The Steelers running game is struggling – Steeler RB Parker tweaked his hamstring and did not play in the last half of game 1. He carried 14 times for 47 yards in game 2. His injury is contributing to the problem but is far from the cause. The fact is that the Steeler O line is the weak link in the team. LT Starks is the best of the group and he is barely above average. QB Roethlisberger has been sacked more often that the Whopper. The running game is struggling. It won’t change anytime soon. Look for the Steelers to pass more. If they fail to get to the Super Bowl, the O line will be the culprit.
Things are a little tight in Titanville Tennessee is now 0-2 after losses to both Pittsburgh and Houston. They are now going to play the Jets. Last year the Jets were the first team to beat the Titans. They are now 2 games behind Ind and have injuries to deal with. The problem is this—if they go 0-3 they will have to win 10 of the remaining 13 games to have any chance to make the playoffs in the AFC.
Other teams in trouble –
Dolphins – At 0-2 the Fish are 2 games behind the Jets and the Jets have already played NE and won. The D is solid but the O is struggling to score TDs rather than FGs. I predicted that they would be a better team with a worse record in 09.
Eagles – Philly without McNabb is a 6-10 team. The O doesn’t go without him. Kolb is not the answer and neither is Vick or Garcia. McNabb is going to be out for another 4 weeks. If the team is 2-4 it is going to be a tough road back to the playoffs.
Panthers – Other sites had Carolina winning the NFC South. I told you before game 1 that the Panthers were a flawed team that would not make the playoffs. Delhomme is a bad QB and you can not win with a bad QB.
The NFL Changes the blackout rules—sort of. Comm. Goodell announced that the NFL Channel would broadcast any games that were blacked out after midnight Sunday. That would be a really nice idea except that those that can’t afford a ticket to the game aren’t likely to be paying $85 a month for Direct TV or Dish Network.
Dallas game almost blacked out The game was nearly blacked out because Jerry Jones Inc. had not sold all non-premium seats prior to 72 hours game time. Dallas was requiring seat licenses for around 5K each for those seats. The only way JJ was able to get rid of them was to sell them for face value without the license fee to allow the game to be shown on TV locally. Now there are rumors that those that paid the license fee will sue JJ to get their money back.
WR Crabtree (Tex. Tk) is still unsigned. His representatives say he may sit out the entire year rather than sign for the offer from the 49ers. The fact is that he will fall in the draft next year because NFL GMs won’t want to deal with his inflated sense of self value.
The NBA may use replacement refs. No matter where they get the new guys they can’t be much worst than what we saw last year. Refs that think they are the show are a problem. Refs that become the show with bad calls or no calls depending on the relative star power of the players involved are a crisis.
Comm. Goodell can eliminate the rookie salary pool in a non-capped year. One of the things that the league is considering is the elimination of the rookie salary pool if a new agreement can’t be signed before the start of the 2010 season. That will cost the vet players some money but won’t stop the Cowboys and others from trying to buy a championship.
That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.
Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .