Every year fans and analysts alike make their predictions of the most likely teams to make the Super Bowl. Steelers are on the list almost every year, and for good reason. Everybody from Pittsburgh will vote them in because the Steelers are among the biggest fan bases in America, and reporters like to vote them in since they have one of the highest winning percentages in football. They won six Lombardis for a reason. At the end of the day though, votes and popularity isn’t what it takes to get to the biggest game of the year. It’s the team who wins games, and Pittsburgh just added another knight to their army by signing Joe Haden from the Cleveland Browns. He may be that small switch that makes a giant difference towards making a deep playoff run this season.
Steelers have been praised for their offense for quite a while now. They have the “Three B’s”, and that statement alone people already will recognize Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, and Le’Veon Bell. It’s definitely not an exaggeration either, considering that Brown and Bell are generally selected within the first four picks of the first round in every single fantasy football draft. Despite being such a high octane offense, the Steelers have still been falling short when it comes to making the Super Bowl. Certainly their offense isn’t to blame for this! Perhaps they need a big boost in their defense. After all, defenses do win championships, and Pittsburgh has done just that. Instead of having the Three B’s on offense, the Steelers could have their own version of a holy trinity on their defense as well. Look at some of these names they have who have very Pro Bowl worthy potential. They have James Harrison, who not only has intimidated Father Time himself into submission, but is the very definition of a beast. To compliment him on the line backing core they draft TJ Watt, the hopeful younger brother of JJ Watt from Wisconsin. Now they have Joe Haden, a great shut down corner to help out the defensive backs while the line backers and defensive ends bring the pressure. Those three names alone could be the big “it” factor the Steelers need defensively — they could be their own Big Three.
The defense hasn’t been the only factor stopping the Steelers the past seven years from a Super Bowl appearance. There’s been two major factors in their way: Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. With Manning gone it helps Pittsburgh’s chances, but with Brady around it’s still a fight to the finish between the two franchises. Granted Brady is officially in his 40’s now, you can’t count out anything with the Patriots as long as Belichick is still around. The NFC West will be a big factor in the playoffs this year as well, with every team looking to be young and dominant. The Steelers will have their competition for sure, and ultimately it may come down to something as simple as if the team can stay healthy. The past two seasons Roethlisberger has been hit with injuries and hasn’t played all 16 games. Same goes for Le’Veon Bell with his suspensions, or being hurt for key playoff games. If Steelers want to stay in the race this year, they’ll want to shoot for a #1 or #2 seed and guarantee the home field advantage for another deep playoff run.
Anything can happen during the upcoming season, which is why we’re told every game is “any given Sunday”. Steelers fans have quite a bit to be excited for, and should feel safe in knowing that once again they should be the strongest team in their division. Mike Tomlin wants another championship in his repertoire, and he knows that time is running out with how many years Roethlisberger has left in him. On top of that, Tomlin has received some criticism at his head coaching abilities. One of the critics coming from Terry Bradshaw himself last year. Tomlin seems to be a motivated type of man, and shutting the critics down once and for all may bet he motivation he needs to get to Super Bowl LII this year.