the division once as usually coming out of camp that is the healthiest an NFL team will be all year, so why not line them up against each other at about their fullest strength.  This means all NFC East, AFC East and all the other divisions play just divisional play first three weeks.

Week four would be one of the two uncommon opponent weeks.  By this I mean one of the two teams the Steelers play that the Ravens, Browns, and Bengals do not face.  This year the AFC North will play each other twice, once vs the NFC North and once vs the AFC West.  So the Steelers play one team from the AFC South and East.  This would be the week the Steelers host the Titans and the rest of the North would host an AFC South team. 

Weeks 5 and 6 would be two of the AFC West games the Steelers would play.  One would be on the road, other at home.  Week 5 would be at the Broncos and week 6 vs the Raiders.

Weeks 7-11 would be all 4 NFC opponents and the bye.  Weeks 7 and 8 would be one road game and one home game.  The Steelers would go to the Lions week 7, host the Vikings week 8. Week 9 for the following:  the AFC North, NFC North, AFC West and NFC East would have their bye.  Week 8, the AFC East, AFC South, NFC South and NFC West would have their bye.  Sure 16 teams for two weeks would limit the league to having only eight games for those two weeks, however this would feature teams pretty much nationally that rarely get that kind of exposure and it allows all teams to get their bye midway through the season and not penalizing good teams like last year both the Superbowl teams from the year before the Patriots and Giants had the week 4 bye, that is not right.

Weeks 10 and 11 Steelers finish the NFC playing at the Bears and the hosting the Packers

Week 12 the Steelers would play their second uncommon opponent going to the Dolphins.

Weeks 13 and 14 the Steelers would finish their AFC West schedule going to the Chiefs and hosting the Chargers.

The final three weeks of the season would be a reverse of weeks 1-3.  The Steelers would play at the Bengals week 15, host the Browns week 16 and then go to the Ravens week 17.  Most divisions have not been wrapped up by a team going into week 15 so this would leave it to the divisonal opponents to decide it themselves.  Also the final three weeks of the season if you are playoff bound you usually know what you have going in be it injury wise, and these three weeks you should be playing your best ball of the season so why not play that against divisional opponents.  So here would be the Steelers schedule for this up and comping season and picture just placing your team in and their respected common and two uncommon opponents they will face this year.

Week 1, vs Ravens; Week 2 at Browns, Week 3 vs Bengals, Week 4 vs Titans, Week 5 at Broncos, Week 6 vs Raiders, Week 7 at Lions, Week 8 vs Vikings, Week 9 bye, Week 10 at Bears, Week 11 vs Packers, Week 12 at Dolphins,  Week 13 at Chiefs, Week 14 vs Chargers,  Week 15 at Bengals, Week 16 vs Browns, and Week 17 at Ravens. 

Notice no three game road trips in a row, and no three game homestands.  Only a two game homestand and two games where the Steelers would have to travel in a row away from home.  Otherwise it is a home game then a road game and so on.  It could possibly work out where a team would have to play three road games and three home games in a row either going into or coming out of divisional play but that would be the only time and would affect limited teams.  Just an idea to kick around would like to hear any feedback on what you like or hate about the current computer generated NFL schedule and how do you like how your team it seems gets the same by week each year.  The Steelers it seems always have had their bye before week 6 and coming off the Superbowl win, they are pretty much a lock to have the week 4 bye this year.






Category: NFL
Posted on: January 10, 2009 2:07 pm

Memory Lane Trip, The 1989 Pittsburgh Steelers

The 1989 Pittsburgh Steelers.  That whole season was basically a summation of the decade.  The 1989 Steelers were the worst team in football the first two weeks of the season, they had games later on that year where they appeared again to be the worst team in the NFL.  They also had big wins versus teams that were playoff bound and it would leave a fan to wonder, who are these Steelers?  The team that gets shut out once a month, or the team that beats everyone by double digits?  1989 was probably the biggest rollercoaster ride of a season in Steelers history. 

1989 was pretty much labeled a rebuilding year for Pittsburgh.  The Steelers offense consisted of a quarterback named Bubby, Tim Worley was the running back with Merrill Hoge at fullback, Louis Lipps was still the main recieving threat.  The Steelers at that time were playing a three four defense, main stars on defense were the secondary players, Rod Woodson, Dwayne Woodruff and Carnell Lake. 

The Steelers opened the season with their worst defeat ever in team history, a 51-0 loss to the Browns at Three Rivers Stadium.  They followed that effort by getting beaten in Cincinnati the next week 41-10.  The Steelers had been outscored 92-10 in the first two weeks of the season, it was beginning to look like they were already on the inside track for the number one pick in 1990, and honestly was there any team in football they could beat?

Weeks 3 and 4, the Steelers played some NFC competition.  The Steelers hosted the Vikings week 3 and were to go to the Lions week 4.  The NFC was the power conference at that time, if the Steelers could not hang with AFC competition, how could they stack up with NFC teams.  Pittburgh won their first game that year by beating the Vikings 27-14 and then went to Motown and beat the Lions 23-3.  The Steelers were 2-2 after the dreadful start and the Bengals were next on the schedule.

You have to love the scheduling back then.  Weeks 5 and 6 were vs Bengals and at Browns.  Done with both of those for the year after week 6, yet to play the Oilers at all.  The Bengals had the Steelers number that year they won again but not as much of a blowout 26-16, however the Steelers defense stepped it up against the Browns and won a road game in Cleveland 17-7 to avenge the 51-0 season opening loss they had to Cleveland. 

The Steelers again at .500 now go to the Astrodome only to get shutout by the Oilers 27-0.  Then they turnaround and beat the Chiefs at home 23-17 on a Bubby Brister to Louis Lipps 64 yard touchdown pass that turned out to be the game winner.  Back to .500 again.

The Steelers would not see .500 for long.  The next two weeks were back to blowout central.  They lost 34-7 at the Broncos and then come home to lose to the Bears 20-0.  That was shutout number 3, and that was only the Steelers 10th game.  At 4-6 they were playoffs long shots at best.

Week 11 the Chargers came into Pittsburgh with their new Quarterback Jim McMahon.  Merrill Hoge had a one yard touchdown run that gave the Steelers a 20-17 win.  The next week the Steelers got their first ever win at Miami beating the Dolphins 34-14 in a driving rainstorm.  Whenever you see a highlight of the Steelers and Dolphins playing in slush during the daytime, it is from this game.  The Steelers back at .500 now get the Oilers at home the following week.

The Oilers came into the Burgh, the game was closer but Houston won 23-16.  This put the Steelers at 6-7 with a divisional record of 1-5.  However the following week the Steelers get a shutout of their own, 13-0 at the Jets.  They followed that up with a 28-10 win vs the Patriots at home.  Sitting at 8-7 they could make the playoffs, but would have to get a ton of help and would have to win their final game that year.

The Steelers handled business winning 31-22 at the Buccaneers.  As their game went on, things were falling into place.  The Colts lost at the Saints 41-6, the Raiders lost to the Giants 34-17, so it was up to the Monday Night game.  The Bengals had to lose at the Vikings for the Steelers to be the 5th team to make the playoffs that year.  Vikings 29 Bengals 21, Steelers were to go back to Houston on New Year's Eve.

The Steelers were heavy underdogs in this game, basically everyone was looking foward to a Warren Moon vs John Elway showdown the next week.  Pittsburgh had other plans.  The Steelers kept this game close and fell behind in the 4th quarter 23-13.  They managed to tie the Oilers up and sent the game into overtime.  Gary Anderson kicked a 50 yard field goal that sent the Steelers onto Denver where again they had no chance to win. 

Denver was the end of the road for this team.  The Steelers lead this game 23-17 in the 4th quarter but a one yard touchdown run by Mel Bratton gave the Broncos a 24-23 lead and that would be the final score.

The 2009 season will be the 20th anniversary of the 1989 season.  Doubt there will be any kind of reunion for this bunch, as with 5 rings the Steelers are not a team that celebrates past improbable playoff wins and/or comeback seasons.  The main reflection of this blog was the Steelers could have lost every game that season.  Especially after starting out 0-2 versus divisional rivals.  The team got it together, and had more bad outings, but they always found a way to get things back on track.  It was remarkable they had the Broncos on the ropes in the AFC Divisional Round.  I would have to say minus Chuck Noll's 4 Superbowl years, this has to be his best coaching performance he had.  If you noticed one thing, when they played someone the second time, the game was closer than the first time, and sometimes it was a win.  Also again this was a rebuilding year, and to make the playoffs with that team, especially with the loses they had, he continued to coach them up, and build them up.  The Steelers always played hard and came out on top more times than not when their backs were against the wall.  The rollercoaster of 1989, which Steelers would show up? 

Category: NFL
Tags: Steelers
Posted on: December 27, 2008 1:54 am

Week 17

Week 17 is here and my first question is where has this season gone?  It is already the last week of the regular season, there are still two wildcard spots to be decided, one in each conference, and four division titles to be decided, two in each conference.  Some games have playoff implications on the line, some have draft pick spots on the line.  For 20 teams in the NFL, this will be their last week of playing football this season.  Week 17 is also known for showing us fans, the good, the bad, and the ugly and I shall explain.

The good is the fight for the playoff positions and spots.  Who would have thought the Falcons could win the NFC South this year?  They have to beat the Rams at home, and hope the Panthers lose in New Orleans.  Atlanta has had an amazing turnaround this season behind Matt Ryan and Michael Turner, they will be a tough out whether they are seeded 5th or 2nd.  Three ballgames really stick out this Sunday.  The feud between Jay Cutler and Phillip Rivers hits primetime Sunday night with the AFC West title on the line for their respective teams.  Chad Pennington leads his new team to East Rutherford to play his old team for the chance to win the AFC East title, the Dolphins as well have had an amazing turnaround.  Then you have the potential classic match up between the Cowboys and Eagles, with not only playoff spots on the line, but more than likely jobs on the line no matter what Jerry Jones says.

The bad is there always seems to be a game or two featuring teams with 10+ loses on the season in the league's final week.  This year we have the Chiefs at the Bengals and Lions at Packers.  The Bengals have actually gotten their act together somewhat winning their last two of which one was shut out on the road, who would have ever thought that would happen before the season started?  The Chiefs seem like they are going to pull one out every week, then they find a way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.  Then Lions and Packers, cannot get much worse than 0-16 unless you are the team in week 17 that prevents that from happening.  But the Lions have not won in Green Bay since 1991, so the Packers should prevent the Lions from going 1-15.

Finally the ugly.  The Titans at Colts game could easily get ugly.  No not from fights on the field, or dirty plays.  But from penalties and players that have barely seen the field since August.  I am not a fan of benching every star week 17.  However these two teams deserve the right being the Titans are the one seed and the Colts are locked in at the 5th and will play next weekend.  But remember last year the last Sunday night game, Jim Sorgi was not exactly dynomite, and watching him play alone makes the Bengals Chiefs or Lions Packers a lot more appealing.  But once playoff time comes, nothing should be ugly about the Titans or Colts as they are both showing indications that each has a Superbowl run in them.  I am just glad that they are not the Sunday night game again this year to wrap up the season.  Colts have pretty much said their key guys will get a couple to no reps at all.  All teams need to remember however last year Giants and Patriots held nothing back week 17, they both went to the Superbowl, 2006 Colts won the Superbowl from the Wild Card spot, and the 2005 Steelers had to play everyone in week 17 to get the 6th seed in the AFC that year.  Seems good things happen to those who play out the season as of late.

Hope you all have a Happy New Year, and hopefully the Fantasy Football withdrawal and Sunday Ticket withdrawal will not last too long.  Those are the two major bummers to the season ending.  Hopefully the playoffs will be exciting this year.    


Category: NFL
Posted on: December 20, 2008 3:44 pm
Edited on: December 21, 2008 12:23 am

Possible Coaching Vacanticies

Ok I have never done a blog before and this is my first entry of a blog post ever.  So much talk and wondering about where Bill Cowher will go, will Marty coach again, will Holmgren and Reid work together and rebuild the 49ers?  Here is my novice guess of what head coaching openings there will be when the season ends.

AFC East:  Buffalo Bills Dick Jauron, I think the losing streak they got on once they started divisional play will cost him his job.  If you cannot beat the teams in your division, why even be there? 

AFC South:  No openings there.  Sure some will think Jack Del Rio is in hot water.  The Jaguars will have to pay him around $10,000,000.00 to cut ties with him.  That alone should make him safe.  Tony Dungy could retire, I highly doubt he will.  The Colts have too much potential for him to hit the road at this time. 

AFC North:  Romeo Crennell is gone for sure after this season.  They went from double digits in wins to double digits in loses within a year, he shows no emotion on the sideline during the games now, and his overall record with the Browns is well below .500. 
Marvin Lewis,I think he is out as well.  Even though they only had Carson Palmer for about four games this year, and the team is still playing hard, it's hard for me to see the Bengals keeping him with their record continuing to get worse every year. 

AFC West:  Herm Edwards will probably be going out the door, as "You play to win the game," and that has not been happening for the Chiefs.  They will also have a new GM next year and doubt the new GM will want to retain a coach who at this time has lead the team to two wins this year.  Tom Cable with the Raiders will also be shown the door, but may get to stay in Oakland as a coordinator.  With Al Davis, he may bring Art Shell back again.

NFC East:  Unless the Redskins get Cowher, Snyder has been courting Cowher behind the scenes since he "retired" from the Steelers Zorn should be safe.  I believe even if the Eagles get into the playoffs Andy Reid leaves on his own.  Rumor is Mike Holmgren will take over as GM of the 49ers and Andy Reid is his pick to become head coach.  However as you will see later on in this blog, I think Singletary stays with the 49ers as head coach.  Reid may want to take a year off or move on to another team as there will be openings.   Wade Phillips probably just earned his pink slip after the game vs the Ravens.  Not only did his team lose their last ever game at Texas Stadium, but the defense allowed two runs longer than 75 yards for touchdowns near the end of the game.  A coach who's background comes from the defensive side of the ball does not allow that to happen.  New stadium for the Cowboys in 2009, along with a new coach.    

NFC North:  No brainer, new GM for the Lions, with their record still at zero wins, new coach coming in. 

NFC South:  Unless one of the coaches in this division resigns, the coaches with their respective teams should return next season.

NFC West:  Holmgren has retired and Mora takes over for the Seahawks next season.  Mike Singletary has done a fine job after taking over the team midseason.  His first couple of weeks were rocky, but the defense has improved and their team has played solid.  He should be back with the 49ers next year.  Jim Hasslett is probably out with the Rams.  They played well for him for the first couple of weeks after he took over, but have been the "Same old Rams" ever since. 

It will be a few weeks before we know if I am right on or way off on these picks.  Like I said this is my first blog so please take it a little easy on me this one time.  Finally hope you have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Category: NFL
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or