Are the Steelers primed for a Super Bowl charge?

Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers have not reached the Super Bowl since the 2010 campaign. That year, they were beaten by Green Bay Packers at AT&T Stadium. Ben Roethlisberger was outduelled in Dallas by Aaron Rodgers, which marked the end of a successful six-year period when the franchise lifted the Vince Lombardi Trophy twice under the tenures of Bill Cowher and then Mike Tomlin.

Tomlin and his team were denied a second crown in their close duel with the Packers in three years. Since then, injuries and a lack of form when it mattered the most had denied Pittsburgh an opportunity to compete for the game’s ultimate prize.

Ben Roethlisberger had endured several setbacks in recent seasons – most notably in 2019, when he missed all but two games. The Steelers have also had to endure an exodus of talent on the offensive side of the ball. Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell were superstars in Pittsburgh but chased significant deals elsewhere. This left Tomlin and his team short on elite talent.

However, general manager Kevin Colbert has performed brilliantly in free agency and the draft to retool the roster. As a result, Pittsburgh is on the charge in the 2020 campaign and have started the season 8-0 for the first time in franchise history. There are dreams of a Super Bowl run, although there is a long way to go before the playoffs begin.

Easing the Burden on Roethlisberger

In the past, the Steelers relied heavily on the arm of Roethlisberger, which is why his absence the last term hit the franchise hard – as it would any time in the league. His elbow problem previous season may have been a blessing in disguise, forcing the coaching staff and the team to win in different circumstances.

Pittsburgh’s eight games won in 2019 may turn out to play a hugely influential role in a surge towards the Super Bowl. Roethlisberger has been accurate and more restrained in pushing the ball down the field. He has thrown for 1,934 yards and 18 touchdowns to four interceptions at the half-way stage.

Suppose you extrapolate that over the term, that would result in 3,868 yards along with 36 touchdowns to eight interceptions. Roethlisberger’s statistics are consistent with his performances over the last decade in terms of touchdowns and interceptions. However, the yardage would be down slightly based on his average per game in a full 16-game season.

Roethlisberger and the Steelers should not see that as a negative. He is arguably playing the best football of his career. It proves that they are a well-rounded team, which is vital in a run to the Super Bowl. The focus in the past was on one area of the team. Becoming a complete unit may be the key to lifting the Lombardi in February.

Looking Ahead

Due to their run of eight-straight wins, the Steelers are among the leading contenders with sportsbooks in the Super Bowl betting odds. Their value will only drop as they edge towards the post-season. Therefore, it would be an excellent time to use a sign-up bonus or offer with a sportsbook to find the optimum price on Tomlin’s men. They are in perfect shape to end their tie with the New England Patriots as the most successful franchise of all time.

They could even go all the way and match the Patriots’ 2007 team and their 16-0 campaign. Bill Belichick’s men were notably denied their 19-0 run by the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII. An unbeaten campaign does bring on a lot of pressure. The lure of immortality is there for the Steelers.

Their offensive talent that is easing the pressure on Roethlisberger has been outstanding – especially rookie wideout Chase Claypool. He is the latest wide receiver the franchise has hit on, matching Juju Smith-Schuster, Brown, and Mike Wallace in the past.

T.J. Watt anchors a loaded defense. On course for another dominant season, the linebacker is in the conversation for defensive player of the year. Pittsburgh’s secondary is formidable, featuring Minkah Fitzpatrick, Joe Haden, Terrell Edmunds, and Mike Hilton. The defensive line is stubborn and powerful, with Cameron Heyward and Stephon Tuitt as the anchors.

Pittsburgh has all the superstars they need across the roster. Injuries are perhaps the only factor that could set them back, but they look formidable.  It will take something special to stop them.

Keith Richards
About Keith Richards 71 Articles
Keith Richards is an IT Professional by day and a sports junkie by night (and day for the most part as well). A southern boy living in the mountains of Denver, Keith recently graduated with his BS in Business Administration from CSU-Global Campus. He enjoys spending time with this family and speaking sports truth on Twitter and Crossing the Line.

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