Tuesday, October 07, 2008

"Toughest schedule" revisited 

It's been said that the 2008 Steelers have the toughest NFL schedule "in recent memory." Or, as Madden claimed on Sunday Night Football, since the 1976 Giants.

Their '08 opponents had a remarkable 153-106 (.598) record last year. But the early going this year has shown that things might not be as bad as expected.

Through 5 weeks, the Steelers' opponents overall are under .500 at 34-38. Their remaining opponents are still over .500 at 27-24, but the Steelers are already off to a nice 4-1 start, are in a weak division, and have yet to play the 0-5 Bengals.

After the bye, things get interesting. Of the non-division opponents, three (Giants, Redskins, Cowboys) are "as advertised" or even better. Another three (Colts, Chargers, Patriots) will probably be more beatable than they were in 2007. And the Titans are a wild card. Yeah, they're 5-0. But I'm not yet buying that they'll be a juggernaut by Week 16.

Given the weak AFC North, the importance of the Steelers' regular season opponents is dimished a smidge. Assuming they win the games they're supposed to, and the rest of the division doesn't improve dramatically, it will actually be nice to be able to gauge the Steelers against these quality opponents.

And as far as the Ravens, Browns, and Bengals' chances of gaining significant ground on us: Remember, they play most of the same teams we do.

0 comments. Leave one!

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?