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costanza2k1
12-18-2008, 12:40 PM
If Steelers' D passes Titanic test, it approaches greatness
http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/columns/story?id=3775407

http://assets.espn.go.com/photo/2008/1217/nfl_g_steelers_576.jpg

Watching the Pittsburgh Steelers' defense battle the Baltimore Ravens in Week 15 brings back some faint memories of 1976.

The Steelers' Steel Curtain defense was in its prime in 1976. A 1-4 start coupled with the injury loss of Terry Bradshaw triggered perhaps the greatest stretch of defense ever witnessed in the NFL. Not only did that defense prevent opponents from scoring but it defied quarterbacks to even think about accruing first downs. With eight Pro Bowl defensive starters performing at max level, the Steel Curtain allowed only 28 points in the final nine games.

The 2008 version of the Steelers' defense comes with no nickname, just an incredible résumé. It ranks first across the board for total defense (239.1 yards a game), scoring defense (13.7 points) and stopping the pass (163.3). It ranks second in stopping the run (75.8). The most recent team to lead the league in run, pass and total defense was Buddy Ryan's Philadelphia Eagles in 1991. If the Steelers' defense could capture all four honors, it would be the first to do that since the 1969 Kansas City Chiefs, who did it while in the American Football League.
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The Steelers have tied the 1973 Rams for not allowing an offense to gain 300 yards in 14 consecutive games. Although it sneaked up on everyone, the 2008 Pittsburgh defense has a chance to be one for the ages.

So where can it rank historically? I'm not about to concede a spot in the top three of all time: the 1976 Steel Curtain, the 1985 Chicago Bears and the 2000 Ravens. Nevertheless, it could crack the top five.

Although it's hard to compare stats from different eras, you have to say that, at the very least, this D could hang with the 1991 Eagles, the 1990 New York Giants with Lawrence Taylor and Bill Parcells, the 1971 Doomsday defense of the Dallas Cowboys, the 1973 No-Name Defense of the Miami Dolphins and the 1971 Purple People Eaters of the Minnesota Vikings. Just mentioning those teams makes it clear that somebody in Pittsburgh had better start coming up with a nickname for this season.

As with all the great defenses, success doesn't happen overnight. The Steelers led the league in total defense last season by allowing 266.4 yards a game. Although age was a concern in the front seven, Pittsburgh put aside injuries and mixed in the youthful enthusiasm of linebackers LaMarr Woodley and Lawrence Timmons. Because Larry Foote is playing so well, Timmons gets to play only part time. Woodley was a first alternate on the Pro Bowl team at outside linebacker.

Led by James Harrison's 15, the Steelers lead the league with 47 sacks.

Surprisingly, only three Pittsburgh defenders made the Pro Bowl: Harrison, linebacker James Farrior and safety Troy Polamalu, who leads the league with seven interceptions.

The idea in trying to appreciate a great defense is to recognize it during a season and see whether it can maintain those standards in the final week. That's why the Week 16 game at the Tennessee Titans is so huge. At stake is the AFC's top seed and the opportunity to be historically great.

I like the comparison of this defense to the 1991 Eagles. Buddy Ryan's "46" defense destroyed quarterbacks in a 10-6 season, but it accomplished everything against opponents with a combined winning percentage of .528. The Steelers entered the season with the league's toughest schedule, but their foes so far have a .516 winning percentage.

A lot of great defensive eyes of the past will be watching Sunday's Steelers-Titans game to make some judgments.

California-Steel
12-18-2008, 04:06 PM
We still have to win it all. If not this D will just be a foot note in history and given time may just slip off the pages altogeather.

HERE WE GO STEELERS....HERE WE GO!!!!! :tt1

Iron Shiek
12-18-2008, 04:21 PM
http://assets.espn.go.com/photo/2008/1217/nfl_g_steelers_576.jpg



I just shat myself... :shock:

JAR
12-19-2008, 08:35 AM
If Steelers' D passes Titanic test, it approaches greatness
Clayton

By John Clayton
ESPN.com
(Archive)

http://assets.espn.go.com/photo/2008/1217/nfl_g_steelers_576.jpg
Steelers linebacker James Harrison (92), running with teammate Andre Frazier (54) here, leads one of the NFL's stingiest defenses. Is it one for the ages?

Watching the Pittsburgh Steelers' defense battle the Baltimore Ravens in Week 15 brings back some faint memories of 1976.

The Steelers' Steel Curtain defense was in its prime in 1976. A 1-4 start coupled with the injury loss of Terry Bradshaw triggered perhaps the greatest stretch of defense ever witnessed in the NFL. Not only did that defense prevent opponents from scoring but it defied quarterbacks to even think about accruing first downs. With eight Pro Bowl defensive starters performing at max level, the Steel Curtain allowed only 28 points in the final nine games.

The 2008 version of the Steelers' defense comes with no nickname, just an incredible résumé. It ranks first across the board for total defense (239.1 yards a game), scoring defense (13.7 points) and stopping the pass (163.3). It ranks second in stopping the run (75.8). The most recent team to lead the league in run, pass and total defense was Buddy Ryan's Philadelphia Eagles in 1991. If the Steelers' defense could capture all four honors, it would be the first to do that since the 1969 Kansas City Chiefs, who did it while in the American Football League.

The Steelers have tied the 1973 Rams for not allowing an offense to gain 300 yards in 14 consecutive games. Although it sneaked up on everyone, the 2008 Pittsburgh defense has a chance to be one for the ages.

So where can it rank historically? I'm not about to concede a spot in the top three of all time: the 1976 Steel Curtain, the 1985 Chicago Bears and the 2000 Ravens. Nevertheless, it could crack the top five.

Although it's hard to compare stats from different eras, you have to say that, at the very least, this D could hang with the 1991 Eagles, the 1990 New York Giants with Lawrence Taylor and Bill Parcells, the 1971 Doomsday defense of the Dallas Cowboys, the 1973 No-Name Defense of the Miami Dolphins and the 1971 Purple People Eaters of the Minnesota Vikings. Just mentioning those teams makes it clear that somebody in Pittsburgh had better start coming up with a nickname for this season.

As with all the great defenses, success doesn't happen overnight. The Steelers led the league in total defense last season by allowing 266.4 yards a game. Although age was a concern in the front seven, Pittsburgh put aside injuries and mixed in the youthful enthusiasm of linebackers LaMarr Woodley and Lawrence Timmons. Because Larry Foote is playing so well, Timmons gets to play only part time. Woodley was a first alternate on the Pro Bowl team at outside linebacker.

Led by James Harrison's 15, the Steelers lead the league with 47 sacks.

Surprisingly, only three Pittsburgh defenders made the Pro Bowl: Harrison, linebacker James Farrior and safety Troy Polamalu, who leads the league with seven interceptions.

The idea in trying to appreciate a great defense is to recognize it during a season and see whether it can maintain those standards in the final week. That's why the Week 16 game at the Tennessee Titans is so huge. At stake is the AFC's top seed and the opportunity to be historically great.

I like the comparison of this defense to the 1991 Eagles. Buddy Ryan's "46" defense destroyed quarterbacks in a 10-6 season, but it accomplished everything against opponents with a combined winning percentage of .528. The Steelers entered the season with the league's toughest schedule, but their foes so far have a .516 winning percentage.

A lot of great defensive eyes of the past will be watching Sunday's Steelers-Titans game to make some judgments.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/columns/story?id=3775407

costanza2k1
12-19-2008, 02:12 PM
duplicate topics merged.

snarky
12-19-2008, 02:23 PM
In 1976 I was an eight year old kid living in Fairfax County, VA (suburban DC). Fairfax county has changed a lot since then and there were fewer transplants (percentage-wise) than there are today. So lots of Redskins fans. The Steelers were coming off their first two Super Bowls and were well hated even by the kids in my second grade class.

When the Steelers went to 1-4 and with Bradshaw out, I was taking lots of stick. Finally, I ended up betting some kid on the bus a whopping two dollars that the Steelers would make the playoffs (when they were projected to have Bradshaw back).

That Steelers D didn't let me down.

EDIT: Doing the math, that must have been third grade.