Steelers Hire Former Chiefs HC to Become New OC

20120207-122325.jpgThe Steelers have signed former Chiefs head coach Todd Haley today to become the team’s offensive coordinator. You might also remember Haley because he was the OC for the Arizona Cardinals during their miraculous playoff run in the 07’-08’ season.

Many might look at this as no big deal and if you do you are certainly mistaken. Haley is one of the top offensive minds in the league today, and having him take over an already potent Steelers offense certainly worries me as a Patriots fan. The Steelers rarely make big signings outside of the organization, but I definitely think this move will pay off. In Arizona, Haley worked with the Kurt Warner to Larry Fitz combo. He certainly has a similar combo here talent wise with the deep threat from Roethlisberger to stud receiver Mike Wallace. When this offense is at full health expect big things this year.

AFC Wild Card Playoff Predictions

So the with the end of the Regular Season coming to a close, and the playoffs about to begin I will start to analyze the upcoming AFC playoff games for this weekend. If you had told me in August that the Tim Tebow led Broncos, along with the Texans and Bengals would be continuing their season into January I would have been willing to bet everything I own on it. Fortunately for me I didn’t…

Bengals @ Texans

The Bengals come in losing five of their last eight. All of those loses came to AFC playoff teams, one of them being the Texans. Even with Schaub sidelined the Texans can still offer one of the AFC’s best offenses simply because of the run game they have. Their defense is solid and was what got them where they are today. The young Bengals offense has really shined this year led by the rookie combination of Andy Dalton and A.J. Green. I expect this one to be a low scoring game based on the strength of both defenses. The Texans are favored in this one but I see otherwise, I’m going with the Bengals.

Prediction: Bengals 17 Texans 14

Steelers @ Broncos

I for one am certainly glad that all the Tebow hype is over. He finally came down to earth and is playing more like the QB he really is. I cannot take away the fact that the guy is a proven winner, which is literally the only reason the Broncos even have a shot here. The Steelers are injury depleted and I feel like it is definitely going to hurt their playoff chances. Big Ben is still shaken up; Mendenhall is done for the playoffs, and Ryan Clark being kept out of this one. Luckily for the Steelers they are facing a team that went 8-8 in the regular season, but have the talent of a 5-11 team. Like the other AFC Wildcard game I expect this one to be low scoring. Tebow better do some extra praying this week. His savior doesn’t save him here; Steelers win.

Steelers 20 Broncos 13

Patriots Seek Top Seed in the AFC

Tomorrow, our AFC East champs are set for a Christmas Eve matchup in Foxboro against the Miami Dolphins. AFC champions is a great start, but let’s be honest…it’s just a start and in fact, doesn’t mean a whole lot in the bigger picture. Winning out and securing the top seed in the AFC is what the Pats are looking to accomplish. This would set the stage for home field advantage throughout the playoffs, a much more advantageous accommodation than simply winning the division. Although the Pats are 6-2 on the road this year, they need to look past that and at what they could potentially face. Both the Steelers and the Ravens have proved their dominance at home, as opposed to their road schedules. The Steelers are 6-1 at home, 4-3 on the road, while the Ravens are 7-0 at home this year, and 3-4 on the road. The Pats need to come into the final two games of the regular season as if they’re fighting for a playoff spot. No longer does it mean putting in backups and giving Brady a rest. They need to take the Dolphins seriously, as the team has won 5 of their last 7 after a less than dismal start. If the Pats leave it all on the field tomorrow and again New Year’s Day against a struggling Buffalo, they should be well off on their journey to Super Bowl XLVI.

Will the Patriots Make the Super Bowl?

It’s that time of year again… The Patriots are 11-3 and in sole possession of first place in the AFC after having clinched the AFC East last week. The question most of you are wondering is as follows: Can the Patriots make it to the Super Bowl? It looks like the Patriots should have earned themselves a first round bye and potentially home field advantage throughout the playoffs. The latter part I see to be very important.

Going to Heinz field and facing a Steelers team that isn’t depleted by injuries is not an easy task and that was proven earlier this season. That doesn’t look to be the case though. If the Patriots do meet the Steelers in the playoffs they will have to come through Foxboro and it’s a whole different atmosphere for them. Roethlisberger looks very hurt and an injury like that can keep most players out for a few weeks. The Ravens could be a tough game, but Joe Flacco looks average at best, and even the Ravens defense can get beat by a good offense as that was shown Sunday night. The Texans don’t have the passing game to really take advantage of the terrible Patriots secondary like most teams can. As far as the rest of the AFC goes there isn’t any other team in the conference that would really scare me; especially if they are coming to Gillette.

The Patriots secondary is clearly their weakness and at times has been exposed but it works into the Patriots favor that the list of potential quarterbacks they could face in the AFC playoffs are headlined by Big Ben and followed with QB’s like T.J. Yates, Joe Flacco, Mark Sanchez, Tim Tebow, and Matt Hasselbeck.

Anything can happen in the NFL, but if I had to put my life savings down on a team to come out of the AFC, it would be the Pats.

MNF Pick ‘Em – Week 15

Monday, December 19, 2011

Steelers @ 49ers 8:35PM

In what could be one of the best battles of the season, a few players on one side might be watching from the sideline. My guess is that Big Ben will play tonight, but with Lamarr Woodley and Troy Polamalu’s hamstring concerns, along with James Harrison being out on suspension for his hit on Colt McCoy last week, the Steelers defense might not be exactly what we are all used to. That being said, I still am not convinced the 49ers offense can make them a Super Bowl contender. The Steelers are going to have to throw the ball around tonight if they want to escape with a victory against a team that has one of the top run defenses in the NFL. I’m going to the Steelers tonight.

Prediction: Steelers-21 49ers-17


Yesterdays Picks: 9-5

Season Total: 23-10

Harrison Takes Frustration About Suspension to Twitter

The NFL upheld Steelers LB James Harrison’s attempt to appeal his one game suspension he received for leveling Browns QB Colt McCoy in a game last week. I’ll be the first to complain about the way the NFL has turned the Quarterback position into a position for girls, but once again Harrison took it too far. Apparently Harrison isn’t very thrilled about it and less than an hour ago he expressed his views via twitter.

@jharrison9292 James Harrison

“17 games,1000+ snaps, 100+ tackles, 12+sacks and 2 forces fumbles since my last incident and I get a suspension for a football play! ”

First, I want to congratulate Mr. Harrison on his two forced fumbles; very relevant to the matter. (John Abraham did that last night in one game.) Basically he is saying since he has been well behaved in the NFL for one season’s worth of games, he doesn’t deserve to get suspended when he steps out of line. A football play would have been to lower your shoulder and drive it into McCoy’s ribs for the tackle, not lead with your head and drill the defenseless QB with a helmet to helmet hit. Those are legitimate penalties and the NFL should continue to focus on those and not call a penalty when a defenders hand taps a quarterback’s helmet. I am all for a hard hit in the NFL, its part of the game, and it’s what makes the NFL what it is today. At the same time I am glad the NFL is cracking down on the guys like Harrison and Ndamukong Suh who don’t think twice about attempting to end players’ careers.

Thursday Night Pick Em’ – Week 14

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Browns @ Steelers 8:00PM

Thank god its Thursday. Tonight the Steelers take on the Browns on Thursday Night Football. It just doesn’t get any easier for the Browns after taking a beating from the Ravens last weekend. The Steelers look drastically better than they had at the beginning of the season and look poised to make a serious playoff push. James Harrison had 3 sacks last week and looks like he hasn’t lost a step. The Browns have one of the best secondaries in the NFL and if they could just get some support from their offense they would at least be able to put up a fight in their defensive minded division. Colt McCoy is still young, but I’m just unsure he will be the long-term answer as the signal caller for the Browns. As I’m sure most of you predict; the Steelers take this one.

Prediction: Steelers 24 Browns 10



Week 14 NFL Power Rankings

With none of the top 7 teams losing this week not much has changed there, but their were many upsets last week and this weeks rankings reflect that.

1. Packers (12-0) +0 – Even if they lost last week I would still have them here. They’re offense is just too good.

2. Ravens (9-3) +1 – Their running game is dynamic and Flacco is doing a good job managing games.

3. Patriots (9-3) -1 – They started career special teamer Matthew Slater at safety last week. Their defense is a concern but I still see them battling with Pit and the Ravens in the AFC.

4. Steelers (9-3) +1 They absolutely destroyed the Bengals and their defense looks like Steelers defenses of the past.

5. Saints (9-3) -1 – Their offense looks like it did when they won the Super Bowl, but then again there hasn’t been to many changes since then.

6. 49ers (10-2) +0 – I still don’t believe in their ability to score points against a quality defense.

7. Texans (9-3) +9 – Their defense is going to have to carry them if they want a shot to get through the brutal AFC.

8. Cowboys(7-5) -1 – They just dropped a game they shouldn’t have lost. How typical. I still have faith in this team though.

9. Broncos (7-5) +5 – They are beginning to gain confidence in Tebow and allow him to throw the ball around a little more.

10. Lions (7-5) -2 – Their defense got picked apart last week by a great passing attack, but their offense can still put up points with the best of em’.

11. Jets (7-5) +1 – Sanchez has been playing better and isn’t losing games for them. He’s never going to be All-Pro caliber, but he needs to keep them in games instead of being the reason they are out of them.

12. Titans (7-5) +5 – I see them having a legitimate shot at making the playoffs is CJ keeps it up.

13. Falcons (7-5) -3 – They just lost to a team with T.J Yates at QB. Their offense is to hit or miss to be a top 10 team right now.

14. Giants (6-6) -5 – They showed they can play with the best of them, but at times they also play with the worst of em’. They play to their opponents skill level.

15. Raiders (7-5) -4 – After an embarrassing loss to Miami it wont get any easier when they go up against the red-hot Broncos.

16. Bengals (7-5) -3 – They’re still very young and its showing. Give them some time and they may be a top 5 team in the next couple of years, just not now.

17. Seahawks (5-7) +6 – They are leaning on the run game which is why they have been successful. If they hadn’t been so bad early on they could have been a playoff team.

18. Bears (7-5) -3 – Caleb Hanie really is that bad. They need to make a move for McNabb or say goodbye to their season.

19. Chargers (5-7) +0 – Even at 5-7 they still have a lot to play for with a shot to catch the Raiders.

20. Dolphins (4-8) +4 – They just blew out the Raiders last week and are on of the hottest teams in the NFL right now. It’s just a little to late.

21. Cardinals (5-7) +4 – They showed they have improved when they beat the Cowboys in OT last week.

22. Eagles (4-8) -4It’s almost amusing at this point.

23. Bills (5-7) -2 – Their D-Line is an absolute mess.

24. Panthers (4-8) +2 – Cam Newton is the real deal, they need to focus on the defensive side of the ball in this upcoming draft.

25. Chiefs (5-7) +6 – Don’t let them jumping 6 spots fool ya. Same goes for their victory against the Bears. They only scored on a fluke hail mary and only stopped a team with Caleb Hanie under center.

26. Redskins (4-8) -6They were embarrassed in the fourth quarter last week. Up next: The Patriots.

27. Vikings (2-10) +0 – For whatever its worth with a healthy AP they are still better than a handful of teams.

28. Buccaneers (4-8) -6 – They haven’t won a game in almost two months. Even a healthy Freeman won’t help them as he hasn’t had a great season.

29. Browns (4-8) -1 – Their offense is just terrible.

30. Jaguars (3-9) -1 – Imagine if they didn’t have MJD to take pressure off Gabbert? They might have been in the same situation as the Colts.

31. Rams (2-10) -1 – After getting shutout Sunday vs the 49ers you can see how bad their offense really is. The worst thing is their defense isn’t any better.

32. Colts (0-12) +0 – They probably won’t win a game all year, Manning out, Luck in?