2009 NFL Betting Picks Preview – Pittsburgh Steelers
In 2008, the Pittsburgh Steelers had a pretty decent year. They managed to win the Super Bowl against the Arizona Cardinals and put another Lombardi Trophy in the trophy case. How do you improve upon a world championship team? Did the Pittsburgh Steelers do enough in the offseason to merit another trip back to the Promised Land? If you’re searching for free NFL preseason picks don’t expect the Steelers to repeat as champions. They’ll probably be a playoff team again, but there’s a rule in life that says, you’re either getting better or getting worse. You don’t just sit still and hope that no one else gets better. That’s pretty much what the Steelers did this off-season. They just sat on their hands and hoped that no one else caught up. Let’s take a look at what the Steelers did and what they have to look forward to.
The Good News: The good news is that they still have the best defense in football. Last year, they provided some proof to the old saying that “Defense wins championships”. They had the #1 overall defense including a #1 ranking in points allowed and against the pass. In addition to that, they were the 2nd best team against the run. The only players they lost were LB Larry Foote and CB Bryant McFadden on defense. They shouldn’t make that much of a difference as all of the defensive stars are back on board for another run. They even added a talented defensive tackle in Ziggy Hood in the draft. He could do nothing but help this defense moving forward.
The Bad News: The bad news is that they still have the same offense. Despite the $ 100 million contract, Ben Roethlisberger isn’t really that great of an individual quarterback. He does have a knack for pulling off some ridiculous plays when the Steelers have to have one. As it turns out, the way the offense puts points on the board, they pretty much always have to have a heroic play just to win the game. Last year, their running game wasn’t that great either. Both Willie Parker and Rashard Mendenhall were injured most of the year. The Steelers are hoping that they can stay healthy for the entire season. The Steelers did absolutely nothing to improve the offense over the off-season. They basically said, “Well, let’s see if we can win another one with the defense last year.” Somehow, I don’t think they’re going to continue to get lucky like they did last year in the Super Bowl. They needed a few blown calls in the Super Bowl (including Holmes catch) in order to beat the Cardinals and I just don’t see it happening two years in a row. Big Ben isn’t suddenly going to wake up this year and learn how to be a prolific passer.
Outlook: The Steelers will once again have a dominate defense and grind out 11 or 12 wins. However, if you’re looking for the shocker of free NFL football picks I’m going to pick against the Steelers to make it back to the Super Bowl. They’ll probably make the playoffs, but don’t pick them to win it all.
Vernon Croy is the Owner/CEO of http://www.VernonCroy.com and he is one of the most reputable and respected professional sports handicappers in the world. Vernon Croy has won numerous handicapping awards and he is ranked as one of the top 10 handicappers in the world 100% documented by the Professional Handicappers League.