The Pittsburgh Steelers will be hoping to get off to a similar start to the one they had in 2020 when they return to action in September for the new campaign.
Mike Tomlin’s men were 12-0 through their opening 12 matches. Not only were there talks about them winning their first Super Bowl crown since 2008, many felt they could go 19-0 on their way to lifting the Vince Lombardi Trophy.
It all went wrong for Pittsburgh in the final third of the season. Several factors led to that fast decline. Key players on their defence picked up injuries, their receivers were dropping too many catches and their rushing game proved ineffective.
Tomlin and Steelers fans can take a lot of positives from the campaign overall. It should also give them hope that they can be strong contenders in 2021 leading into Super Bowl LVI. They are +3000 in the Space Casino betting for the outright title but they have a much better chance than those odds suggest. Pittsburgh roster is set up for them to win now. Their defence is ranked as one of the best in the league. T.J Watt topped the leagues in sacks with 15 in 2020. He was supported by Devin Bush Jr, Marcus Allen and Alex Highsmith. In the backfield, Minkah Fitzpatrick had an excellent year with four interceptions.
Last Year For Big Ben In The NFL?
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger goes into his 18th season in the NFL and there is a strong chance it could be his last. Big Ben has seen the likes of Drew Brees, Philip Rivers and Eli Manning all bow out over the last few years, players who broke into the league at a similar time to the Pittsburgh man. The two-time Super Bowl winner will be motivated to win another ring before he calls an end to a fantastic career. He will have seen what is possible at his age by Tom Brady last season with Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The 43-year-old won his seventh Super Bowl title earlier this year.
It was a mixed season for Big Ben in 2020. He threw 33 touchdowns in the regular season, a tally he has only once bettered in his career and that was in 2018 when he had 34 TDs. His passing yards were down on his usual number, largely down to the deep pass not being there anymore.
Roethlisberger has been boosted by the news that JuJu Smith-Schuster has signed a one-year deal with the Steelers. He is his leading receiver and with interest coming from Kansas City and Baltimore, it’s great news for the QB that he has chosen to remain in Pittsburgh.
Diontae Johnson, James Washington and Eric Ebron are all capable of more than they produced in 2020. Tomlin will be demanding more from those players as they are experienced receivers who can help to make Roethlisberger’s job much easier.
If Pittsburgh doesn’t make a deeper run into the playoffs this upcoming season, there could be a lot of changes ahead of 2022 at the franchise.
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