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Thread: Daunting Schedule On Paper

  1. #1
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    Daunting Schedule On Paper

    Daunting schedule on paper

    Evaluating a particular team’s schedule before the start of a season is akin to trying to hit a moving target. One season’s playoff contender can become next season’s cupcake, especially in the NFL where parity reigns supreme.

    Even with all of that, even in a league where five teams that made the playoffs in 2006 didn’t repeat in 2007, the Steelers schedule in 2008 is brutal.

    In this case, what constitutes “brutal” is:

    • Eight of the Steelers’ 10 games outside the AFC North Division are against teams that made the playoffs last season. Two other games are against division rival Cleveland, which only missed the playoffs because of tiebreakers.

    • They play games against teams quarterbacked by four of the top five passers from 2007, and the only reason it’s only four of the top five is because their own quarterback — Ben Roethlisberger — was ranked No. 2 in the league.

    • The two most recent Super Bowl champions are on the schedule, as are the New England Patriots, who won back-to-back titles in 2004-05.

    • The combined winning percentage of the teams on the schedule is .598. By contrast, the combined winning percentage of New England’s opponents is .387.

    “You have to be careful how much you read into it in advance because every year is different and every year teams go up and down,” said team president Art Rooney II. “Even though it is ranked as one of the toughest schedules, you never know. Certainly going in it is one of the tougher groups of teams that I have seen in a long time, particularly in terms of the home schedule.”

    If the Steelers were a team that needed an attractive home schedule to sell tickets, they certainly would have one in 2008. In addition to the games against division opponents, the Steelers will host the defending champion New York Giants, Indianapolis,San Diego and Dallas.

    In terms of marquee players, that means Eli Manning, Plaxico Burress, Michael Strahan, Osi Umenyiora, Peyton Manning, Marvin Harrison, Bob Sanders, Dwight Freeney, LaDainian Tomlinson, Shawne Merriman, Tony Romo, Terrell Owens and DeMarcus Ware all will be cavorting on the turf at Heinz Field.

    “The number of premier teams that are visiting Heinz Field this year will make it an interesting year for our fans,” said Rooney, “and we’re looking forward to the challenge.”In the NFL, challenges presented by the schedule also include having to adjust to the different days and times during which the games are played.

    The Steelers have five prime-time games — two Sundays, two Mondays and a Thursday — and six others will start at 4:15 p.m. The networks love prime time and the late time slot on Sundays, but players and coaches prefer the normalcy of 1 p.m. kickoffs.

    “Probably the teams that drafted in the top 10 of the first round are probably playing all 1 o’clock games, so if you have a winning team and you are competitive, then you’re going to be playing in the prime-time games,” said Rooney. “That goes with the territory,and we will take it.”

  2. #2
    Hall of Famer Djfan's Avatar
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    Re: Daunting Schedule On Paper

    I see the schedule as a positive. We play the best, we become the best. That's all.
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  3. #3

    Re: Daunting Schedule On Paper

    Good article NKy...This schedule is indeed tough. But, I truely believe that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. If we make the playoffs playing this schedule we will primed for a post season run.

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    Re: Daunting Schedule On Paper

    We will certainly be primed after this run.... As long as we stay healthy, but obviously that can happen against any quality of team.... It's gonna be a very tough run, but I also like it that way as well.... At least we won't be hearing about our "cupcake schedule" from the talking heads.

  5. #5

    Re: Daunting Schedule On Paper

    "To be the best, you have to beat the best"

    I am not all worried about the upcoming schedule. Too many things change from the time the schedules are released until the games are actually played. I never understood how anyone could sit here in May and predict the outcome of the upcoming season with any accuracy.

    Last year, Baltimore was going to run away with the division with Cincy right on their heals, a few injuries later--- The Steelers and Browns are in a dogfight for the division.

    There is always going to be teams that come out of nowhere, while others drop. Let's just hope it is not the Steelers dropping.
    He who forgets, will be destined to remember.

  6. #6
    LasVegasGuy
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    Re: Daunting Schedule On Paper

    I for one am not looking forward to this schedule. I just can't get over the fact that the only playoff team we beat last year was the Seachickens. If we don't come out of the gate roaring we are going to be in for a very, very, very long year.

  7. #7
    Hall of Famer Djfan's Avatar
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    Re: Daunting Schedule On Paper

    The win against the stains week two is very important.
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  8. #8

    Re: Daunting Schedule On Paper

    Quote Originally Posted by BigLebowski
    "To be the best, you have to beat the best"

    I am not all worried about the upcoming schedule. Too many things change from the time the schedules are released until the games are actually played. I never understood how anyone could sit here in May and predict the outcome of the upcoming season with any accuracy.

    Last year, Baltimore was going to run away with the division with Cincy right on their heals, a few injuries later--- The Steelers and Browns are in a dogfight for the division.

    There is always going to be teams that come out of nowhere, while others drop. Let's just hope it is not the Steelers dropping.
    I can't disagree with any of that. Injuries and numerous other variables make predictions shakey at best. And yes...this schedule is going to make or break us. It will prepare us or bury us. This will be a good barometer to measure this team's heart.

  9. #9
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    Re: Daunting Schedule On Paper

    Quote Originally Posted by LasVegasGuy
    I for one am not looking forward to this schedule. I just can't get over the fact that the only playoff team we beat last year was the Seachickens. If we don't come out of the gate roaring we are going to be in for a very, very, very long year.
    I feel your concern lvg, but the way I see it is... If we can't beat these teams in the regular season, we have no place seeing them in the post season. Besides, as so many others have said... Schedules have a way of "changing strengths" as the season progresses.... What's to say that Peyton or Brady don't go down with an injury, etc...

  10. #10
    LasVegasGuy
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    Re: Daunting Schedule On Paper

    Quote Originally Posted by BigLebowski
    "To be the best, you have to beat the best"

    I am not all worried about the upcoming schedule. Too many things change from the time the schedules are released until the games are actually played. I never understood how anyone could sit here in May and predict the outcome of the upcoming season with any accuracy.

    Last year, Baltimore was going to run away with the division with Cincy right on their heals, a few injuries later--- The Steelers and Browns are in a dogfight for the division.

    There is always going to be teams that come out of nowhere, while others drop. Let's just hope it is not the Steelers dropping.

    Their are "flash in the pan" teams that were good one year and fizzled out the next (e.g. New Orlean Saints). But I think it's safe to say we are going to have our hands full with Dallas, Indy, Pats, Jax, Chargers, Eagles. These teams are always in the mix and I don't see much off a drop-off this year from last. As for Redskins, Titans, Giants, Ravens, Browns, Bengals it's a crap shoot.

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