September 4, 2019
The National Football League’s opening day is upon us. Two days away from the 2019 opener between the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears and then Sunday night it’s my Pittsburgh Steelers playing in Massachusetts against the defending Super Bowl champion Patriots.
As the openers come closer, there are the final power rankings that are out there that will change over and over again during the course of the season. But heading into week one, at least on the web site The Score, their rankings are in a word at least for Steelers Nation…wonky.
Check out theScore.com’s rankings and see where they Pittsburgh Steelers lie…
NFL Power Rankings - Week 1: Colts plummet after Luck's retirement
theScore Staff, theScore.com
1. New England Patriots
2. Kansas City Chiefs
3. New Orleans Saints
4. Los Angeles Rams
5. Philadelphia Eagles
6. Chicago Bears
7. Los Angeles Chargers
8. Dallas Cowboys
9. Atlanta Falcons
10. Minnesota Vikings
11. Cleveland Browns
The darlings of the offseason look to take the next step and rise above .500 in the regular season. The world will be watching, as the Browns play three prime-time games in the first five weeks.
12. Houston Texans
13. Seattle Seahawks
14. Baltimore Ravens
15. Green Bay Packers
16. Pittsburgh Steelers
Post-draft rank: 17
It's all kumbaya in the Steelers' locker room now and they'll be motivated to prove wrong those who believe the Browns have already won the division.
Ok…let me break this down. The top five I completely understand. Those are five very good teams. Excellent in fact. I also can accept the teams that follow in the Bears and Chargers. Then it gets stupid. The Cowboy? Falcons? Vikings? But worst of all the CLEVELAND BROWNS? Come on The Score. So many have jumped on the bandwagon of the Brownies it’s near sickening for Steelers Nation.
Sure they may have improved but from rankings eight down to the Steelers #16 in my opinion, Pittsburgh is better than all of them. Steelers Nation is used to this kind of disrespect season in and season out so it really comes as no surprise but it is annoying that so-called experts believe we are not as good as the teams ranked above them.
What I think is that despite losing Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell, this team still has an excellent offense and with JuJu Smith-Schuster, an improved James Washington, and the addition of Donte Moncrief, that trio with James Conner in the backfield will cause damage to opposing defenses.
But it is the defense that I believe is really going to open eyes. With the drafting of Devin Bush and several other defenders in the secondary like veterans Steven Nelson, my opinion is that the Pittsburgh defense is not only going to be vastly improved but MUCH faster. The real test comes early in 2019 with this forthcoming game against the New England Patriots who will be without the Steelers killer named Rob Gronkowski for the first time in a long time.
My Steelers preview and predictions for week one games are coming by Friday. With that said, ESPN recently ran simulation games to pick the NFL games on the schedule and they have us winning on Sunday night as well as making the playoffs again. Here’s a glimpse of that article:
ESPN simulation picks Steelers to beat Patriots, make playoffs
The Steelers final record is 9-6-1 — yes, another tie, this time against the Los Angeles Rams in Week 10 in Heinz Field.
The AFC North shakes out like this, according to ESPN’s projection:
The Browns take the division with a 10-6 record. The teams split the series.
The Black and Gold do get into the playoffs with the first Wild Card spot, but get bounced by the Houston Texans.
The simulation has the New Orleans Saints and Los Angeles Chargers meeting in the Super Bowl. Saints win
While talking football those two eggheads mentioned above no longer wearing the Black and Gold, A.B. and Le’Veon Bell are attempting once again to either slam the Steelers or their current team. First from Bell:
“It didn’t work out in Pittsburgh. I’m out of Pittsburgh. And now I’m in a new city, a new team, and a lot of people haven’t even given us a chance ‘cause they don’t like our roster. They think we don’t have the talent. I’m thinking I’m going to show everybody. I’m going to show people that, look, Pittsburgh had something special, and they let it go. That’s what I’m going to go out there and do.”
Let it go? Dude…you were offered a nice sized contract and it wasn’t good enough. Secondly, you didn’t want to play through your franchise tag so you sat out the entire season. Sour grapes for sure, and there is good reason not to like the New York Jets roster…IT SUCKS. The Jets even with Bell in the backfield are going nowhere.
Then we have Antonio Brown who posted this game on his Twitter page:
All I can say is “Oakland Raiders prepare for a nightmarish 2019 season.”
On to the Pittsburgh Pirates who have been playing their ass off in order NOT to finish in last place, The Bucs have been hot as of late winning seven of their last 10 and now are just three games behind the Cincinnati Reds with 24 games to go. A measly 9,000 and change were in attendance last night to watch the lowly Miami Marlins defeat the Buccos.
In the National Hockey League, stats have been released for jersey sales and leading the way in 2018-2019 was our own Sidney Crosby he rose up from falling behind in second place a year ago to the Toronto Maple Leafs’ Auston Matthews in 2017-18.
In the world of MMA, we have a great fight between two champions on Saturday, Khabib Nurmagomedov and Dustin Poirier as they settle who the undisputed champion of their division is and on the say day, in Bellator, Ryan Bader fights Cheick Kongo. Bellator has also added a super star to their roster as Cris Cyborg signs on with that organization.
On October 26, Ben Askren makes his return to the UFC when he takes on Damian Maia. On that same card they have added Greg Hardy’s next fight and to no surprise he gets another tomato can. This time he is paired up in the Octagon with one Jarjis Danho. Danho is 5-1-1 whereas Hardy is 5-1. One thing is for sure about Danho, he is HUGE. Just glance at his photo and you would think this could be interesting. Danho was born in Syria and is 6’3” and at his last weigh-in came in at 258.
Danho has four knockouts and a submission in his five victories and in two UFC fights, he lost his debut by a technical majority decision to Daniel Omielańczuk on February 27, 2016 and in his next bout fought to a majority decision draw with Christian Colombo. A negative for Danho in this fight is that he hasn’t fought since the draw which means no combat action in over three years.
I keep saying that once Greg Hardy meets a fighter in the Octagon with plenty of experience he is going to lose and lose not just embarrassingly but in a big way. He’s not that good and I don’t know who he thinks he is fooling but it is obvious Dana White is trying to build himself into something he is not. Can you say Ronda Rousey? Conor McGregor?
A final MMA not, former light heavyweight challenger Alexander Gustafson had announced his retirement but that might be short lived. Gustafson has indicated he is thinking comeback and if he does, a fight that intrigues him is one with Luke Rockhold. Said Gustafson:
“It came quite fast ... I was home for a couple of days, and I had itching in my hands and wanted to get back and train. Would love a fight. A fight against Luke would be a great way to come back. He is a tough guy, a legend.”