Monday, January 23, 2006

A Fitting Send off for the Bus...and the Start of a long Career for Big Ben

The knock on Bill Cower in Pittsburgh has always been he's never won a championship. He's the longest tenured coach in the NFL, having coached the Steelers since 1992 on. Let's not forget either that he was the successor to Chuck Noll...Some big shoes to fill in Pittsburgh to say the least.

But now, Cower has made it back to the Superbowl for only the 2nd time in his time as head coach. The Steelers went into Mile High and doubled up the Denver Broncos 34-17, becoming the first #6 seed ever to reach the Superbowl and the first team to win 3 road games on the road to the Superbowl since the mid 80s (The last was New England in 1985...who eventually lost to the Bears in the most lopsided superbowl ever). But this is not that type of team...this team isn't going to get blown out...this team isn't afraid of the #1 seed Seattle fact...this team is good enough to win it all. I know it's Cliche, and please forgive me, but this team looks like a "Team of Destiny."

Let's put aside the fact that Big Ben Roethlisberger has been one of the most consistent QBs in the NFL over the past two season. Put aside that they had the #4 Defense in the league during the regular season. Put aside that they are known for being the toughest team in the league. Put aside they have the chance to put a story book ending on Jerome "The Bus" Bettis' career, with Superbowl XL being played in his hometown of Detroit. Forget that they beat the #3, #2, and #1 seeds in the AFC playoffs. Put all that aside and you still have the fact that...They've learned how to pass! They're no longer simply a run to set up the run offense. In fact they can now pass to set up the run, or even better pass to score.

Don't get me wrong, I am still a throwback/Old School fan. I love 14-10 games, I want to see big punishing runners drive up the middle for 3-4 yards a carry, I want to see Grass instead of Astroturf. But in looking at the match-ups, the fact that the Steelers now have the ability to pass with Big Ben to, not 1 but 4 quality receivers (Hines Ward, Cedrick Wilson, Antwan Randle El, and Heath Miller), opens up the Pittsburgh Offense to a scary level. And of course the Steelers always have their Run game with Jerome Bettis, Willie Parker, and Duce Staley who's expected to be active for the Superbowl. Nice when you can refer to the Steeler run game as an after thought.

That will about do it for, what I'm sure will be the first of more then a few breakdown of the two teams and games. But I will put my early prediction on the game out, and I reserve the right to change this, Steelers 21...Seahawks 17. Until next time...See ya when I see ya.

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