2016 NFL Preview: Pittsburgh Steelers

The Pittsburgh Steelers are one of the NFL’s best franchises. They have six Super Bowl titles to their name and are looking to add a seventh. The good news for Steelers fans is, I think it’s highly possible that your favorite team could be hoisting a Super Bowl trophy at the end of the season. The bad news for Steelers fans is, there are plenty of other NFL teams looking to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Will this be the year Ben Roethlisberger adds a third Super Bowl title to his resume?

Can Le’Veon Bell keep his nose clean and stay healthy long enough to help the Steelers win another title?

What kind of amazing stuff will we from Antonio Brown this season?

Let’s find out!

 

pittsburghsteelers

Pittsburgh Steelers

The Stats:

Record Last Ten Seasons: 10-6 (2015), 11-5 (2014), 8-8 (2013), 12-4 (2011), 12-4 (2010), 9-7 (2009), 12-4 (2008), 10-6 (2007), 8-8 (2006)

Last Playoff Appearance: 2015 Divisional vs. Denver Broncos

Last Playoff Win: 2015 Wildcard vs. Cincinnati Bengals

Super Bowl Titles Won: 6 (Super Bowl IX, Super Bowl X, Super Bowl XIII, Super Bowl XIV, Super Bowl XL, Super Bowl XLIII)

Passing Leader for 2015: Ben Roethlisberger (3,938 yards, 21 touchdowns, 16 interceptions)

Rushing Leader for 2015: DeAngelo Williams (907 yards, 11 touchdowns)

Receiving Leader for 2015: Antonio Brown (1,834 yards, 10 touchdowns)

The Head Coach:

mike-tomlin-net-worth

Mike Tomlin

Overall Record (as a head coach): 92-52

Record With Team: 92-52

Previous NFL Jobs: Tampa Bay Buccaneers Defensive Backs Coach (2001-2005), Minnesota Vikings Defensive Coordinator (2006)

My Grade: A

The Team:

(Depth Charts will change as training camps progress obviously….)

Player Grade Guide:

Blue = Elite Player

Green = Really Good Player

Orange = Average Player

Pink = Meh

Red = NO THANKS

Gray = Rookie

Offense:

QB: Ben Roethlisberger

RB: Le’Veon Bell

FB: David Johnson

WR: Antonio Brown

WR: Markus Wheaton

TE: Ladarius Green

OC: Maurkice Pouncey

OG: Ramon Foster

OG: David DeCastro

OT: Marcus Gilbert

OT: Ali Villanueva

Defense:

DE: Cameron Heyward

DT: Dan McCullers

DE: Stephon Tuitt

LB: James Harrison

LB: Arthur Moats

LB: Lawrence Timmons

LB: Ryan Shazier

CB: William Gay

CB: Ross Cockrell

SS: Sean Davis

FS: Mike Mitchell

The Schedule:

vs. @ Washington Redskins (September 12)

vs. Cincinnati Bengals (September 18)

vs. @ Philadelphia Eagles (September 25)

vs. Kansas City Chiefs (October 2)

vs. New York Jets (October 9)

vs. @ Miami Dolphins (October 16)

vs. New England Patriots (October 23)

BYE WEEK

vs. @ Baltimore Ravens (November 6)

vs. Dallas Cowboys (November 13)

vs. @ Cleveland Browns (November 20)

vs. @ Indianapolis Colts (November 24)

vs. New York Giants (December 4)

vs. @ Buffalo Bills (December 11)

vs. @ Cincinnati Bengals (December 18)

vs. Baltimore Ravens (December 25)

vs. Cleveland Browns (January 1)

The Prediction:

11-5

Brief Synopsis:

Raise your hand if you’re an NFL fan who is jealous of the Pittsburgh Steelers success. I know you can’t see me, but my hand is raised so high, that I’m almost touching my ceiling. If I had to go back and choose an NFL team to cheer on as a kid, I would easily tell the Kansas City Chiefs to kick rocks and welcome the Pittsburgh Steelers with open arms, but unfortunately I can’t go back in time….yet. Until then, I’m stuck on the other end of the spectrum just constantly finding myself hating the Steelers because of what they have achieved as an NFL franchise. They have SIX Super Bowl titles! SIX PEOPLE! There are a ton of NFL teams who don’t even have one, yet the Steelers have one for each finger….plus an extra one. And you know what is scary, there’s a damn good chance they could end up with another one this season.

On the offensive side of the ball, Pittsburgh remains extremely scary. Ben Roethlisberger is getting up their in age, but he’s showing no sides of slowing down. His stats took a bit of a dip last season and that could be a little concerning, but I’m not worried. “Big Ben” has been one of the most consistently good quarterbacks in the NFL since arriving in the league and he’ll have another big season this year. Why? Because he has arguably the best set of skill players to work with in the league. Le’Veon Bell might be the NFL’s best running back, when he’s healthy and not suspended. However, those things remain huge question marks going forward. He’s expected back for the Steelers third game of the season and if he comes back in good shape, the rest of the league could be in trouble. As far as Ben’s other weapons go, we all know about Antonio Brown. He might be the league’s best wide receiver and he’ll definitely be the top pick in fantasy football this year. The other wideouts are pretty good to and newcomer Ladarius Green may be in store for his best season yet. The Steelers will have one of the league’s best offenses this season and that won’t be a shocker to anyone.

However, I’m personally worried about the defensive side of the ball and for good reasons. This unit had their obvious struggles last season and I’m not sure they improved that much this off-season. Steve McLendon is gone and Dan McCullers really needs to elevate his game if he’s going to be the heir apparent at the nose tackle position. I’m not entirely sold that he can do that and the Steelers may tempted be to throw in rookie Javon Hargrave to replace him, so things could get interesting there. The strength of the Steelers defense could come in the secondary. Ross Cockrell has been a surprising addition and had a great season last year. If he continues to improve, Pittsburgh may have hit the lottery when they picked him up. Rookie Sean Davis joins the team as he looks to become Pittsburgh’s next big thing at the strong safety position. The team has struggled to find a replacement for Troy Polamalu since he retired, but Davis may very well be that man. If the Steelers defense improves this season, it will be because of improved play from the secondary.

So, what do we think about the Pittsburgh Steelers this year? Obviously I’m pretty high on them once again and you would be silly not to. Ben Roethlisberger is one of the best QB’s in the NFL. Mike Tomlin is one of the best head coaches in the NFL. Le’Veon Bell is one of the best running backs in the NFL (once again, when healthy and not suspended). Antonio Brown is the best wide receiver in the NFL. That’s A LOT of greatness on one team. Pittsburgh came up just a little bit short last season when the Denver Broncos (who went on to win the Super Bowl by the way) beat them in the playoffs and ended their chances of winning a seventh Super Bowl title. That elusive seventh title could very well be heading to Pittsburgh this season. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

2 thoughts on “2016 NFL Preview: Pittsburgh Steelers

  1. Pingback: Casual Fan Preview: AFC North – The Ultimate Sports Blog

  2. Pingback: Full NFL Coverage – The Ultimate Sports Blog

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