Friday, January 4, 2008

Diego's Playoff Preview...

It seems like only yesterday that the Steelers were kicking off the 2007 season against the Browns. A lot of time has passed since then, a lot of football has been played, and a lot of injuries have occurred. All that is now the past, and its now time for the Steelers to put that behind them and look ahead to the future, namely the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The last couple weeks of the season the Steelers were motivated to win games in order to secure the #3 playoff seed, and to avoid a first round match with the Jags and a second round match against the rested Patriots. The Steelers couldn’t get the job done, thus they must face a Jags team that beat them at Heinz field a few weeks back, but you guys already knew that.

Going about my business this week it seems like the Burgh is a lot less fired up for this playoff game then they were for some of the one’s we’ve had in previous years. I know the reason for this is the ass whooping given to the Lers at the hands of the Jags a few weeks back, but come on people this is the playoff’s! I’ve been hearing ramblings all week on the radio, on tv, in the paper, on the blogs that the Steelers have shown us nothing in the last few weeks to make us believe that they can actually beat the Jaguars on Saturday night. I hear where the haters are coming from, and don’t get me wrong the Steelers definitely have a lot of issues to deal with, but come on if you are a true Steelers fan then you have to support the team and you have to believe they can win. In case your still have some trouble doing this then here’s a few reasons why the I believe the Steelers can pull off a victory in front of the home crowd tomorrow night….

First and foremost lets get this straight, we are playing a home game in the playoffs. This is the first playoff game at Heinz field since the Patriots defeated the Steelers in 2005 in the AFC Championship. This is significant for a many reasons, one of which being that the Steeler Nation will be going buck wild on Saturday because its been 3 long years since the team has played host to a playoff game. Not only that but they gave us the night game which gives us plenty of time to drink a whole bunch of iron and IC light. Regular season games are usually ri-god damn-diculous at Heinz, so you have to figure that during tomorrow’s game Heinz Field will be rockin and that the sea of gold terrible towels will be vast. (I can’t wait to hear me some Styxx Renegade I’m about to go to happy hour and put it on a non stop loop to get myself fired up) All this is well and good, but the most important fact is that no one has ever beat the Steelers twice in one season at Heinz Field.

Now I wanted to break down the quarterback showdown taking place in this Wildcard game. First off we’ve got David Garrard who played his way into his first starting job during this year’s camp. This year has by far been the best one he has had in the NFL leading the Jags to a 11-5 record and a playoff birth. Garrard’s stats are impressive, as he has passed for 2,500 yards, 18 TDs, and only 3 INTs on the season so far. Garrard is known for his good decision making ability and also for his aptitude at using his legs to escape trouble. However, Garrard has never started a playoff game, ever. He has zero playoff experience and this could hurt him in a hostile environment such as Pittsburgh, especially if the Lers can rattle him early on in the game.

On the other hand, Big Ben has plenty of experience when it comes to the playoffs, his record is 5-1, and of course we all know he is the youngest QB ever to win the Super Bowl. Ben has passed for 3,154 yards, 32 TD’s, and 11 INTs this year. This just goes to show you what a healthy Ben is capable of doing. I know that my opinion is biased, but who wouldn’t rather have a QB that’s been through the playoffs before, as opposed to one that hasn’t.

Another advantage that the Steelers have is their playoff record. Since 1995, the year the Jaguars entered the NFL as an expansion team, the Steelers have gone 13-5 in playoff games… The Jags are only 3-2. That means the Steelers have lost as many playoff games as the Jags have actually played from 1995-2007. Also, the Steelers have won all 4 Wildcard games that they have been in since that time, while the Jaguars are only 2-2 in Wildcard games. Let us hope history repeats itself tomorrow night.

Lastly, I’d like to talk about motivation. Motivation is a huge factor in football games. The Steelers should have plenty of motivational factors for this game. First off, the Steelers are one point underdogs in their own house. This is just straight up disrespect as the Steelers are the higher seed and have home field advantage, not to mention the 70 thousand drunken Steelers fans cheering them on. (and yes you better believe Diego will be there) If that doesn’t motivate them, then the fact that Coach Tomlin had the previous Jags-Steelers game on a continuous loop playing inside all the Steelers practice facilities on all tv screens, all week, should do the trick.

Alright that’s it for me folks if you aren’t convinced yet then go screw yourself… oh ya and don’t forget GO STEELERS!!!

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