1) James Harrison gets suspended for a late hit
Being the focus of "dirty hits," James Harrison has never changed his stance or the way he plays the game since commissioner Roger Goodell starting enforcing punishments for late hits. During the 2010 season, the 2008 Defensive Player of the Year was docked $100,000 for illegal hits, drawing several penalties and fines for hits that were deemed to be illegal by referees and the NFL.
This past June, Harrison was quoted as saying, "I slammed Vince Young on his head and paid five grand, but just touched Drew Brees and that was 20. You think black players don't see this s--- and lose all respect for Goodell?"
It's no secret Harrison has lost respect for the commissioner. I'm sure he wasn't the first, and if Goodell keeps this up, he certainly won't be the last.
2) Rashard Mendenhall doesn't rush for over 1,000 yards
The Pittsburgh Steelers were on the verge of capturing their seventh Lombardi Trophy in franchise history, and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was on his way to winning his third Super Bowl championship, but then running back Rashard Mendenhall took the handoff, got hit, the ball popped out and the Steelers found themselves on the losing end of Super Bowl XLV.
Mendenhall's costly turnover was the biggest mistake of the game, and it'll be interesting to see if he can overcome his crucial turnover in 2011. After becoming the full-time starter in 2009, Mendenhall has rushed for over 1,000 yards in both seasons. Looking to improve in 2011, Mendenhall will not be able to overcome last year's February loss, and his lack of production will be on display starting in September.
3) Pittsburgh Steelers will experience the "Super Bowl Hangover"
Atlanta Falcons (Super Bowl XXXIII): 1998 season: 14-2; 1999 season: 5-11
New York Giants (Super Bowl XXXV): 2000 season: 12-4; 2001 season: 7-9
St. Louis Rams (Super Bowl XXXVI): 2001 season: 14-2; 2002 season: 7-9
Oakland Raiders (Super Bowl XXXVII): 2002 season: 11-5; 2003 season: 4-12
Carolina Panthers (Super Bowl XXXVIII): 2003 season: 11-5; 2004 season: 7-9
Philadelphia Eagles (Super Bowl XXXIX): 2004 season: 13-3; 2005 season: 6-10
Chicago Bears (Super Bowl XLI): 2006 season: 13-3; 2007 season: 7-9
The Steelers will be next...