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Steelers and the Playoffs 2017

Steelers are rolling into the playoffs after Antonio Brown’s amazing effort to get into the endzone in the waning seconds of the the Ravens game on Christmas day. The win gives the Steelers the AFC North crown.

The Steelers will host the ho-hum Dolphins on Sunday in the Wildcard round. If the Steelers win the team will then travel to Arrowhead Stadium to face off against the #2 seed, the KC Chefs. dolphins-steelers-football-le-veon-bell_pg_600

So what do the Steelers need to do to get deep into the playoffs? Let’s take a look.

  • Tomlin needs to not coach like a scared loser, which is how he usually coaches especially in big games. Take a look at 2005 when Cowher finally won a SB. He went against his coaching tendencies of being conservative and gave Ben control of the offense, allowing an aggressive offense all the way through to the Super Bowl. Yes I’m aware of Tomlin’s record. I’m also aware that this team has one playoff victory in 5 seasons. I’m also aware that this team has won numerous games because of Ben and the offense bailing out the team in the 4th quarter (oh like just recently against the Ravens), partly thanks to Tomlin’s ineffective gameday coaching and conservative gameplanning.
  • Related to the above, Haley needs to call an aggressive gameplan, go big or go home. I’m concerned the Miami game will turn into another nail biter after the Steelers let off the gas after taking the lead early in the game. Something like 17-14, 24-20 final after leading 13-0 for example. “Splash plays” in the 4th, more Tomlin bullshit, etc. Keep the head scratchers to a minimum please. Allow Ben to run no-huddle a number of times in every game. Put the ball in the hands of your best player.
  • NO two point conversions. The biggest risk Tomlin takes and it’s just stupid most of the time.
  • Use Le’Veon Bell in the passing game. Use him a lot please. He’s an amazing player obviously and could be the decider when it all comes down to it.
  • The defense has played better down the stretch. Even so, the team shouldn’t be expecting the defense to carry the play in the postseason, if that happens then you know the Steelers are probably in trouble. As long as the defense can keep the other team to 20 or below then they’ve done their job (especially if the Steelers advance to AFCCG against the Pats).
  • How about practicing special teams. Every game there is a boner or two in the special teams department. In the playoffs that can be all the difference in a close one.

The two teams the Steelers will have to beat to get to the AFC Championship, the Dolphins and the Chefs, are both very flawed teams. There’s really no reason the Steelers can’t win both games. Losing to the Dolphins would be an outright failure, the team has nobody at QB even if Tannehill does end up playing, the only real threat is their running game with Jay Ajayi, plus the game is at home. Yes, Suh is a dirty player but what else is there to fear about this team? Who the hell is their head coach? So many questions, so little time. Losing this one would be up there with the Tim Tebow Broncos playoff loss.

Going into Arrowhead will be tough I suppose but again, the Chefs are a very flawed team. The fact that they finished 12-4 is a real mystery, same goes for their NFC counterpart the NY Giants who somehow finished 11-5, just further proof of the sad state of the NFL, lots of mediocre teams led by mediocre coaches. Interestingly enough, Steelers spanked both teams in the regular season. Contrary to popular belief, the Chefs actually have just the 24th ranked defense in the NFL this season. They do have some impact players on that side of the ball but not very impressive overall for the talent they have. Not surprisingly, their offense is ranked just 20th overall in total yards. With an Alex Smith past his prime that’s about as good as it’s going to get. The cherry on top is Andy Reid, the regular season warrior coach who scares absolutely no one in the postseason. Does anyone think this team is a Super Bowl caliber team? I’m surprised to see all the love they get in the media recently. And no, their playoff game against the Patriots last season was not close, the Chefs scored a TD in the last minutes of the game to make it seem closer than it was. The outcome was never in doubt.

That leads us to the AFC Championship Game, which in all very likelihood will be against the evil empire, the New England Patriots. Look, if the Steelers make it this far it’ll be a successful season as far as I’m concerned. The defense has some super young players in the lineup and some definite holes. The special teams are still “special” and the coaching staff is questionable at best. Belichick is in another universe compared to Tomlin, that much is clear. So if the Steelers make it this far, hey awesome season. Obviously beating the Patriots would be incredible, and I think it’s definitely possible but not likely, but let’s cross that bridge when/if we come to it. Let’s have some fun on Sunday.

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