The Starting Five Week 14 NFL Picks: What the Hell Happened to Pittsburgh?

Did Pittsburgh really lose to the Browns? Seriously? I don’t understand. This team is waaaaay better than that. They will finish 9-7. They have to right? Crazy how the season is playing out, but I really felt this might be the year it was all PA in the Super Bowl. I didn’t watch the game last night so I really can’t comment, but honestly, this is a shocker.

Now to the picks…

Cleveland 13, Pittsburgh 6 Huh?
Roethlisberger 201 Cribbs 87 Holmes 93
New Orleans at Atlanta 1:00 PM FOX NO 27-17 Georgia Dome
Green Bay at Chicago 1:00 PM FOX CHI 23-20 Soldier Field
NY Jets at Tampa Bay 1:00 PM CBS TB 17-14 Raymond James Stadium
Miami at Jacksonville 1:00 PM CBS JAX 34-33 Jacksonville Stadium
Detroit at Baltimore 1:00 PM FOX BAL 27-25 M&T Bank Stadium
Seattle at Houston 1:00 PM FOX SEA 22-17 Reliant Stadium
Denver at Indianapolis 1:00 PM CBS INDY 30-20 Lucas Oil Stadium
Buffalo at Kansas City 1:00 PM CBS BUF 14-10 Arrowhead Stadium
Cincinnati at Minnesota 1:00 PM CBS MINN 37-28 Metrodome
Carolina at New England 1:00 PM FOX NE 30-6 Gillette Stadium
Washington at Oakland 4:05 PM FOX OAK 16-10 Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum
St. Louis at Tennessee 4:05 PM FOX TENN 33-17 LP Field
San Diego at Dallas 4:15 PM CBS SD 40-27 Cowboys Stadium
Philadelphia at NY Giants 8:20 PM NBC PHI 20-19 Giants Stadium
Arizona at San Francisco 8:30 PM ESPN SF 24-21 Candlestick Park

15 Responses to “The Starting Five Week 14 NFL Picks: What the Hell Happened to Pittsburgh?”

  1. Patrick says:

    The Steelers are a team in transition right now, but also have to deal with issues that have been swept under the proverbial rug. Now I must admit virtually all the Steelers’ losses have been close and just like the New York Giants, the defense has let their team down at times.

    Troy Palomanu is a difference maker and his absence for most of this season is very evident. He’s hurt and the Steelers’ aren’t as dynamic or resilient without Troy. The team may be able to get by without him for a game or two, but his absence on the defense may be affecting the collective spirit of the team and even Tomlin’s earlier comments about ‘unleashing hell’ sort of rang hollow because their defensive team leader can’t get on the field.

    The Steelers’ defense hasn’t been awful, but they have given up big plays at crucial times late and now more and more of the critics are howling.

    Mike Tomlin, who has a Super Bowl under his belt, is seen as someone who is very confident in his team. However, some many perceive his comments as arrogant and when the team struggles it provides an opening for a hyper-critical response from parts of the media who have sent isolated messages that maybe Tomlin should be fired.

    Is there tension between Big Ben and Hines Ward? It shouldn’t be, but I remember Big Ben being critical awhile back about not having a WR like Plaxico to throw to.

    Recently, Big Ben received criticism from Ward about his toughness and that half the locker room–in Ward’s estimation– thought Ben should have played.

    On a side note, Ryan Clark had a serious health issue that caused him to lose his spleen during a game in Denver in a previous season. However, Clark appeared to be receiving public pressure about playing in Denver this year. Ultimately, he sat out.

    …..”Last year, Clark said the Steelers’ medical staff initially questioned not long after that game in Denver why he wasn’t playing. It wasn’t until he received a second opinion from a different physician that his condition was properly diagnosed and treated….”

    What about the transition from Willie Parker, who was instrumental in the first Steelers’ Superbowl win this past decade to second-year RB Ra-shard Mendenhall.

    Mendenhall is on pace to break the 1,000 yard mark, but it seems the Steelers’ running game isn’t as powerful or consistently explosive as in recent years. Big Ben threw the ball a lot against Cleveland in a low-scoring game…32 times and only ran it 19 times…

    Parker has been virtually non-existent in his diminished role and the need for a more consistent, change-of-pace is what Pittsburgh had been known for.

    I assume Parker is being gently pushed out the door in Pittsburgh and an older Hines Ward is also a candidate as well.

    Big Ben has his own personal legal problems, but he also has a history of concussions that may threaten his short-term and long-term future as a NFL player.

    The power running aspect has always been there, but the ability to have those ‘explosive’, impact plays from your RBs and at times, it seems that they are missing BOTH and Big Ben is trying to compensate by throwing more…

    The Steelers aren’t out of the playoff hunt, but its a team going through public and private transition right now and Mike Tomlin should be able to survive this bump in the road even if this year’s bad luck turn into no playoff berth.

  2. Patrick says:

    I am usually don’t give shout-outs to Carson Palmer, because I felt he has been one of the more over-rated, injury-prone QBs in the league and even though Michael Vick has been out of football for nearly three years, Vick has more playoff wins and Pro Bowls than Carson…

    The media has somewhat got off the Carson Palmer bandwagon and frolicked over to the Matt Ryan/Joe Flacco/Mark Sanchez/Favre/Brees bandwagon for this season.

    However, I have to give credit to Palmer and the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals have been virtually ‘under the radar’ all year long. Besides a few stories about Ocho-Cinco’s antics, nobody has talked about the Bengals. This weekend Cincy face Minny in a potential Super Bowl match-up, but many aren’t seeing it that way.

    Adrian Peterson may be the other headliner, but a healthy and hungry Larry Johnson and Cedric Benson are a very potent, one-two punch and will test the Vikings’ defense early and often…

    A win by Marvin Lewis’ team over Brett Favre’s Vikings’ team may re-open the discussion about Carson Palmer’s relevance as a top-tier QB and the Bengals chances as a SuperBowl contender…

    Cincy could be last year’s Arizona Cardinals..

  3. Patrick says:

    I hope Vince Young is able to overcome his leg injury and play this Sunday against St. Louis. Tennessee should win this game with or without VY… If the Titans can win out at 9-7, things can get very interesting for the last playoff berth.

    I am a David Garrard fan, but Jacksonville has some tough challenges down the stretch and with the Steelers struggling and the Patriots showing internal chinks in their armor, it may get interesting.

  4. mizzo says:

    You always bring the fire Patrick. Thanks for the links. I thought the character this top tier organization oozes would be able to overcome TP’s loss. Sad to see football soldiers of this magnitude in disarray. Tomlin expects 100 excellence, but maybe he needed this season to learn of himself

  5. LDUTHECOACH says:

    I cant believe Cleveland beat the Steelers!!! I bet NO ONE picked that straight up!!

    check out theCoachs picks @

  6. Miranda says:

    Polamalu is obviously the soul of the Steelers, there is no life without him.

  7. Miranda says:

    DeSean Jackson has officially made the Giants his bitches.

  8. Miranda says:

    Are these mofos seriously trying to say Randy Moss is the reason the Patriots aren’t dominating?

  9. Patrick says:

    I tried to give Carson Palmer props, but my suspicions were confirmed that he is vastly over-rated and often gets a free pass by the media and escapes any constructive criticism.

    Look at Carson’s stat line vs. the Vikings 15-25 for 94 yards in a 30-10 beatdown…

    When I briefly scanned the local message boards, the following were the reasons the Bengals lost or who should be blamed…

    1. Marvin Lewis
    2. Get a new offensive coordinator
    3. Our defense didn’t come to play
    4. Chad Johnson

    Carson gets a pass for his poor play, as always or his foibles is not mentioned by the mainstream press and just overlooked.

    Maybe Carson can’t read defenses as well as people thought, maybe his football I.Q. isn’t up to par or maybe is mental toughness is lacking.

  10. Patrick says:

    San Diego may be only team who can beat Indy in the AFC. I think Dallas will manage to win one game and squeak into the playoffs as the last wild card, but another Cowboys’ first-round exit and Wade Phillips firing is pending.

    Jerry Jones may seriously re-think what to do, and may re-consider trying to go after Vick this off-season to ‘shake things up’…

  11. Mizzo says:

    The Pats gotta blame somebody right Miranda?

    LOL @ The DeSean Jackson comment. I concur my lady.

  12. Patrick says:

    Boston media (ESPN) need a hate/blame object and it will be Moss. However, Moss feels dissed by Patriots’ management and the coaching staff and he may empathize with Adelius Thomas’ comments about being sent home.

    ESPN is now high-lighting the talkative Chris Gamble comments about Moss and running with it.

    “We knew he was going to shut it down,’’ Carolina cornerback Chris Gamble said after the game. “That’s what we wanted him to do . . . he’d just give up a lot – slow down, he’s not going deep, not trying to run a route. You can tell [by his] body language.

    “I know everyone who plays against him, they can sense that. Once you get into him in the beginning of the game, he shuts it down a little bit.’’

  13. Mizzo says:

    Here we go. It’s always something.

  14. Temple3 says:

    Our team just sucks — that’s all. Maybe next year. Grand Nubian says he thinks the OC’s getting the hook.

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