Send your comments, predictions, smak, & insults about our upcoming opponent as well as your postgame critiques from the previous week. Whether your message is a simple, "These guys SUCK," or a detailed, in-depth analysis, tell us what you think.
We're the Best (of the Worst)|
Article by McMillen & Wife
Part of me is SO tempted to pick the Steelers to win this game. After all, Jacksonville clearly appears to be a team in decline. They're riddled with injuries, struggling, and full of doubt. The Steelers, on the other hand, actually seem to consider themselves a team on the rise in spite of their unimpressive 0-3 start. Can these strangely revitalized Steelers pull off an upset?
While not likely, it's not completely out of the realm of possibilty, folks. Jacksonville is 2-2, but their two wins have come at the expense of the lowly Browns (27-7 in week 1) and the pitiful Bengals (13-0 in week 3). We live in north-central Ohio, so I was pretty much stuck watching both of these games. The Jags' performance was decidely unimpressive in both cases; the Browns were very much in the game until they self-destructed late in the 3rd quarter, and the win over Cincinnati shouldn't even count... the Bungles have been outscored 74-7 this season. The Jags would've faced stiffer competition had they played the junior varsity team from St. Pia Zadora's School for Wayward Girls.
Against playoff-caliber teams, Jacksonville has faired far worse. Peyton Manning threw for 440 yards & 4 TDs last Monday night as the Colts humiliated the Jags 43-14 in front of a national audience. In their loss to the Ravens, Jacksonville led 17-0 only to have Tony Banks throw 5 TDs en route to a 39-36 Baltimore win. Mark Brunell was sacked a total of 9 times in those losses and threw 4 interceptions (surprisingly, Cleveland & Cinci each sacked Brunell 4 times as well).
In short, Jacksonville's losses have occured at the hands of big-play offenses that did it through the AIR and swarming defenses that pressured Brunell into mistakes. Herein, my friends, lies our problem... Steeler QBs have produced ZERO touchdown passes in 3 outings, and our defense has tallied just 2 sacks (which is actually a suprisingly good number considering how completely non-existant our pass rush is). Conclusion? In spite of the fact that the clock has struck midnight for Jacksonville, they're still fielding a far better team than our Steelers.
Here are just a few reasons the Steelers' winless streak in Jacksonville will continue:
Jimmy Smith & Keenan McCardell: Now, these guys are not as good as the Jagwads' official page asserts (blasphemously mentioning their names in the same breath with Swann & Stallworth), but they DO put up big numbers in the Jags' system. In fact, a quick check of the stats reveals that these two players have combined for more 16 more catches (66 total) than the ENTIRE Steeler team (50 total). Admittedly, that's partially due to the fact that they've played one more game than we have, but considering the track record of our secondary this season, the Jacksonville offense has GOT to be licking its chops. Get ready for multiple 50+ yard passes by the opposition, my bruthas.
Mark Brunell: I am not a big fan of Brunell, whom I consider the most over-rated passer in the league. He leads the NFL in passing yardage at the moment, but his success is largely a product of Jacksonville's system and a boatload full of talented receivers. Plug this guy into Pittsburgh's offense and he wouldn't fair any better than Stewart or Graham. His penchant for choking in big games is also well documented. If the Steelers can somehow pressure him, victory is attainable. Unfortunately, even in their current state of disrepair, the Jaguar offensive line figures to contain our front seven handily. If they do, Mark Brunell will shred us for a LOT of yards.
Jax homefield advantage: 'Da facts are 'da facts... the Steelers are 0-5 in All-Tel Stadium. If they couldn't get it done in '95, how are they gonna get it done now?
Defensively, these guys have some problems against the pass. Carnell Lake's absense has created a huge void... Rayna Stewart (who?) isn't "quite" the player that Carnell is. On the other hand, the Steelers aren't very likely to unleash the aerial firepower of the Colts, are they? Former Steeler ILB Hardy Nickerson has established himself as the key to this unit, leading the team with 24 tackles, 6 passes defensed, 1 sack, and 1 Int. Other players to watch are OLB Kevin Hardy and DE Tony Brackens, who along with Nickerson, figure to make the going rough for Bettis. If I thought Burress & Edwards would suddenly start showing the kind of production we've seen from Hines Ward, I say we'd have some success against these guys... as it is, I have my doubts.
Prediction: Jaguars 24, Steelers 16
The Steelers will compete. They'll play hard. Yet they'll still lose. But hey, look on the bright side... we're the BEST 0-4 team in the NFL.
Webmaster of McMillen and Wife
Fan Smak & Analysis|
The following articles are listed in the order they were received (with the most recent entries at the top). This isn't a "guestbook" format... I read and manually insert every message, so you may not see your submission show up immediately. Thanks a million for your comments, people!
Submitted by Oz|
I never thought it would come to this. Not only are we 0-3 but according to ESPN rankings we are the 2nd to worst team in the whole NFL. Only the Bengals were worse. These rankings were complied not by "so called experts" like the awful guys on "Inside the NFL," but by fans voting. I agree we deserve to be down on the bottom somewhere, but one step above the Bengals!? The 0-4 Pats were the highest "0"fer team at 26th. I agree that the Steelers showed a lot of signs of life last week, there was a pulse on this team after all! But as a previous poster said good teams find a way to win close games. I don't know if we will regress this week or not. We can win this game if we get pressure on Brunell, pick off at least two passes, knock him around, even knock him out of the game. Last time I checked they didn't have a Steve McNair on the bench to bring them back in the last two minutes of the game. C'mon guys!! Let's go!!
Submitted by CPT Jeffrey Phillips
McMillen and Wife:
I am here in Korea serving in the army and have not had the displeasure of watching a Steeler game so far this season -- thank Goodness. However, based on what I have read, the Steelers must do the following 3 things to beat the JAGs:
1) See some productivity from the "youth". Joey Porter needs to step it up. Brunell is a lefty, so Porter won't be able to blind-side him, but he can get into his face and block his passing lanes to the two JAG wideouts. Plaxico will be playing in his fourth big-league game. He's seen the competition and should start to put together a string of 5-7 catch, 70-100 yard games. These two guys play vital positions and are the "playmakers" that must produce -- they MUST if we are to win on Sunday.
2) Cowher must not get outcoached. Coughlin is good, but the JAGs seem to die out at the end of their games. Cowher needs to keep the Steelers focused for all 60 minutes, take good risks with the blitz and 4th down conversions on offense, and have them motivated to HIT. If we beat them in FLA, we can beat them at home, and all of a sudden, we can be looking at a 500 team by mid-season, and a team that can have some pride going back against CLE and TEN.
3) Kordell needs to contribute. It is obvious that Cowher wants to fit Kordell into some of the short-yardage plays or whatever. That's fine. But if this doesn't happen, the team will start to question every other "scheme" that has been developed for them. More importantly, it will give the defenses something else to think about besides immobile Kent and perpetually-bruised-knee Bettis.
Finally, I don't give a darn if they finish 0-16...I bleed Black and Gold.
FROM: A REAL JAG in Korea.
Submitted by Joe Roberts, Jr.
Pretty good analysis of Sunday's upcoming game. The Jagwads definitely ain't what they used to be and if this game was in Pittsburgh (where the Jags always play poorly) I'd go with the Steelers to pull the upset. Since the game is being played in the Armpit of the South I'll have to go with the Wads. The Steelers Super Bowl team of '95 couldn't win in the Armpit so it's a little too much to expect of this year's bunch.
I do agree with a poster below who said that the Steelers will pull some upsets before the year is through. I think the first Steeler upset will occur next week when they play the New Jersey Jets. You heard it here first. The Jets will go down next week. For this coming week the Steelers will have to settle for another close loss.
Submitted by Steve Massey
I don't think the Steelers are going to beat JVille for one reason: it is
down south. Now, with the mystique of 3 Rivers a memory, it doesn't really
matter where teams play against the steelers, and the road can therefore be
an advantage, but not in Jacksonville. The steelers have never won there and
these guys are not going to be the first.
But take heart fellow couch potatoes, the Steelers are playing better than
they have in many moons. The chakras are opening! the path is clear!
My psychic vision tells me that the Steelers will hang and bang all the way
to the end, just out of reach, with victory...dangling, dangling,
dangling...but the J's pull away with Jimmy Smith burning one of our corners
and winning by 10.
Submitted by Tom Bragg
Tim... As bad as it pains me to say this , our beloved Steelers will be 0 and 4 after this weeks game against the Jaguars . Jimmy Smith and Keenan McCarrdell will eat up the Steelers secondary and spit them out . Brunell will have a big game as well . Granted , this years Jags are not the Jags of old , but playing at home against our hapless Steelers the Jags will win easily .
Prediction Jaguars 24 - Steelers 7
Submitted by Matt/Jeff Alberter
The jags will convert 80% of third down opportunities, the refs will blow at least one call (resulting in the NFL apologizing to the Steelers for a third straight week), and Josh Miller will continue his drive for Honolulu.
Jags 31, Steelers 17
Submitted by Dave Bolock
Tim and wife,
Once again your pre-game assessment is 100% on the nose. If only we could get a game against the St. Pia Zadora School of Wayward Girls perhaps we would taste sweet victory at last. We still would probably not register a sack and get burned for a few long passes, but maybe Plexico could get open for some third down completions over the 5'4" cornerbacks and safeties of St. Pia's.
Back to reality, with the current state of the Jags injury list, I see them as no more of a threat than the Clowns. With the exception of Jimmy Smith who may be the best receiver in the league at the moment. There is no reason for us to lose to Jacksonville, but, I regret to say we will probably find a way (read as: Jimmy Smith 253 yards, 2 touchdowns).
Hope I am wrong,
Submitted by Mike DeLancey
Well, Here I go again. I said that they would beat the Titans and I was wrong (although close). So Now we have the Jags at their place. The Steelers have gotten better each week with the exception of some mental lapses. The Jags have a short week and they are a bit banged up. Maybe I am just a die hard fan,and I know we don't have as much talent as we would like but I believe that this team is a lot better than 0-3. I just believe that we are going to upset some team and it may as well be this week. So, the Black and Gold get #1 this week....24-20
Visit my web page at www.SteelerGridiron.com
Ps. no I am not on drugs
Back to McMillen & Wife's
'Da Lovely Wife