Oh, Danny boy.
Once again, Steelers punter Daniel Sepulveda is out for the season.
Could this actually be good news for the Steelers?
Since the Steelers foolishly used a fourth-round draft pick on a punter to take Sepulveda in 2007, he has finished just two seasons, 2007 and 2009. In 2008 and 2010, Sepulveda went on injured reserve with a right-leg injury, and the Steelers went to the Super Bowl both times.
It's almost as if an off-the-street punter is a good-luck charm for the Steelers in their Super Bowl seasons. In 2008, it was Mitch Berger. Last season, it was Jeremy Kapinos, and they signed Kapinos again Saturday.
I think the Steelers got all they could out of Sepulveda this season, anyway. After all, that one punt last week against the Patriots probably took a lot out of him.
Enough about punters. Let's talk about real, you know, football players. In this case, let's talk about linebackers.
James Harrison probably will play tonight against the Ravens. James Farrior is a maybe. LaMarr Woodley is out.
If the Steelers lose this game, it shouldn't be because Woodley is out, even though he has nine sacks this season. Jason Worilds is expected to return from injury and start at left outside linebacker opposite Harrison. Worilds is a second-round draft pick in his second year. So it's about time he shows us something.
Wonders never cease
Former Steelers general manager Tom Donahoe said this week that the Steelers' offense seems to struggle against stout defenses. The last time the Steelers' offense was really tested, it was shut out in the second half against the Jaguars.
This, of course, would be a concern tonight. The Steelers go from facing the Patriots' defense, which is the worst in the NFL, to the Ravens' defense, which is the best.
It's amazing how things change in a week. Last week, we wondered if the Steelers' defense could handle a legitimate offense like that of the Patriots. Now, we're wondering if the Steelers' offense can handle a legitimate defense.
Even if the Steelers win tonight at Heinz Field, we'll probably wonder if they can beat a good team on the road. But that hopefully wouldn't matter, because they'd have the inside track on home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
That's how big tonight's game is.