The Pittsburgh Steelers are good. I mean they are really one of the most underrated teams in the league. I guess it’s easy to go unnoticed when you finish 8-8 and miss the playoffs, but they did it without a healthy quarterback and no run game.
So what did they do in the offseason? Well, just pick up a solid running back in Le’Veon Bell and give Ben Roethlisberger some support at the receiver position, adding a couple via the NFL Draft.
Finishing the season as the 26th ranked rushing offense in the league in 2012 was nothing short of embarrassing for a team that stresses toughness and grit through their head coach Mike Tomlin. Running back Rashard Mendenhall wasn’t healthy all season long, and the combo of Isaac Redman and Jonathan Dwyer produced just a little over 1,000 yards.
Sure, they weren’t dead last in rushing, but they might as well have been.
Roethlisberger was relied on heavily, and that ultimately led to his injury that kept him out for three crucial games near the end of the season.
It’s true, the defense will be a non-issue for the Steelers. They were the top-ranked defense overall yardage-wise in 2012, and with the addition of rookie linebacker Jarvis Jones from Georgia, I can’t imagine that will change at all. Jones was one of the best linebackers available in April’s draft, making for an easy choice at No. 17 overall for Pittsburgh.
Back to the offense. I predicted in a previous article that Big Ben is due for a career year, and I honestly believe that. That, coupled with a very improved running game with the bruiser Bell taking over and you have a top-tier NFL team.
Don’t be surprised if the Steelers win the AFC North. Actually, I am predicting that to be the outcome in 2013.