Thursday, January 3, 2008

Playoff Expectations

10-6 or 16-0… It doesn’t matter now because every team is 0-0. So, does that mean the Steelers have a chance. It all depends upon how they will play on defense.

The Steelers number one ranked defense has not looked so good as of late. Running teams have run on them and passing teams have passed on them too. They have not been able to consistently make the necessary plays to stop teams when they need to, especially on critical third downs. The team needs to get back to the basics. Against Jacksonville, they cannot allow Fred Taylor to run wild again. Let David Garrard try to beat them through the air. He is not playoff tested and he can make mistakes.

If the Steelers defense cannot get its swagger back, the season will end on Saturday night. Even with Willie Parker, Marvel Smith, and Max Starks out, the Steelers offense is still very dangerous. Roethlisberger has now established himself as an elite NFL quarterback and can carry this offense. The team has enough weapons to score points on any team. However, they need to stop the other team.

I attended the last game against Jacksonville and what I saw was a slow defense that day. Roethlisberger led the team back late and had the momentum in their favor. All they needed to do was make a late stop and get the ball back. The defense failed at the most critical time. Taylor and Jones-Drew just ran right through the Steelers’ defense. It was tough to watch because that’s exactly how the Steelers usually do it.

If the defense can play at that high level again, this team can beat anybody. It is now Tomlin’s time to show us that he can get this team motivated. All of us Steeler fans would love a rematch with the Patsy’rots. Nothing would be sweeter than knocking them out and making their season a failure. First, lets get back to Steeler football and beat Jacksonville, show us that we can believe.

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