Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports
Welcome to football Sunday Steeler Nation! Today, the first chapter in the Pittsburgh Steelers 2013 book will be written. It’s just like Christmas morning. Unwrap your favorite Steelers gear, pack up your cars for the tailgating, and huddle up.
Steelers-Titans opening day history
While the Steelers are coming into today’s game riding a 10-game home opener winning streak, they have a history opening against Tennessee if you include when they were known as the Houston Oilers. As Bob Labriola of Steelers Digest reminds us, the Steelers had their inaugural game at Three Rivers Stadium against the Houston Oilers. Unfortunately the Steelers lost that game, but the Steelers would start that decade of the 70s to go on to be one of the most dominant teams in NFL history. Once the franchise had moved to Tennessee, the Steelers met them for opening day two previous times; in 2005 and 2009. We’ll all remember that 2005 game where Willie Parker rushed for 161 yards and then the game in 2009, when the Steelers were coming off of their Super Bowl XLIII victory and Troy Polamalu had that amazing interception in the first quarter and the Steelers ended up taking the W in overtime.
Steelers picked over the spread
The Steelers have a (-7) spread over the Titans today in their home opener. James Hernandez of Fox Sports has taken a few of today’s games to pick against the spread and he predicts the Steelers will not only cover those seven points, but will cruise to a double-digit win. The fact that the Steelers are starting the season with another running-back-by-committee doesn’t scare him off at all. With the Steelers going for their 11th straight home opener victory, Hernandez thinks that Ben Roethlisberger’s knack for winning at home and with Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders to throw downfield to; this should be an easy victory for the Black & Gold.
Ed Bouchette of the PPG points out to us this morning that the Steelers roster represents a 41.5% turnover from last year’s roster. That’s a change of 22 guys. While some can’t stop calling us the “Same old Steelers” you can see just how much transition there has been when you go through the names of those players gone from last year. James Harrison, Casey Hampton, Mike Wallace, Keenan Lewis, Rashard Mendenhall, Max Starks, and Willie Colon are just the starters from 2012 that are no longer with the team. There are a whole lot of questions surrounding the team that has gone through all this change. Some of those questions will only begin to be answered today. Ed takes his turn at predictions himself and forecasts the Steelers will go 10-6 with a playoff appearance as a Wild-Card team with the Bungles taking the division. We’ll see, Eddie, we’ll see.
Remember that we are one nation, under the Terrible Towel, with first downs and touchdowns for all. Here we go Steelers! Here we go!