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Saturday, September 1, 2007

2006 Pittsburgh Steeler Review

With my attempt at having a humorous Pittsburgh Steelers site I also want to include actual Steelers and NFL insight. While I have only started this blog in the last few weeks (week of 10/23) I wrote previews and reviews of the Steelers previous games. I’m moving them over to this blog. This will allow me to either appear as a genius or an idiot, depending on the situation. These previews and reviews are unedited so enjoy a little reminiscing.

2006 Season Pittsburgh Steelers Recap

Before we preview the 2007 season we must first look back on the 2006 season, at least a little. If you had to pick one word to describe it would turnovers. Turnovers doomed the defending champion Steelers all season long. There were more things wrong with the Steelers than just turnovers but that was the one thing that defined the season. The Steelers finished 8-8 and one game out of the playoffs. The final playoff spot went to Kansas City at 9-7 and if the Steelers finished 9-7 they would have won the tie-breaker with KC due to a 45-7 thumping in Week 6.

In the Steelers eight losses they outplayed the Bengals (WK 3), Falcons (WK 7), Raiders (WK 8), and the Broncos (WK 9). They were outplayed by the Jaguars in Week 2 but the game was only 9-0 and a Steelers team wrought with turnovers only ended up two scores down. You can’t just give the games to the Steelers because they beat the Browns (WK 11) and Saints (WK 10) and could have easily lost both of those games. But if one of the five games that were defined by turnovers bounced the Steelers way then they are playoff bound. Coulda, woulda, shoulda.

Everyone who could write about the Steelers in the past 18 months has mentioned the incredible and improbable run the Steelers went on at the end of the 2005 season. Winning eight straight games including defeating the #1, #2, and #3 seeds in the AFC on the road was incredible. Those writes invariably compare that to why the Steelers were due for a letdown, that it was impossible to carry that emotion into 2006. While that is partially true the 2005 Steelers didn’t back into the playoffs and the Super Bowl, they deserved to be there. The Steelers finished 11-5 and at one point in the season were 7-2. They lost two games with Tommy Maddox as their quarterback and played four total games without Ben. The same basic talent in 2004 went 15-1. The Steelers had the same talent in 2006 they just didn’t perform week in and week out. The 2006 season was very much the definition of an off-year.

It remains to be seen what will happen in 2007. The Steelers start with a brand-new coach yet newcomer Mike Tomlin keeps the same basic support staff, including the most important, Dick LeBeau. When you’re two years from a 15-1 year, a year from a Super Bowl, and you’re off-year is 8-8 a head coaching change shouldn’t be a problem. Since the Rooney Family only has to look for a new coach every twenty years or so it allows them time to get it right and not panic. Like most people I really don’t know much about Mike Tomlin but I’m at least cautiously optimistic.

Click here for the TPF 2007 Pittsburgh Steelers Preview

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