Pittsburgh Steelers' Hopes Depend on LaMarr Woodley

By John Raffel
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

LaMarr Woodley is as good as any linebacker around who probably won’t be in the NFL postseason for one main reason: he’s playing for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Woodley has had a sack three straight games with at least a sack and remains such a vital part of the Steelers’ defense.

But the defense, as well as the offense, has dug the Steelers a mighty deep hole to climb out of. A 0-4 start is the kiss of death. Even though the Steelers are now at 1-4 after their game with the New York Jets, they most likely would have to be 8-3 the rest of the way to finish at 9-7 which is usually the minimum needed for a playoff spot. A 10-6 record would be preferable, which would mean the Steelers might have to go 9-2.

Unless Woodley can keep playing really well and motivate his entire defense to play like it never has before, it’s likely the postseason is out of reach. But it’s not impossible. Woodley knows how to get his defense fired up and how to make the rest of the team determined to reach a certain goal.

Are the Steelers better than a 1-4 record would indicate? Woodley and the defense will have to answer for that. Forget about the offense. If the Steelers are to have a remarkable turnaround after a 0-4 start and make the playoffs, it’s going to have to come from the defense.

Holding the opponent to six points is going to all but guarantee a Steeler victory. That’s what Woodley and the defense did to the Jets. If they can do it for 11 more games, maybe there will be playoffs this season for Pittsburgh. But right now, don’t count on it.


John Raffel is a writer for RantSports.comFollow him on Twitter  @JohnCarlRaffel, Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.


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