Two of the most storied franchises in the NFL – Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Giants – are having disastrous seasons, and are a combined 0-8 (won-lost).
It’s really something fans of these teams are not very familiar with.
You can’t knock the two organizations as they have won four of the last eight Super Bowls, and what organizations wouldn’t be happy with that?
A big reason they won those rings was the play of their respective quarterbacks, Ben Roethlisberger and Eli Manning, who were drafted the same year in what will go down in history as the best draft ever for big-game quarterbacks.
However, both of them are finding out this season what other quarterbacks must have felt playing behind poor offensive lines, bad running games and defences that can no longer rush the passer.
Over the years the Steelers and Giants have relied and won Super Bowls based on the same fundamentals and principles mentioned above, and we are seeing this season that all three of these aspects have been lacking.
Eli and Big Ben have been struggling to find their rhythm, and only one team has made the playoffs starting the season at 0-4 since the merger in 1970. However, if you are an optimist and diehard Giants’ fan like The Freak, or the Steelers are your team, there might be some light at the end of the tunnel because of the weak divisions both play in.
The Giants play in the NFC Least, sorry the East, and Dallas leads with a 2-2 record while the Eagles and Redskins are 1-3.
Meanwhile, Pittsburgh plays in the AFC North and the Bengals, Browns and Ravens are all 2-2. So, as bad as both teams have played, they are lucky to be only two games out.
Most seasons these teams would be either three or four games out, and you just can’t make up that kind of ground in the final 12 games.
In all likelihood a record of 9-7 can probably win the division, meaning both the Giants and Steelers need to go 9-3 over their next 12 games. For fans of either team, this seems like a long shot, considering how they are presently performing. But maybe, just maybe, these two teams will defy the odds.
Stay tuned, we will find out very soon whether we can finally stick the fork in them.
The sure thing
Is it just The Freak, but does Jets quarterback Geno Smith know how to play the position? What was he doing putting the ball behind his back when he was about to get sacked? Meanwhile, Atlanta is a surprising 1-3, and it’s must-win time for them at home. The Falcons will confuse Smith on Monday night. Take Atlanta.
This might be the only time you can take the Rams all season as they host the poor old Jags. The game will be closer than most Jacksonville games this season because St. Louis is not very good, but are much farther ahead than the Jags. The Rams win at home.
The Cowboys didn’t show The Freak anything last week versus the Chargers that may give you the inkling that they might be able to upset the Broncos. Peyton will help out his brother, Eli, and the Giants by picking apart the Dallas secondary and leading Denver to a road win. Wonder if the Ellis brothers, Shannon and Darcy, will be watching this game together? Let him hear it Darcy!
Don’t mortgage the house picks
Perhaps the Bengals were looking ahead to this game with the Patriots when they were playing the Browns. However, Cincy needs a win and the Pats are unbeaten, but lost the rock in the middle of their defence in Vince Wilfork, who just isn’t replaceable. Will the Bengals exploit this? You would expect they will, but in the end this won’t be enough as the Pats win another on the road and stay unbeaten.
In a possible Super Bowl preview, the Seahawks will travel to take on Indy. Both teams at this moment have looked solid, and this will be the best game of the week. Seattle got a bit of a scare in Houston, but Richard Sherman bailed them out. I just think the Seahawks’ secondary will take away Andrew Luck’s favourite targets, leaving it up to Trent Richardson to win this game. He’s not there yet. Take the ‘Hawks.
Green Bay is 1-2 and hosts NFC North leaders and rival Detroit, which is looking pretty solid. However, the Packers are coming off a bye and are ready to take on the Lions in a key divisional game. The week off helped many of Green Bay’s key players who had some nagging injuries, and the result of the rest is a big Packers’ win.
Sorry Frankie, but The Freak is going to take the Tennessee Titans once again for another upset as they are home to the unbeaten Chiefs.
Watched the Chiefs beat the Gmen and unless KC receivers are wide open Alex Smith will not throw the ball, but try and run with it.
Tennessee lost quarterback Jake Locker for a couple of weeks, but they don’t really lose a lot with a capable backup in Ryan Fitzpatrick, who has won is share of games in the NFL.
Don’t let the QB injury fool you, the Titans will harass Smith and send the Chiefs to their first loss of the season.
Last Week: 3-for-7.
John Turner is a Summerside schoolteacher. His column appears every Saturday during the NFL season. Feel free to e-mail questions and comments to email@example.com.