Thursday, September 10, 2009
Gameday # 1
Finally, real football will be played tonight at Heinz Field. Does it get much better than having your team open the season on national television at home? I am excited to see how this year's team looks when they are actually trying. I expect this to be a relatively low scoring game. Tennessee's offense is not that prolific. They have a 37 year old QB and relatively unknown receivers although they added a familiar face in Nate Washington who may not be able to play tonight with an injury. Their strength is their running attack led by Chris Johnson, who had a stellar rookie campaign a year ago and fatboy Lendale White, mostly known for stomping a Terrible Towel after the Titans beat us last year in the regular season (big mistake). It just so happens that one of our strengths is stopping the run.
Our game plan on D will be to stop them from running and force Kerry Collins to throw. Then Harrison and the boys will repeatedly harass Collins into sacks and turnovers. I predict two Tennesee turnovers and at least 3 sacks from the D. Beware of a lot of screens to Chris Johnson to try to slow the rush. Our D can be beat by dump offs, delays and screens because of their aggressiveness.
Ten's Defense was solid a year ago, however they lost a key piece of their D-line when Albert Haynesworth signed with Washington in the offseason. I still think they will be solid and could give our O-line a tough go in the trenches. Our offensive line is unquestioningly the biggest mystery of the year. Trai Essex is stepping in for Stapleton, but otherwise they are the same as a year ago which doesn't instill alot of optimism in me. Personally, I thought the O-line looked very solid in pass protection during the preseason. Ben got crushed repeatedly last year and that needs to improve or we won't have a franchise QB much longer. Run blocking still looked fairly poor. I won't be surprised at all tonight if we have difficulty doing much in the run game. Willie Parker is not 100% and Mendenhall has not looked like a number one draft choice to this point. I am hoping we start doing a lot more screens and dump offs to RB's and can use that as our quasi-running game maybe throwing in Stefan Logan for some of these plays to take advantage of his speed and joystick moves. I think our passing game should be great this year. Ben will have another solid season using the many weapons he has to choose from. We know Bruce Arians loves to throw and I expect alot of it this season. Ben will carve up the Titans secondary tonight as we use the pass to set up the run.
Last night I predicted Steelers 31-0 but that may have been the redbulls talking. I am going to go with Steelers 27 - Titans 10.
As for my season prediction, I don't see any reason why this team shouldn't repeat. D should be awesome. O should improve. Special Teams is definitely improved with Sepulveda back and Logan in as return man. Tomlin has the group focused and hungry and he himself has improved. The team is talented and deep. If the Steelers win tonight, I could see us going undefeated. My prediction is 15-1 with a loss to Baltimore along the way and a victory in the Superbowl. The Steelers were used to winning back to backs before Superbowl 40, I think we get back to tradition this season and bring home number 7. GO STEEZ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The Steezbros are heading to tonight's game so if anyone is around Red Garage 5 and wants to meet up, let us know.