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Breaking Down the 08 Steelers Schedule Game by Game

Now that the preseason is in the books, it’s time to start day dreaming as to how the Steelers 2008 season will play out.  Here is a look at the season, which is the toughest in the league by most standards, and how the Steelers will fare:

9/7 vs Houston – The Steelers usually start well, even better at home, so a win here would not be a shock.  Look for the passing attack to have a big game, and for the defense to force a few Texans mistakes and walk out with a rather easy win: Steelers 27 Houston 10  1-0

9/14 at Cleveland – A critical early game, the Steelers have owned the Browns over the past few years, winning nine in a row.  On the prime-time stage they send the brown and orange fans home sad again, as Big Ben and the running game combine for a big effort against the soft Browns D:  Steelers 31 Cleveland 17 2-0

9/21 at Philadelphia – On the road vs a team that plays about as physical as the Steelers, this is a tough spot and I think their first loss of the year.  Donovan McNabb is good at home, and Brian Westbrook is tough to stop.  The Eagles are a team looking to make a statement in the NFC, and they stop the Steelers here: Philadelphia 23 Steelers 17 2-1

9/29 vs Baltimore – The Monday night stage is going to be a lot of fun vs a Ravens team that is simply not very good. Joe Flacco will get a rude welcome to Pittsburgh and Monday night football, and the offense will run circles around the aging Ravens D.  A good rebound after the week three loss in Philly: Steelers 34 Baltimore 13 3-1



10/5 at Jacksonville
– The Jags are a team the Steelers simply don’t match up well with, as they have the black and golds number, and will again here on a Sunday night stage.  J’Ville’s defense will harrass Big Ben and stop Willie Parker cold, and the defense will have its usual problems with Fred Taylor and Marice Jones-Drew: Jacksonville 17 Steelers 9 3-2

10/12 BYE

10/19 at Cincinnati – The site of some big Steelers wins over the years, they feast on a Bengals team that also is in for a long season.  Carson Palmer and the offense will struggle vs the Steelers, and look for Fast Willie to have his usual big day vs the bad Bengals run D.  Steelers 28 Cincinnati 14 4-2

10/26 vs NY Giants – The Super Bowl Champs come to Heinz Field for a 4:15 game, and the Steelers are not nice house guests.  The Giants have a tough time running the ball vs the Steelers, and the high powered offense of the Steelers is able to exploit the Giants secondary.  Look for a big win that turns some heads.  Steelers 30 NY Giants 17 5-2

11/3 at Washington – The Skins have a first-year head coach in Jim Zorn, and they are looking to find themselves and change their offense to be more wide open.  The Steelers will use that transition for a big road win on prime time, as the offense is able to score at will vs the weak Skins D, and Pittsburgh’s D does in Jason Campbell and Clinton Portis to win in DC: Steelers 27 Washington 17 6-2

11/9 vs Indianapolis
– The two teams haven’t met since the famous playoff game in Indy in 2005, and now they meet in the Steel City.  Indy is getting older, and Peyton Manning has never won in Pittsburgh, giving the Steelers the edge here.  This won’t be easy by any means, but this win will have some people thinking the Steelers may end up in Tampa Bay in February: Pittsburgh 23 Indianapolis 20 7-2

11/16 vs San Diego – A west coast team coming to Heinz Field usually spells for a Steelers win, but the Chargers are a different breed. They have a great belnd of speed and power, and it will be tough for the Steelers to get up again for another big game.  The Chargers are my pick for the Super Bowl, and they leave Pittsburgh making others believe as well: San Diego 29 Steelers 23 7-3

11/20 vs Cincinnati – Coming off the tough loss to the Chargers, the team gets healthy in a hurry vs the bad Bengals on Thursday night.  Willie runs over the kitties, while Big Ben and company have a day vs the Bengals secondary.  Cincy will be lucky to win 5-6 games, and for sure here won’t be one of them:  Steelers 20 Cincinnati 7 8-3

11/30 at New England – With 10 days to get ready, the Steelers are still no match for their rivals in New England.  Tom Brady hates the Steelers, and beats them up and down the field every time he has played them minus the Halloween game in 2004.  New England will throw, throw, throw, and it will be enough to send the Steelers to a road loss: New England 31 Steelers 14 8-4

12/7 vs Dallas
– The Steelers follow up the team that could represent the AFC in the Bowl to the team that could represent the NFC in the Cowboys.  Yes the game is in Pittsburgh, but the Steelers don’t match up well with the high powered Cowboys, and Tony Romo and the boys from Big D get out with a hard fought win over the Steelers to send them to 8-5:  Dallas 20 Steelers 17 8-5

12/14 at Baltimore
– Coming off back to back losses for the first time this year, the Steelers get on track playing the bad Ravens in a place they usually don’t play well.  Knowing that they need to keep winning to clinch the division, the defense steps up and holds Flacco and the Ravens in check, while Ben and the offense does enough to get a win and break the streak: Steelers 24 Baltimore 19 9-5

12/21 at Tennessee – This could be a make or break game, and the Titans are tough at home.  They run the ball well, play better on defense, and force a lot of mistakes.  The Steelers know they need this one, but you have to respect the Titans and how they have played at LP Field over the years.  Titans escape with a big win.  Tennessee 17 Steelers 16 9-6

12/28 vs Cleveland – I don’t know if it will be for the division title, but no matter what, the Steelers make sure they get it done and don’t allow the Browns to sniff the division title with a win in Pittsburgh.  The offense has its usual big day vs the Browns, and the defense holds the passing game of Cleveland in check and they do enough to get out with a win and another AFC North Title.  Pittsburgh 31 Cleveland 20 10-6

Matt Loede has been in the sports media for over 16 years, with experience covering the MLB, NBA, and NFL. On Sunday’s during football season, you can hear Matt on national networks like Fox Sports Radio, Associated Press, and others. Born and raised in Cleveland Ohio, Matt studies and talks football inside and out, and is anxious to share his thoughts and comments with readers on a daily basis.

5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Tim

    August 30, 2008 at 2:59 pm

    Your prediction of 10-6 sounds about right to me. There is no room for error this year in the Steelers schedule. Having said that, if Pittsburgh gets a few breaks here and there the Steelers might finish 11-5.

    10 wins should be enough to win the division this year. I don’t see the Steelers goin far in the playoffs. New England and Indianapolis are just too strong.

  2. mark

    August 30, 2008 at 3:11 pm

    This was a great breakdown of the season. I certainly think that there are some games we will win and some we will lose that didnt show up this way in the breaksown. I see the Steelers at 10-6 myself. I hate the thought of losing to Jacksonville and New England… again!! I believe the predictions on those games are very accurate though. I believe the Cowboy game may go our way though. Lets see Romo and the C’boys score well with the constant pressure they will see from the Steelers in Pittsburgh. I also think the Charger game is another that the Steelers can win at home because I think the Steelers match up well with San Diego. I believe if the Steelers can win on the road this year, it could be a HUGE season. Last year they were poor away and made up for it at home. They will need to be better on the road in order to make a statement.

  3. Chad

    August 31, 2008 at 8:17 am

    Matt,

    I loved all of the analysis. I hate Tom Brady more than anyone else in the NFL! I would love to see us beat the Pats in their house!

    I pretty much agree with all the other analysis, except for the Titans win. I liked what Mark had to say about the Cowgirls and the Bolts too….

    With a little luck and some units “gelling” we might suprise a few people. That said 10-6 should be enough to get to the playoffs! Go Stillers!!!

  4. Smyth

    August 31, 2008 at 10:13 am

    I like this analysis, i agree with pretty much every result on here. Having said that i don’t see the Steelers losing to Tennessee this season, i just don’t see Vince Young carrying them through any big games and the Steelers should be stronger against the run than they were at times last season.

    I have to admit i’m not looking forward to the New England game, hopefully Tom Brady will take a hit and they’ll have to stick Cassel in

  5. Lance

    September 1, 2008 at 12:01 am

    Check out my Steelers Podcast 5 Ain’t Enough at http://www.whatchatalkinbout.com

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