Pittsburgh Steelers 2008 NFL Projection:
Coming into last season when the football world was sure Ben Roethlisberger would not be the same after his motorcycle accident, we put forth a
as to why Big Ben would bounce back. And he went on to have a dynamite season which came to an end in a bizarre home
playoff loss to the Jaguars
in which the Steelers miraculously came back from down 18 points to take a lead in the fourth quarter,
but couldn't hang on in the closing moments.
As the 2008 season approaches everyone knows the story. Alan Faneca has become a member of the Jets.
His departure is likely to cause a negative ripple effect throughout the Steelers' offense in 08.
As a result, we feel the Steelers are unlikely to duplicate last season's 3rd ranked rushing attack.
And less success in the running game will almost certainly put more pressure on the passing game.
In the draft the Steelers made efforts to bolster the offense by picking RB Mendenhall and WR Sweed. However,
it's quite debatable whether these moves will pick up the slack for an offensive line that isn't likely to be as strong.
On defense the Steelers were the top ranked team in the league last season.
Currently they're solid up front and extremely potent in the linebacking group.
As far as the secondary is concerned, the Steelers need Polamalu to return to his previous form.
Otherwise the Steelers could experience a fall off in the performance of the defense as they face a brutally
difficult schedule in 08.
A look at Pittsburgh's 2008 schedule
shows eight games versus teams that made the playoffs last season including;
Beginning in week 8 the Steelers encounter a hellish schedule of playoff caliber teams that really doesn't let up until the end of the season.
And don't discount two games with Cleveland,
a team which finished (10-6) last year on the verge of playoff qualification.
Sometimes when a team faces a world beater schedule they rise to the occasion and become an even better team.
The constant high level competition keeps them sharpened and focused each week of the season, and they rise up to become champions.
The Colts of 2006 - 2007 come to mind as a squad that overcame such a regular season schedule... And New England did it prior.
Are the Steelers good enough to do the same in 2008 - 2009?
Without domination on the offensive line, it doesn't seem to carry a high probability of occurring.
Overall we're predicting a record of (9-7) for the 2008 version of the Pittsburgh Steelers... Not because they're
not good. But because they really do have the toughest schedule in the league.
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Free 2008 NFL Predictions Note:
these now archived 2008 NFL forecasts were made
during the 2008 preseason.
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football campaign which may have affected
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