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View Poll Results: Will the Steelers make the playoffs?
Yes. Bell will be a key to a revitalized running game. 5 17.24%
Yes. But Bell struggles. 2 6.90%
No. Bell has a great rookie year, but it isn't enough. 14 48.28%
No. Bell struggles and so does the team. 8 27.59%
Voters: 29. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-01-2013, 07:16 PM    (permalink
gpngc
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Default Will the Pittsburgh Steelers make the playoffs?

Each year I pick against the Steelers 50% irrationally because of Bill Leavy and 50% rationally because of a poor O-line and secondary.

Last year it finally paid off.

Will it again this year?

It seems no one is picking them and no one is really talking about them much with the Super Bowl champs and upstart Bengals in the division.

And my specific question is - where do you stand on Le'Veon Bell?

I personally didn't love his college tape, but he's definitely the type of athlete that can succeed in the NFL.

So, Steelers record?

And Bell's prospects as a rookie and beyond?
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Old 08-01-2013, 07:18 PM    (permalink
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I think Bell is the real deal. I also think Brown is capable of being a #1 WR, and the rest of their options are less than ideal. Their defense should still be in the top half of the league if healthy.

Basically if Big Ben plays 16 games, they makes the playoffs. If he misses any considerable amount of time, they don't. IMO.
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Old 08-01-2013, 07:20 PM    (permalink
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The Steelers receiving corps is actually pretty good. Yes they don't have an ideal outside playmaker but they have four solid pros - plenty for Big Ben to work with.

Antonio Brown, Manny Sanders, Jerricho Cotchery, and Plax.

Not a group fantasy footballers would love but they are all good players.
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Old 08-01-2013, 07:29 PM    (permalink
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With the Steelers proven veterans they're always in the playoff picture, but with that it also means they're an injury bug away from a disaster.

The O-Line should be the best it's been in years, they've got their best RB since Mendenhall was healthy. I really like Bells film, and visioned him as a Steven Jackson type talent.

They've invested in the D-Line and the Lber position, but I still have questions how they replace Hampton. McLendon is still a big question mark to me.

Polamalu is one of the best in the game, when healthy. They've got 5 starters on D that are 32 or older.

Baltimore should fall of a little, but should still be a playoff worthy club, and the Bengals should make the playoffs for a 3rd straight year. It's going to be tough for the Steelers
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Old 08-01-2013, 08:29 PM    (permalink
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For me, unlike previous years when people would seemingly write the team off based on age and other relatively arbitrary things, this is the first year that sort of feels (at least to me) like we're not really as strong as we used to be.

As others have said, as long as the team has Ben, and he is healthy, we have more than a legit chance to win, we can be a good team. But there are just way too many questions for me right now to honestly be able to say we're gonna be good.

RB, WR, TE, OL, all have questions. Our RBs were pretty bad last year. Redman and Dwyer are power-plodders, good for short yardage but they aren't exactly feature backs. Baron Batch is basically a third-down back in-the-making, and Stephens-Howling will be what Chris Rainey was for a year. The promising member of the group of Le'Veon Bell, who by all accounts has been playing well in the off-season, and according to a beat writer is "the real deal." Hopefully he's right.

At WR, the loss of Mike Wallace will hurt us. There were many fans who wanted to lose Wallace, I wasn't one of them. While I certainly wouldn't have wanted my team to pay what the Dolphins ultimately did, he was a very important part of our offense. Last year wasn't a good year for him, true, but it isn't necessarily indicative of how good he is. He's an elite deep threat, and in previous years, under Bruce Arians' offense, he was arguably one of the most effective receivers. I believe that in a four year span, only Megatron had more TDs. Arians, Ben, and Wallace were a match made in heaven, a coordinator who loves to use WR-heavy sets, a receiver who is very talented at taking the top off a defense, and a QB who loves to throw deep. The running game sucked and we didn't really use our TE, and Ben consistently had the snot sacked out of him, but still. It was fun to watch Wallace.

Now he's gone and we drafted Markus Wheaton to replace him. He's missed basically everything so far, except for the past couple of days, so he's behind. Brown will have to step up as the #1, and prove that last year's "regression" was more of a fluky season. Sanders has to prove he can be a #2 as well. One big question mark for me is who's gonna replace Wallace's TD totals. Wallace had more TD's last season than Brown has in his entire career. Sanders and Brown combined only have 12 career TDs.

At TE, Miller might miss some time given the fact that he tore his ACL and MCL near the end of last season. Bad injury for an older guy. Behind him we don't really have anything to be excited about. Matt Spaeth is meh, and David Paulson is basically a poor man's Heath Miller.

O-line is healthy, but young and injury prone. We're also installing a new system that focuses more on zone-blocking, so how effective it will be, not only in their execution but also with our RBs, is a question that has yet to be answered. That being said, most of the young guys have the talent to be very good and are all young. Despite the fact that it might not be reflected on the field, the team has invested heavily in O-linemen recently.

LT - Marcus Gilbert (25), 2011 2nd round
LG - Ramon Foster (27), UDFA
C - Maurkice Pouncey (24), 2010 1st round
RG - David DeCastro (23), 2012 1st round
RT - Mike Adams (23), 2012 2nd round

With continuity and health, they should improve as a unit.

Defensively, there are some questions there too, but not as many as people think. The only relatively big one is how (and who) well will Harrison be replaced. Jason Worilds and Jarvis Jones will battle it out, with Worilds likely being the starter on Day 1. The rest of the LBs are set. Timmons and Woodley are unquestionable starters, and Foote is nothing to brag about but he'll start.

D-line wise, Keisel will return, as will Ziggy Hood, and McLendon will be the starter at NT. A lot of people aren't aware of McLendon, but truth be told he should have started last year. Supposedly part of the reason why Hampton wasn't resigned was because coaches would keep playing him, and the FO wanted to give McLendon more playing time. Supposedly. Cameron Heyward is also there, in the shadows, waiting his turn. He could (and should) replace Ziggy Hood as a starter, as he's failed to solidify himself as a good player, but I guess the coaches are just waiting for Keisel to get injured again so Heyward can step in.

As for DBs, Taylor, Clark, and Polamalu will return as starters. Cortez Allen will replace Keenan Lewis. Allen played really well near the end of last season, hopefully that translates to this year. Shamarko Thomas will be our backup S this year, and William *** was brought back to be the nickel corner.

So will the Steelers make the playoffs? Hopefully. Our schedule isn't very hard, and here's how I see it playing out:

1. vs Titans - WIN
2. @ Bengals - LOSE (think we split the series, each team wins at home)
3. vs Bears - LOSE
4. @ Vikings - WIN (I think we lose one of these two games, I think it's easier to beat the Vikings than it is to beat the Bears. "Just" contain Peterson hahaha)
5. BYE
6. @ Jets - WIN
7. vs. Ravens - WIN (like with CIN, split series)
8. @ Raiders - WIN
9. @ Patriots - LOSE (finally learned to beat them recently, but I don't honestly think we go into Foxborough and beat them)
10. vs. Bills - WIN
11. vs. Lions - WIN (one of those close games to choose right now, but I think we win)
12. @ Browns - WIN
13. @ Ravens - LOSE
14. vs. Dolphins - WIN (don't like Tannehill enough to say he's gonna be a scary QB this year)
15. vs. Bengals - WIN
16. @ Packers - LOSE (we're not gonna beat the Packers)
17. vs. Browns - WIN

So that's 11-5, which I think gets us into playoffs. Lose one more game we're 10-6, which is still pretty good. Analysis-wise, you could say I'm being a little pessimistic, schedule-wise optimistic, hopefully the latter is accurate.
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Old 08-02-2013, 12:49 AM    (permalink
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Toss up IMO, Rothlisberger will need perfect health, the OL must develop some real chemistry and the WR's and running game will need to produce. The defense is aging fast and can no longer carry the team. Add in that they are in a tough division and making the playoffs is a real serious question mark.
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Old 08-02-2013, 02:43 AM    (permalink
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i really expect decastro and adams to be the real deal on the right side. Wasnt thrilled with the bell pick but hes the guy, so he has to be the guy or its a flop
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Old 08-02-2013, 03:05 AM    (permalink
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Ive been wrestling with this one. I honestly feel like all 4 teams in the AFC North are neck and neck and anyone can win. With Decastro back in there and Mike Adams healthy, this oline could be pretty good, and Bell can give them the power run game theyve been missing. I really like Antonio Brown, but I am not yet convinced they have enough good weapons around Roethsisberger. What they get out of Wheaton could be key.

When it comes to playoffs, I think it all boils down to Polamalu. Im not expecting him to revert to DPOY form. But they need him to be a playmaker for them. I dont think that defense regains its swagger without him, and I dont think they come out of the North without that.
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Old 08-02-2013, 03:15 AM    (permalink
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Decastro getting healthy should really help solidify that OL. The talent is there for the OL but I want to see it in the games. I personally don't see it with Bell and I think their other backs are nothing special. Ben will make the receivers work. Hopefully Miller can get healthy for them because he was huge last year. Hopefully he doesn't lose much explosion because he wasn't the quickest before the injury. The defense is aging as noted but are great when healthy. I'm not yet sold on some of the younger guys stepping up but we'll see.

Like every year with them, health is the main key. Keeping the defense healthy, and more importantly Roethlisberger. His body is getting shredded and I worry about him breaking down eventually.

I think it will be tough in a division with 2 other legit playoff teams for the Steelers to make it. I also think it will be tough for the Ravens and Bengals. I'm taking the Steelers as the odd man out and say the other two get in, but I wouldn't be surprised to see all 3 get in as well.
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Old 08-02-2013, 08:05 AM    (permalink
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I go homer and say yes they make the playoffs because they have the best QB in the division. They don't have great weapons but the team won a Super Bowl with less. IMO, Heyward beats out Ziggy Hood for the job. Cam played like he had fire in his ass the last two weeks. The keys, to me, are a healthy Ben and a slimmer, healthy Woodley. Ryan Clark is also a guy that would hurt bad if he were to be out for some time. Basically, it all boils down to health.

If Ben, Wood and the OL stay healthy, they'll make it. Probably not a Super Bowl caliber team, but could become a feared team once January rolls around.
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Old 08-02-2013, 09:54 AM    (permalink
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Love Cam Heyward in that position. He can stack and shed with the best of them, will be nice to see hood not get washed out of the play constantly.

Haley was never a TE guy but he GUSHED over heath miller and it showed in his stat line. Paulson will have to step up but i also think this will go a long way in developing the WRs if heath misses 6 weeks on the PUP.

Moving to a ZBS, the idea of Adams and Spaeth run blocking on the right is enough to be excited about. Both are so long and the perfect fit for that kind of offense.

Defense will be fine, hopefully they up the sack totals and turnover totals. Players like Heyward, Mcclendon, Woods, Cortez Allen and Shamarko Thomas are reason enough to be excited about the future. I hope they get a good dline rotation because i LOVE keisels game but his calves are going to explode so he needs to stay healthy. Polamalu played lights out down the stretch last year, it would be nice to see him regain that magic which i think he can do, but he isnt as crucial to the defense as many think
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Old 08-02-2013, 09:55 AM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by gpngc View Post
The Steelers receiving corps is actually pretty good. Yes they don't have an ideal outside playmaker but they have four solid pros - plenty for Big Ben to work with.

Antonio Brown, Manny Sanders, Jerricho Cotchery, and Plax.

Not a group fantasy footballers would love but they are all good players.
Markus Wheaton....love him
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Old 08-02-2013, 10:01 AM    (permalink
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Emmanuel Sanders is going to have a huge year.
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Old 08-02-2013, 11:16 AM    (permalink
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Eh, not really hearing much about Bell in this thread...
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Old 08-02-2013, 11:29 AM    (permalink
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Eh, not really hearing much about Bell in this thread...
I did not like the pick, but i get it. Haley looked giddy when talking about bell and by all accounts bell is proving to be the best back in training camp. I just hope hes more like matt forte than he is like tony hunt.

Moving to a zone hes a great fit, where redman and dwyer are horrible, especially redman.

Some excerpts about bell:

Quote:
* If Le'Veon Bell runs during the season like he did at practice, the Steelers should have little trouble reestablishing a running game that languished a season ago. New offensive line coach Jack Bicknell, Jr. is also installing a zone-blocking scheme, which relies on having quick linemen. Maurkice Pouncey, David DeCastro and Mike Adams all looked light on their feet during drills. I have questions about Ramon Foster or Marcus Gilbert, but that's what OTAs and training camp are for.


RB Le'Veon Bell treads CB Curtis Brown during 11-on-11, though Brown still makes the tackle. (Ryan Wilson, CBSSports.com)
* One of the storylines we can expect from the national media early in the season will have to do with the loss of Mike Wallace, who left for the Dolphins in March as soon as free agency opened. Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders are still here and both looked like savvy veterans on Wednesday. Another player who also stood out: Rookie third-round pick Markus Wheaton, another 5-11, 185-pound burner in the Brown and Sanders mold who made several nice plays during 11-on-11 drills.
Quote:
@ Rookie Le'Veon Bell continues to impress. He completely turned Marshall McFadden around in a circle in the same drill. Later, however, he couldn't shake Lawrence Timmons, the king of this drill for the linebackers.

Bell did show some nice cutback ability running in the team drills, sidestepping a would-be tackler in the hole and getting upfield for a gain. Later, however, he ran right into the waiting arms of Steve McLendon on a run to the left while looking for a cutback lane
http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/blog/ey...place-harrison

Some other things they say:

Decastro looks good and light on his feet

Adams is an incredible run blocker but needs to work on hand placement in the pass game

Gilbert looks really strong

Ramon Foster has yet to be beaten in one on ones

Brown looks a bit bigger this year and quicker, he wants it

Jarvis Jones struggled getting off the ball early but continues to impress in coverage and his first step gets better and better as he learns. Hes swatting a lot of balls but is having trouble disengaging blockers
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Old 08-02-2013, 11:34 AM    (permalink
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I know I might get flamed for it but I hope not...

The Pittsburgh fair weather homers have soured me on this team.
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Old 08-02-2013, 11:53 AM    (permalink
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KTrain, is Bell getting the majority of first-team reps? Or is it an even split?
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Old 08-02-2013, 11:55 AM    (permalink
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gpngc View Post
KTrain, is Bell getting the majority of first-team reps? Or is it an even split?
Right now its split i guess, but hes far and away the best runner on the roster right now and its showing in camp. I like dwyer a ton more than redman, but dwyer will likely get cut for ST purposes.

I think they run with bell, redman, stephens-howling, and baron batch
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Old 08-02-2013, 04:34 PM    (permalink
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It's going to be Bell for the job. I'd be VERY surprised if he isn't the guy. I think the back up will be between Redman or Dwyer cuz they both aren't making the team.
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Old 08-02-2013, 08:15 PM    (permalink
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As a long as Roethisberger can stay healthy all year then I would say yes. Plus the fact I think the Ravens will struggle, I can't see the Bengals making the playoffs 3 years in a row have never happended for them, and the Browns won't be completive till they find a QB and Richardson can prove he can stay healthy for a full season.
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Old 08-04-2013, 09:13 AM    (permalink
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Pittsburgh is in a transition year with plenty of young players offensively, and I feel they'll struggle with consistency. The secondary worries me too. Cincinnati and Baltimore seem to be in a better position to make the playoffs but Pittsburgh should be back on track in 2014.
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Old 08-04-2013, 03:26 PM    (permalink
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Cinci beats them everywhere but qb I think. They have a lot more talent then pitt.
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Old 08-04-2013, 06:15 PM    (permalink
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I think it can go either way. They're in the midst of rebuilding the oline and on defense, the dline. Both are young units with very good football talent. It depends how well they're developed.
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Old 08-04-2013, 06:22 PM    (permalink
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I think if they do make the playoffs it will be at the expense of Baltimore, not Cincinnati. I think the Bengals win the division.
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Old 08-04-2013, 08:53 PM    (permalink
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Goosemahn View Post
For me, unlike previous years when people would seemingly write the team off based on age and other relatively arbitrary things, this is the first year that sort of feels (at least to me) like we're not really as strong as we used to be.

As others have said, as long as the team has Ben, and he is healthy, we have more than a legit chance to win, we can be a good team. But there are just way too many questions for me right now to honestly be able to say we're gonna be good.

RB, WR, TE, OL, all have questions. Our RBs were pretty bad last year. Redman and Dwyer are power-plodders, good for short yardage but they aren't exactly feature backs. Baron Batch is basically a third-down back in-the-making, and Stephens-Howling will be what Chris Rainey was for a year. The promising member of the group of Le'Veon Bell, who by all accounts has been playing well in the off-season, and according to a beat writer is "the real deal." Hopefully he's right.

At WR, the loss of Mike Wallace will hurt us. There were many fans who wanted to lose Wallace, I wasn't one of them. While I certainly wouldn't have wanted my team to pay what the Dolphins ultimately did, he was a very important part of our offense. Last year wasn't a good year for him, true, but it isn't necessarily indicative of how good he is. He's an elite deep threat, and in previous years, under Bruce Arians' offense, he was arguably one of the most effective receivers. I believe that in a four year span, only Megatron had more TDs. Arians, Ben, and Wallace were a match made in heaven, a coordinator who loves to use WR-heavy sets, a receiver who is very talented at taking the top off a defense, and a QB who loves to throw deep. The running game sucked and we didn't really use our TE, and Ben consistently had the snot sacked out of him, but still. It was fun to watch Wallace.

Now he's gone and we drafted Markus Wheaton to replace him. He's missed basically everything so far, except for the past couple of days, so he's behind. Brown will have to step up as the #1, and prove that last year's "regression" was more of a fluky season. Sanders has to prove he can be a #2 as well. One big question mark for me is who's gonna replace Wallace's TD totals. Wallace had more TD's last season than Brown has in his entire career. Sanders and Brown combined only have 12 career TDs.

At TE, Miller might miss some time given the fact that he tore his ACL and MCL near the end of last season. Bad injury for an older guy. Behind him we don't really have anything to be excited about. Matt Spaeth is meh, and David Paulson is basically a poor man's Heath Miller.

O-line is healthy, but young and injury prone. We're also installing a new system that focuses more on zone-blocking, so how effective it will be, not only in their execution but also with our RBs, is a question that has yet to be answered. That being said, most of the young guys have the talent to be very good and are all young. Despite the fact that it might not be reflected on the field, the team has invested heavily in O-linemen recently.

LT - Marcus Gilbert (25), 2011 2nd round
LG - Ramon Foster (27), UDFA
C - Maurkice Pouncey (24), 2010 1st round
RG - David DeCastro (23), 2012 1st round
RT - Mike Adams (23), 2012 2nd round

With continuity and health, they should improve as a unit.

Defensively, there are some questions there too, but not as many as people think. The only relatively big one is how (and who) well will Harrison be replaced. Jason Worilds and Jarvis Jones will battle it out, with Worilds likely being the starter on Day 1. The rest of the LBs are set. Timmons and Woodley are unquestionable starters, and Foote is nothing to brag about but he'll start.

D-line wise, Keisel will return, as will Ziggy Hood, and McLendon will be the starter at NT. A lot of people aren't aware of McLendon, but truth be told he should have started last year. Supposedly part of the reason why Hampton wasn't resigned was because coaches would keep playing him, and the FO wanted to give McLendon more playing time. Supposedly. Cameron Heyward is also there, in the shadows, waiting his turn. He could (and should) replace Ziggy Hood as a starter, as he's failed to solidify himself as a good player, but I guess the coaches are just waiting for Keisel to get injured again so Heyward can step in.

As for DBs, Taylor, Clark, and Polamalu will return as starters. Cortez Allen will replace Keenan Lewis. Allen played really well near the end of last season, hopefully that translates to this year. Shamarko Thomas will be our backup S this year, and William *** was brought back to be the nickel corner.

So will the Steelers make the playoffs? Hopefully. Our schedule isn't very hard, and here's how I see it playing out:

1. vs Titans - WIN
2. @ Bengals - LOSE (think we split the series, each team wins at home)
3. vs Bears - LOSE
4. @ Vikings - WIN (I think we lose one of these two games, I think it's easier to beat the Vikings than it is to beat the Bears. "Just" contain Peterson hahaha)
5. BYE
6. @ Jets - WIN
7. vs. Ravens - WIN (like with CIN, split series)
8. @ Raiders - WIN
9. @ Patriots - LOSE (finally learned to beat them recently, but I don't honestly think we go into Foxborough and beat them)
10. vs. Bills - WIN
11. vs. Lions - WIN (one of those close games to choose right now, but I think we win)
12. @ Browns - WIN
13. @ Ravens - LOSE
14. vs. Dolphins - WIN (don't like Tannehill enough to say he's gonna be a scary QB this year)
15. vs. Bengals - WIN
16. @ Packers - LOSE (we're not gonna beat the Packers)
17. vs. Browns - WIN

So that's 11-5, which I think gets us into playoffs. Lose one more game we're 10-6, which is still pretty good. Analysis-wise, you could say I'm being a little pessimistic, schedule-wise optimistic, hopefully the latter is accurate.
Really easy to put teams as win's or losses in the preseason but you're doing what every fan does. I could sit down here and make a list of why the Browns could be an 8-8 team and chalk the Steelers or Ravens off as wins at home and ??? on the road and use the reason as their regression for why.

If the Steelers end up 11-5 in this division then they would have earned the playoffs...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat Sims 90 View Post
As a long as Roethisberger can stay healthy all year then I would say yes. Plus the fact I think the Ravens will struggle, I can't see the Bengals making the playoffs 3 years in a row have never happended for them, and the Browns won't be completive till they find a QB and Richardson can prove he can stay healthy for a full season.
Yet we beat both the Steelers and Bengals last year and improved a ton over the offseason. I don't know if you mean not competitive as in playoff competitive or in the division but we played with everyone last year with a ******* awful head coach.
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