You can tell when autumn is around the corner. The morning air feels slightly cooler, morning dew rests on grass petals and Steelers fans start to become hyperactive for those hypocycloid-wearing warriors garbed in black and gold.
This summer was great for dehydrating the soul of football fans, but a concentrated offseason has served like an IV drop, reinvigorating the souls of all gridiron faithful. Like most concerned sports writers, I was compelled to keep spirits alive with my predictions for every game on the Steelers' schedule. The article received plenty of traffic and many fine folks dropped their opinions.
The task was banal at best, however. With those selections coming prior to the end of the lockout, they (admittedly—then and now) didn't account for the inevitable wide-scale changes and decisions that would come with "NFL 2011 Free-Agency Bonanza."
Teams pulled triggers faster than cowboys in the wildest westward locales, and every team's roster of opponents took on a different view.
As an example, fans anticipated a showdown with Matt Hasselbeck, but many could not have known that it would come in unison with the assignment against explosive runner Chris Johnson.
While there are intangibles that are nearly impossible to predict, such as injuries, severe weather and circumstances (I want to shake the hand of the man who posted about the Metrodome roof collapse last August), we now know enough to be able to safely say...
"HERE ARE THE OFFICIAL NON-PREMATURE PREDICTIONS FOR EACH PITTSBURGH STEELERS GAME OF THE 2011 REGULAR SEASON!"
Considered for this prognostication will be the matchups against each opponent as well as Steelers tendencies. For example, every fan knows Jacksonville isn't going away quietly, and for all of the squad's potential, there's a throwaway game somewhere! And, let us not forget the almighty gut feeling!