Predictions for the Steelers Season

by Chris_75866 5 days ago

Predictions for the Steelers Season

Key Departures:

Rashaad Penny to the Browns via Free Agency

Ulysees Gilbert III to the Colts via a trade

Carlos Dunlap to an expiring contract

Key Additions:

Bobby Okereke from the Colts via trade

Ryan Kelly from the Colts via trade

Ramon Harris from the Buccs via trade

Jamarcus Reese from the Eagles via trade

Cameron Jordan via free agency

Austin Ekeler via free agency

Akiem Hicks via free agency

Hudson Jones via the draft

Justin Albright via the draft

Najee Harris via the draft

Last season, the Steelers won their first division championship for the first time in a long time. It took beating the Ravens twice in order to do that. That's a feat the Steelers can't bank on happening this season. However, the goal really isn't to win the division this year, it's a plus but not the end all be all. They simply want to make the playoffs and win in the playoffs. That's the singular goal this season, win a playoff game. The team has yet to do that in back to back seasons. The offense has been explosive and there is no reason to think they will slow down. While the defense does well to get sacks and turnovers, they were middle of the road in nearly every defensive category last season.

So the team got better and faster on defense and more stout on the offensive line. That should be a good combination for improvement, but it isn't quite that simple. Every team did their best to get better in the offseason. The Browns, Ravens, and Bengals all did that this offseason. So did many other teams in the league. The Steelers will also be going through a tougher schedule on paper after winning the division a season ago. While the roster is undoubtedly better than it was a year ago, there is still caution to be had with assuming the team's record will improve.

Another reason the Steelers may or may not get off to a slow start is a change to both playbooks. The Steelers former offensive playbook was great in the passing game but very limited in the running game. This made the team too one-dimensional on offense. If they were running the ball, there was a 95% chance it was a run somewhere to the inside. That allowed teams to load up the inside and be ready for it. The new playbook has a much wider variety of different running plays, which should keep opposing defenses on their toes. The change in the playbook will also mean a change in philosophy. The idea is to focus more on the running game and allowing that to open up the passing game. Where as the philosophy under Ben Roethlisberger up to this point has been throw the ball early and often in hopes that the running game can open up. We hope the change in philosophy will lead to better playoff football.

The defense has been a primarily bend but don't break type of team. While this often leads to takeaways and less touchdowns on most weeks, it can also be the death to a team if the defense just keeps bending. Eventually, they'll break sooner or later. So, Mike Tomlin has decided to change up some of his plays and formations to hopefully give the defense a boost. The tricky part about this though, is the amount of production that they have had from their guys in the old book. The nice thing about it is, if worst comes to worst, they can go back to their old philosophy if this doesn't work.

The Steelers have improved their roster and they've made some changes in their scheme this offseason. The schedule up ahead is brutal, starting with the defending super bowl champions, the Baltimore Ravens. The team wanted to see what it was made of, well no better opportunity than week 1. It's going to be an absolute grind but the team appears up to the task at hand.

Predicted Record: 10-6 and the 7th seed in the AFC

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