NFL season is upon us. After last season, it’ll be interesting to see what will happen this year. The Falcons and Dolphins turned their woeful 2007-08 season around and made the playoffs. The Cardinals, despite coming from the NFC West, showed the world why you can’t sleep on weaker divisions as they made their way to the Super Bowl. The Lions gave us a defeated season, and of course, the Raiders were…the Raiders. Jeezy Creezy, they’re terrible.
Finally, the Steel Curtain rose again as the Pittsburgh Steelers won Super Bowl XLIII. Last year’s victory made the Steelers the only team with six Super Bowl titles. It also made Head Coach Mike Tomlin the second African-American head coach, as well as the youngest head coach, to win a Super Bowl. What a season, huh?
So what does the 2009 season has in store? Who knows? I do know is this; if last season was any indicator, this season may throw more curves at football fans than Sandy Koufax and Bert Blyleven combined. With that said, strap on your seatbelts and please keep your hands inside the vehicle because this season is going to be one hell of a ride. So without further ado, let’s get into tonight’s match-up.
Thursday, 9/10/09, 8:30pm, NBC
Tennessee Titans vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA
My Pick: Steelers
Many thought these two teams would end up in the AFC Championship game last season. As we already know, things didn’t go down like that, as the Titans were bumped in the second round by the Baltimore Ravens in a closely contested game. This year, the Titans hope to correct the wrongs from 2008. What better way to make a statement than against the defending champs?
The Titans took a big hit this year on defense with the departure of Albert Haynesworth after he signed with the Washington Redskins this past of season. So now, it’s up to Keith Bulluck and the rest of the Titans defense to continue that hard hitting defense that got them to the playoffs last season.
On the offensive side of the ball, Kerry Collins proved last year to be the leader of the offense. However, time is slowly catching up to Mr. Collins and with a healthy and young, Vince Young lurking in the shadows; I can’t see him performing as well this year as he did last year. The one thing that will help the Titans’ offense will be their running game with the tandem of Chris Johnson and LenDale White. A good running game can always help an aging quarterback, and if they run the ball, it will take a lot of pressure off of Collins and the passing attack.
The Titans defense was strong with the seventh ranked defense overall last season. Not bad, but not great, considering that their opponents for tonight’s match-up, the Steelers, had the number one defense in the NFL last season. That just goes to prove that offense brings in the fans and defense win championships. So who’s gonna set the tone for the 2009 season with the first game of the new year?
I have to go with the defending champs in this game. The Steelers have the same team they had last year when they won the Super Bowl on both sides of the ball. Offensively, the only concern is the running game for the Steelers, which took a hit with injuries last season and as I mentioned before, a healthy running game helps the passing game greatly. As long the Steelers’ running backs stay healthy, look for “Big” Ben Roethlisberger to sling the ball all over the field to wide receivers Hines Ward and Super Bowl XLIII MVP, Santonio Holmes.
So who’s going all the way this year? Well for the first time in the history of Out of Bounds, I’ll be giving not only my picks for the Sunday games, but I will give my predictions for the season. This is so exciting!!!! So check back this weekend for my picks for the rest of this weekend’s games and who I’m picking to win Super Bowl XLIV.
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