Why the Pittsburgh Steelers Will Win Super Bowl XLVII
You have heard the whispers and rumblings. The Steelers defense is too old. New offensive coordinator Todd Haley and Ben Roethlisberger cannot co-exist. The offensive line is poor, at best. The running game is a question mark. Well, I am here to tell you why the Pittsburgh Steelers will win the Super Bowl in 2012.
Defense Wins Championships (at least it usually does): For all the talk of “getting old” and the embarrassing thrashing by the Ravens to open up 2011, the Steelers defense finished the season ranked #1 in yards allowed, pass yards allowed and scoring—giving up just 14.2 points per game. The off season saw the defense trim some age off the top and is banking on younger players stepping in. One spot where age does not seem to be a factor is with defensive coordinator Dick Lebeau. The “Dick Clark” of football will get the most out of his defensive unit through scheme, motivation and good old-fashioned attitude.
History and a Super Bowl Winning QB: Since 2003, only three AFC teams have represented the conference in the Super Bowl…Pittsburgh, New England, and Indianapolis. Over that same span, only six QBs have won it all and only Tom Brady (4) has appeared in more than Roethlisberger (3); however Ben’s two rings have been more recent than Brady’s. From 2004 (Roethlisberger’s rookie season), Ben has posted a career post-season record of 10-4.
The Ravens: Watching their arch-nemesis a play away from making the Super Bowl should be the ultimate motivator for the Steelers’ players and coaches. It was obvious that Baltimore had taken a step forward in 2011 and had finally usurped the AFC North from Pittsburgh. The team seems to respond to having something to prove, as opposed to defending their position. Expect the Steelers to exact vengeance upon the Ravens and the rest of the NFL.
Schedule: Other than the Sunday Night opener against Denver and a mid-season match-up against the defending champs, the Steelers play no games against playoff teams outside of their division. Over the past two seasons, Pittsburgh is 24-8 overall (13-3 against the AFC North). All eight losses were to teams that made the playoffs that season. There is no reason to think 2012 will be any different, with a third consecutive 12-4 season very likely.
The Standard is the Standard: Head Coach Mike Tomlin preaches about the standard constantly. It does not matter who is suited up on Sunday and who is out with an injury. It does not matter who the opponent is, where the game is played or when. It does not matter because the standard is the same every week for the Pittsburgh Steelers: put together a winning performance…period. The players know they do not get points for style and no credit is given for showing up on Sunday. You win or you lose, and your performance dictates the outcome.
“Who’s Laughing Now, O-line?”: This is not the first time the offensive has line has been seen as the weakest unit on the team. They are earmarked all ready as the reason the Steelers will not succeed in 2012. The O-line has been a question mark for several years, but it has hardly stopped the team before. In fact, being heralded as the team’s downfall may even provide something for the linemen to bond over…something to prove wrong…it may just provide them a battle cry that they can ride all the way to a Super Bowl victory.