View Full Version : Why the Steelers aren't among the league's elite

11-07-2007, 09:24 AM
By Vic Carucci | NFL.com

Monday night takes
The Steelers' humiliation of Baltimore has generated discussion about whether they should be viewed as the third-best team in the NFL behind New England and Indianapolis. For now, I vote no. At this point, Dallas, Green Bay, and the New York Giants seem to represent the next level of NFL teams better than anyone in the AFC. They generally are more consistent at playing at the lofty level necessary to even be mentioned in the same sentence as the Patriots and Colts. For that matter, I don't even know how rock-solid the Steelers are as the No. 3 team in their own conference. Another 6-2 club, Tennessee, makes a fairly compelling argument for that designation as well.

Chris McGrath / Getty Images
Santonio Holmes burned the Ravens' backup cornerbacks for two touchdowns in Monday night's rout.

Steelers check in at No. 6 in Vic Carucci's rankings

I was as impressed as anyone with the way Ben Roethlisberger moved and threw his way to a franchise-record five touchdowns. But that's what a good quarterback with above-average receivers should do against a team missing both starting cornerbacks. I was as impressed as anyone with the very convincing Jack Lambert imitation that James Harrison gave in the first half. But that's part of what the league's top-ranked defense should do against an offense, and especially a quarterback, that can't out of its own way. What troubled me was seeing the Steelers' No. 2-ranked rushing attack struggle to move the ball on the ground, even if it didn't have to.

I'm also still bothered by Pittsburgh's losses at Arizona (3-5) and Denver (3-5). A truly elite team should dominate weaker opponents. I know the Steelers did that against the Ravens and have done that against other opponents this season. But they need to show greater consistency in order to make the case that they are a legitimate threat to keep either the Patriots or Colts from reaching the Super Bowl.

Speaking of Harrison, did he put on an incredible show or what? The Steelers got their money's worth with what he did in the first half alone at outside linebacker, the spot he filled after Joey Porter was sent packing for Miami. Harrison had two-and-a-half sacks, an interception, a fumble recovery, a forced fumble, five hurries, a pass defense, and several tackles. But Harrison also made some big plays on special teams, blasting Ed Reed on a punt return to force another fumble. He also picked up another sack in the second half, along with several more tackles. Harrison's blitzing helped put some teeth into the Steeler pass rush, which didn't do a whole lot in Pittsburgh's previous two games against Cincinnati and Denver.

Signed as an undrafted free agent from Kent State (Lambert's alma mater) in 2004, Harrison is another in a long line of players who remind us the process of evaluating college talent is, at best, an inexact science.

I know the Ravens are still banged up, but they can't use that as an excuse for their dreadful showing. Their Week 8 bye was supposed to leave them at least somewhat refreshed and ready to give a solid showing against a team that they beat twice last year by a combined score of 58-7. They supposedly had their best option, Steve McNair, at quarterback. But McNair looked lost and old and helpless, as did his offensive line. Beyond Willis McGahee's long touchdown run, Baltimore's ground game did very little as well. All night the Ravens were mostly outhit and outhustled, looking like a team apparently in need of, well, more rest

11-07-2007, 09:48 AM
I think the only think that keeps the elite teams elite, is that they have not had the bad, or off , week. And it happens to every team. Ours was in Denver and Arizona, and well behind us now. I believe Indy and NE day in the barrel is coming. We will see who is elite and who is not in this half of the season.

11-07-2007, 11:39 AM
It's hard to put a 7-1 or 6-2 NFC team ahead of any 6-2 AFC team becasue there is really no comparison between the AFC and NFC. It doesn't matter though, the disrespect card is way better than the respect card! ;)

11-07-2007, 11:56 AM
Let them keep doubting us, they can talk up the Pats and Colts and whoever else all they want but we know we've got a kick *** roster with the potential to be something really special in January.

11-07-2007, 12:04 PM
The teelers play their BEST ball in Janurary:)

11-07-2007, 12:46 PM
The teelers play their BEST ball in Janurary:)

:lol: , teelerlyn, and your right!:bigthumb:

11-07-2007, 01:20 PM
I could care less. We are and always have been our best when the spotlight isn't on us and we sneak up there. We had 2 crappy losses....it's time to move on and prove all the doubters wrong!

11-07-2007, 04:05 PM
me too it don't matter too me if we aren't a elite team its just more power to us

11-07-2007, 04:33 PM
Those Power Rankings dont mean anything in my mind by these arm chair quarterback book nerds on NFL.com and on the NFL Channel and ESPN. Let them rank those teams in the NFC like Dallas,Giants,Green Bay,and even Detroit ahead of the Steelers right now its perfectly fine. If the Steelers played anyone of those teams on a neutral field tomorrow I think they would beat everyone of them. Steelers are just as balanced on both sides of the ball as all of those teams and are just as good if not better. Sure the Steelers lost to Arizona and Denver when they probably shouldnt have I agree. But that doesnt mean they arent an elite team. They played both of those teams under unique circumstances in my mind. Arizona played over there heads against us because of Whiz being the coach and the whole staff pretty much knew what the Steelers were going to do, and the Denver game was a game in which the Broncos were coming off a bye week and had like a record under Shannahan of like 8-0 after the bye week in the past, and had just got embarrassed two weeks ago in Denver by the Chargers 41-3 and had a chip on there shoulder and just like Arizona when they played us played over there heads. Look at where those teams are now after beating the Steelers?? Nowhere both are 3-5 right now, and if the Steelers played either one of them again this year they would whoop there ***. So let them write that the Steelers arent in the elite group with the Pats and Colts yet thats fine.

Will find out when it really matters come playoff time when both the Pats and the Colts are going to have to beat and deal with this Steelers team on the field head to head. Getting past the Steelers for both of these teams I dont care if its in Indy or New England isnt going to be easy for them. The Pats might have to beat the Steelers twice this year on Dec 9th and then again come playoff time and you can rest assure that will not be easy at all for the Pats no matter how good or invinsible all these elite media idiots think they are. Steelers can play with both of these teams and as the weeks go on here and the Steelers keep winning more games and are right behind both of them in the standings for a top 2 seed the media will then start to see more and more that the Steelers are legit and can indeed compete with and even beat the Colts or the Patriots.

11-07-2007, 06:10 PM
When we hoist number six in February, we'll be the most elite. :tt02::tt02: