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In Wilbon's World

Tonight's Pick: the Motivated Steelers

The NFL season, as has become its new custom, opens with the Super Bowl champion playing on Thursday night: Tennessee at Pittsburgh, 8:30 p.m. ET.

The Titans had the league's best record last season (13-3) and should be better offensively this year with RBs Chris Johnson and a slimmer LenDale White coming into their primes, and new receivers Nate Washington and rookie Kenny Britt to help the downfield passing game. (Ex-Steeler Washington, who has a hamstring injury, should be a game-time decision tonight.)

But questions surround the defense because of the loss of Albert Haynesworth and the health of Jevon Kearse and Kyle Vanden Bosch. The Steelers, meanwhile, have no such questions going into the season. The No. 1 defense still lives in Pittsburgh, as does Ben Roethlisberger, now the game's best QB. Yes, the best QB. Not passer, not stat compiler, but QB.

The fact that the Steelers look around and see so many people picking the Patriots only helps motivate them, since the Steelers have won two championships since the Patriots won their last one. The Steelers won't win 'em all, but they'll win the first one.

By

Jon DeNunzio

 |  September 10, 2009; 11:31 AM ET  |  Category:  NFL , Post Pro Picks , Steelers , Titans Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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