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2010 Pittsburgh Steelers Odds | Preview | Picks

2010 Pittsburgh Steelers Team Preview/Predictions

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2009 Record: 9-7
ATS: 5-10-1

When the Pittsburgh Steelers look back on 2009, they will likely see injuries as the cause of their eventual demise. A deeper look would tell them that they finished the year at 9-7 and out of the playoffs because of missed opportunities.

Starting in the middle of November and not ending until the final three weeks of the season, the Steelers lost five straight, all by less than a touchdown and two of which came in overtime – that’s what really kept the Steelers out of the postseason for the first time since 2006.

Like safety Bob Sanders in Indianapolis, starting safety Troy Polamalu is the key to the Steelers’ defense. Last year the Steelers were 4-1 with him in the lineup and 5-6 without him, as Polamalu battled knee issues all season.

Western Pennsylvania is breathing a sigh of relief in camp this year as all signs point to a healthy return for both number 43 and unsung defensive lineman Aaron Smith, who missed the much of 2009 with a torn rotator cuff.

The major knock on the Steelers, however, is starting to become one of age. Linebackers James Harrison and James Farrior are 32 and 35 respectively. Both wide receiver Hines Ward and newly signed left tackle Flozell Adams are 34, and then one must also account for what happened this past offseason.

Few teams tend to define their coming season before any of their players strap on the pads, but that is exactly what the Steelers did for 2010 when they chose not to trade two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback Ben Roethlisberger after yet another one of his now patented lapses in judgment.

This one will cost Big Ben six games to start the 2010 season, with the outside chance of getting two games back for good behavior. Still, even if it is only four games, that’s just about the amount of consecutive losses that doomed the Steelers in 2009.

There’s still one other hit the team took in the offseason, also of the Steelers’ own doing.

The Steelers traded wide receiver and former Super Bowl MVP Santonio Holmes to the New York Jets. This, too, mostly stemmed from the team having to deal with a player’s behavioral issues, but Holmes was just coming into his own and preparing to take the torch from Hines Ward.

That chore now falls onto the narrow shoulders of Mike Wallace. On the plus side, the Steelers have tried to mitigate the loss of Holmes by signing receiver Arnaz Battle (San Francisco) and bringing back Antwaan Randle-El, who arguably never should have left a Steeler offense which always knew how to maximize his myriad skills.

It should also be noted that the Steelers parted ways with running back Willie Parker in the offseason and will now rely on third year man Rashard Mendenhall to carry the load basically by himself, although Mewelde Moore might quibble with that.

The trick for the Steelers this year will be simple. Whether they start quarterback Dennis Dixon or Byron Leftwich (back after a year with Detroit), the Steelers need to find a way to get through their games without Roethlisberger at .500 or better. At that point the team will need Ben to repay the faith the organization showed in him and step up.

The Steelers will then need to stay healthy on defense, get improved play from an offensive line somewhat in transition, and do what the Pittsburgh Steelers do best: run the football and play defense.

Steelers 2010 Outlook

If they can do that, they should contend for their rightful spot atop the division; unfortunately that’s a lot of ‘ifs,’ so don’t be surprised to see this team struggle to another 9-7 or .500 finish, one that likely leaves them on the outside of the playoffs looking in.

Steelers 2010 Futures

Super Bowl Odds: +2500
Conference Odds: +1200
AFC North Odds: +250

2010 Steelers Predictions

Place they’ll finish in AFC North: 3rd
Place they’ll finish in AFC Conference: 8th
Over/Under Season Wins Prediction: UNDER 8.5 Wins

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About Dave Golokhov AKA Vegas Dave

Dave Golokhov has written for Playboy.com, BETUS Sportsbook, Sportsfanmagazine.com, FOX, Askmen.com, Sports-central, and the FOXSports.com Funhouse.


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