Morning Links (and Daily Thread)…

A quick daily look at what’s happening around Steelers Nation. And consider this your open thread for discussing the days events and, well, anything else that comes to mind about the Black and Gold.

– OK,  it’s officially the start of the NFL season, who ya got tonight: Vikings or Saints?

– This was mentioned in yesterday’s daily thread, but the Football Outsiders projections seem to love the Pittsburgh Steelers this year. [Football Outsiders]

– A couple of random notes from Dale Lolley. [NFL From The Sidelines]

– Our own JJ Cooper was a guest on the Lance Williams Steelers Podcast. Check it out. [Steel Curtain Radio]

– And for your random YouTube of the day: NFL Primetime highlights of Steelers vs. Falcons from 1996.

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  • SteelerBill

    It’s kinda cool here in Chicago – it feels like football weather….. Hard to believe it’s already here…

  • Warriorblitz

    Saints will win again and Farve will be aweful.

  • Cols714

    I have to admit, I’m pretty down on the Steelers this weekend. The lack of Ben is the most likely reason. I can’t see them beating Atlanta unless their defense plays great against what should be a pretty good offense.

    Maybe’s it’s because the secondary was so bad last year that I can see Matt Ryan dinking and dunking his way up and down the field.

    I really hope they prove me wrong. A win here and 2-2 is a likely result, a loss and we are almost certainly looking at 1-3.

  • FW

    Steelers without Aaron Smith and Troy Polamalu and BBR nearly beat a Baltimore team (on the road) that IMO was superior to this Falcons team. With the defenders back and HFA, it comes down to matchups.

    Atlanta will try dink & dunk, and exploiting the soft spots in coverage (TE over the middle, WR3 and 4 versus PSD DBs). Expect one long completion to White, but the leading receiver maybe Gonzo, or some dark horse like Harry Douglas, and the PSD just being patient and getting the Falcons to make crucial 3D mistakes to end drives. PSD gets some early rush D yips, but always settles down: the stats sheets never wind up as bad as my nerves suggest they should be. If Ryan is going to gouge the PSD, it will be with Gonzo, Finneran, Douglas, etc. I suggest that does not happen, if they play a Dick LeBeau scripted D, and actually play the 4Q, unlike last year.

    I like our OL matchups for a change, with Babineux out for some substance: Starks v. Abraham = Starks; Jerry and Lewis won’t be facing Hartwig up the middle, so call it a draw; the caution here is Kroy Biermann, who has the speed to get past Adams. We’ll need to keep a guy in to help there. LBs are solid, but the secondary is fairly weak, so if DD makes good (and timely) throws, I think he can have some modest success moving the ball. The Falcons run D is maligned unfairly, and it should take a while to start opening lanes, but I think by the 2H that’s just what happens, and RM makes the most of it.

    I’ll call it a close one, as both offenses have some early hiccups, and the PS STs again cough up bad field position. 20-17. Besides, we’re home dogs, and we love that.

    Saints win tonight, period. Even if AP keeps the fumbling to a minimum, Favre’s ankle and no Sidney Rice mean the Vikes are going to have to rein in the Saints, with a gimpy secondary. Really thought the Vikings were the better team last year, but not this year. Saints win 27-17.

    • DC in ATL

      Excellent assessment of the Falcons. I think missing Michael Jenkins this week will hurt them more than people realize.

      Some stats that favor the Steelers chances:

      In games Matt Ryan has started at the Georgia Dome, the Falcons are 13-1 averaging 27.6 points per game. His QB rating is 94.5 in those games.

      On the road (including the playoff game at Arizona in 2008), the Falcons are 7-10 in Ryan’s career averaging 21.2 points per game. His QB rating is 77.4 in those games. The only road game they’ve won against a playoff team in his career was their ugly 10-7 win at the Jets late last season (69.7 QB rating).

      I’ve actually met Ryan once, and he was a very nice guy and signed my son’s football. He’s a guy you can root for…but not this week….

  • Cols714

    From the things I didn’t know so Ed B. told me department:

    “Maurkice Pouncey will become only the second Steelers offensive lineman to start the first game of his rookie season since at least the middle of the 1960s.”

    The other one was Marvel Smith. I always thought that Leon Searcy also started from the beginning.

  • Cols714

    From the things I didn’t know so Ed B. told me department:

    “Maurkice Pouncey will become only the second Steelers offensive lineman to start the first game of his rookie season since at least the middle of the 1960s.”

    The other one was Marvel Smith. I always thought that Leon Searcy also started from the beginning.

  • Randy Steele

    Kemo sprained his foot or ankle today.