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2012 NFL Team Preview: Pittsburgh Steelers

The Pittsburgh Steelers started to show their age in 2011. They were inconsistent early in the season, but bounced back to make the playoffs. They didn’t get very deep. They lost to Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos in the first-round.

Pittsburgh addressed their offensive line issues in the draft by picking guard David DeCastro and tackle Mike Adams. They will have to mature in a hurry, since Ben Roethlisberger needs to stay off his back.

Mike Wallace has a contract issue that has been a distraction all offseason. Rashard Mendenhall will start the season on the sideline, which will be the biggest hurdle early in the year. The season has already been a chore and they haven’t played a regular season game yet.

Can Pittsburgh make another playoff run or will their age finally creep up on them? Here is our 2012 NFL team preview of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

2011 Win/Loss Record: 12-4

Key Additions: TE Leonard Pope, OG David DeCastro, OT Mike Adams, RB Chris Rainey, LB Sean Spence, TE Justine Peelle, DT Alameda Ta’amu, WR Toney Clemons, TE David Paulson and LS Matt Katula

Key Losses: CB William Gay, RB Mewelde Moore, WR Hines Ward, QB Dennis Dixon, LB James Farrior, OT Jamon Meredith, P Daniel Sepulveda and DE Aaron Smith

Non-Division Schedule: AFC West and NFC East

Fantasy Sleepers: RB Chris Rainey and WR Jerricho Cotchery – Mike Wallace is marred in a contract dispute which may not be resolved before training camp. Emmanuel Sanders and Antonio Brown will step up and fill the need, but Cotchery lends veteran leadership to the position. He could take over Hines Ward’s role. He will not be a superstar, but a possession receiver that could steal a few touchdowns inside the red zone. Another sleeper possibility sleeper is rookie running back Chris Rainey. Isaac Redman and Jonathan Dwyer will be the primary backs while Rashard Mendenhall starts out the season on the sideline, but keep an eye on Rainey.

Team Analysis: New offensive coordinator Todd Haley loves to air it out, so the pressure will be on the offensive line. Roethlisberger could have his best statistical season if they they do their job. Speaking of the passing game, Antonio Brown stepped up in the second-half of last year and it due for a breakout season. Mike Wallace has held out for most of the preseason, which is never a good thing when going into a new offense. Rashard Mendenhall is hurt and will most likely be out until the the fifth week. Pittsburgh will have to rely on a group of inexperienced backs early. The defense looked old at times last season and they didn’t do a lot in the offseason to address getting younger. They will need to stay healthy (i.e. Troy Polamalu) and use their experience if they hope to keep up with youth. In 2011, they lead the NFL in pass defense, but the loss of William Gay could hurt them. I don’t see Pittsburgh starting off well in 2012. They face tough defenses in their first four games when they will be without Mendenhall. I see Pittsburgh losing a few games they usually win, especially if they become one-dimensional. Baltimore looks like the team to beat in the AFC North, so the Steelers will be fighting for a Wild-Card spot.

2012 Wins Over/Under Line: 10.5 (Prediction: UNDER)

2012 Projected Win/Loss Record: 9-7

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A Sports & Entertainment blog that focuses on absurdity in sports, snarky banter, updates on Tim Tebow’s virginity, and decent sports gambling advice.

2010 NFL – Week 15 Betting Picks

I had a pretty average week with my picks last week. I was .500 and hopefully I’ll hit my stride. Some games aren’t on any sportsbook due to injuries, so I’ve picked the games that lines were available for. A few great games, but some real stinkers on the schedule this week. No one should watch Arizona vs. Carolina unless they have money on the game. Here are my betting picks against the spread for Week 15 of the 2010 NFL season.

San Francisco (+10) at San Diego Chargers (-10)My pick is San Diego Continue reading

Why Manti Te’o Signed With Notre Dame

Manti Te’o, who is considered to be the best defensive recruiting prospect, decided that he will attened the University of Notre Dame. This is a huge shock to many experts who had him going to either USC or UCLA. There are many reasons why Te’o should have signed with either of those Pac-10 schools, but I will explain one main reason why Manti Te’o signed on to wear a golden helmet during his college career.

There are so many reasons why a top defensive recruit wouldn’t choose Notre Dame, especially a guy like Manti Te’o. For starters, he is a devoted Mormon and Notre Dame is one of the large Catholic universities in the U.S. He is so devoted that he wants to go mission work when he turns 19, which could delay his arrival to Notre Dame. Also, Notre Dame hasn’t had a decent defense since Chris Zorich and Bobby Taylor were in college. And lastly, Notre Dame seemed to be inches away from firing Charlie Weis and he could be playing for a different coach by the time he is finished with his college career. Those are all huge reasons why Te’o shouldn’t have signed with the Irish, but yet he did.

Going into last season, the Irish expected to make some sort of bowl game by the end of the year. I’m not sure if they were thinking that they would end up playing Hawaii in the Hawaii Bowl, but it could have been a blessing. Manti Te’o is from Hawaii and I’m 100% sure that he watched the Hawaii Bowl very closely. The Irish looked very polished and made easy work of the Rainbow Warriors, it could be considered that it was their best overall team goal. If the Irish didn’t up in the Hawaii Bowl or any bowl game period, they wouldn’t have had a shot at Te’o.

USC should have snatched Te’o up very easily. They have a long lineage of Pacific-Rim descendants have very good careers as a Trojan. Troy Polamalu, Junior Seau, and most recently, Rey Maualuga, to name a few, played in huge games and made the USC program what it is today. One negative about playing at USC is that they are extremely stacked at every position. Te’o probably wouldn’t have had any trouble breaking into the starting line-up, but at Notre Dame he could start as a freshman.

Congratulations to Notre Dame for landing a top defensive recruit. This speaks a lot about the recruiting skills of Charlie Weis and proves that the Golden Dome can still attract top-flight athletes. If Te’o ends up on campus next season, it could catapult the Irish into a top-25 ranking at some point next season. They were a very young team last year and most of their starters will be back next year. Expect big things in South Bend in 2009, even if they do have two Golic boys.

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A Sports & Entertainment blog that focuses on absurdity in sports, snarky banter, updates on Tim Tebow’s virginity, and decent sports gambling advice.