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2011 Pittsburgh Steelers Team Preview/Prediction

2011 Pittsburgh Steelers Team Preview | NFL Predictions

It was ironic that the team with the most Super Bowl titles played like a team that had never been to the Super Bowl when the Pittsburgh Steelers faced the Green Bay Packers in last year’s biggest game.

2011 Pittsburgh Steelers Team Preview/Predictions
2010 Record: 12-4
ATS Record: 10-6

Pittsburgh was a veteran group that came to Texas with plenty of hardware, but the Steelers looked shell-shocked early in the first half when they fell behind the eight-ball early.

The game plan for Pittsburgh was to take advantage of its Super Bowl experience, but the team in many ways played like first-timers in Super Bowl XLV. With a minus-three turnover margin, Pittsburgh fell to 6-2 in Super Bowls. For Hines Ward, Ben Roethlisberger, Troy Polamalu and James Farrior, this was their first Super Bowl loss in three attempts.

Pittsburgh had a magical 14-win season (counting two rounds of the AFC postseason), largely because it hadn’t been a sloppy team all season. When in Cowboys Stadium for the Super Bowl, the Steelers suddenly became turnover-happy and mistake-prone on the NFL’s biggest stage.

Pittsburgh’s three turnovers led directly to 21 Green Bay points, which led to a long flight home and an even longer offseason. The question now becomes: How will the Steelers respond in 2011?

There are two major problem areas facing this year’s version of the Steel Curtain. The first area that needs to be addressed in the preseason is the offensive line. While the line was never stellar in 2010, it did have to replace both of its offensive tackles.

Players such as Flozell Adams stepped in and did a remarkable job. Adams answered the call at right tackle and had one of his best seasons in a couple of years, while Jonathan Scott turned in an impressive season as well.

However, if Pittsburgh could get production from one more starter on the offensive line in 2011, the team could be that much better. This is especially true if Willie Colon can come back and be a factor in Steeltown. Colon spent the 2010 season on the injured reserve list and is one of the better right tackles in the NFL when he is right.

The other issue the Steelers face is depth in their secondary, a similar issue to division rival Baltimore. This should not have to be pointed out to anyone watched the Super Bowl. Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers did whatever he wanted whenever he wanted against the back half of the Steelers’ defense. [soliloquy id=”82219″]

Getting Polamalu fully healthy will make all the difference to Pittsburgh, but the Steelers’ real problem lies in the third and fourth corners. Bryant McFadden was often picked on, but partly because Ike Taylor was playing at such a high level; opposing teams never ever threw the pigskin in Taylor’s direction, shifting most of the action to McFadden’s side of the gridiron. Pittsburgh addressed this issue when the organization used its third and fourth round picks on cornerbacks.

Both Curtis Brown and Cortez Allen will help the Steelers with their nickel and dime packages.

With the all the talent Pittsburgh has in place, especially with all the depth it has at key positions, the Steelers are going to hard to unseat in the AFC.

If they can avoid the injury bug – which they did an admirable job of overcoming last season – the Steelers should be the favorite to win the AFC.

2011 Steelers Futures

Super Bowl Odds: +1415
Conference Odds: +625
AFC North Odds: -105
2011-2012 NFL Regular Season Wins: Over 10.5

2011 Steelers Predictions:

Place they’ll finish in AFC North: 1st
Place they’ll finish in AFC Conference: 1st

Over/Under Wins Prediction: OVER

With NFL football just a short time away, Cappers Picks Football handicappers have been hard at work putting out the team by team NFL previews for those of us who can’t wait.

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