So many roads traveled this NFL season... The Steelers have taken the road considered a given by most NFL fans, while the St. Louis Rams made a hard left onto the road to no where, the theme from "Deliverance" ringing in their ears...
The differences between the two teams that will meet this Christmas Eve in Pittsburgh, PA is so striking that it borders on the absurd. What stands out the most to me is the qualitative depth of the Steelers compared to the Rams. While injuries have been suffered by both teams this season, if there was a win to be had in this dubious category it would go to the Rams. At corner back alone there have been so many injuries that St. Louis fans are looking for a "grassy knoll" near Rams Park. When the team's Physical Trainers go out in public they're no doubt treated like "Typhoid Marys", and there's a rumor that anyone who gets within ten feet of them starts to limp...
What I admire most about the Steelers this season is how they battle each week, piecing together the best team possible. They win because of the team's depth, and an incredibly astute front office that seems to find gold in the late rounds of the NFL draft each year.
The St. Louis Rams have depth problems that won't be overcome anytime soon, and there in lies one of the many rubs...
... On the current Rams offense, there are five players who weren't on the team last year; four of them weren't on the team at the start of this season. On defense, the Rams have six players (who start each week) that we'ren't on the team in 2010. At corner back, the number of players pulled off the proverbial street to play each Sunday has Rams fans maniacally laughing. Maybe there should be a column added to the Rams box score next to sacks and interceptions to denote injuries each week...?
Let's face it, injuries are an excuse that just doesn't fly in today's NFL. An NFL coach is expected to have foreseen all contingencies and every 53 man roster is really a blind man's wink or nod... I marvel at how well the Steelers respond to challenges. Your season didn't start out well, causing many (including myself) to wonder if the Steelers were entering a rebuilding phase. We were all wrong. While this season has probably been one with more peaks and valleys than you as Steelers fans would like, you have to admit its been exciting?
I'm an editor for Turf Show Times, the SBNation site for the St. Louis Rams. I thought I'd drop by to answer any questions you may have about the Rams, as well as ask a slew of questions about the Steelers current team. I'll be inviting my TST fellows to drop by to help answer questions and ask a few of their own. Please don't hesitate to let me know if anyone from TST forgets they are your guests.
My first question for you has to be about "Big Ben" Roethlisberger. Will he sit this week to rest his injured...er, uh..? Well I guess to rest his entire,incredibly contused, body, or will he play this Saturday? How important is winning the AFC North versus having him ready for the playoffs?
To me, the most surprising Steelers player this season is Antonio Brown. I think this is a player that is going to be down right special in coming years. Thoughts?
How much would your front office charge the Rams to make our outside linebacker picks in the 2012 draft? Seriously, do you guys have some kind of Voo Doo working when it comes to pick linebackers?
What areas would you like to see the Steelers address in the 2012 Draft? Are there any players that haven't live up to your expectations this season?
How are you going to solve the only riddle of the Steelers 2011 campaign if you meet again in the playoffs: The Baltimore Ravens?
So let me hear your thoughts, and before I forget: Have a Merry Christmas!