The regular season is here, and the Pittsburgh Steelers are taking their practices at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, formerly known and still referred to as the ‘South Side’ facility of Heinz Field. While the real work is now upon us, there is plenty left to be done.
And there are plenty of questions left unanswered as well. The offseason is just really the beginning phase of the answer-seeking process, which is lasts all the way through the Super Bowl for teams fortunate enough to reach that far.
You can rest assured that we have the questions, and we will be monitoring the developments in the regular season and beyond looking for the answers as we look to evaluate the makeup of the Steelers as they wade through a regular season in which they are, at least supposed to be, among the favorites to win the Super Bowl.
Question: Sunday Edition – Where do you think this team is headed by the end of this season? How about by the end of next season?
The Steelers don’t play today, and it’s not even their bye week, so I thought it would be a good opportunity today to turn things over to you, the followers over our blog, not just posing a question, but asking you to answer it, because this time, there is a clear answer—it is whatever you think it is.
Put simply, where do you think the Steelers will be by the end of the 2016 regular season? That means both where they will place and what sort of shape they will be in for whatever might be available to them by the time their 16 games have been played.
Will the Steelers make the playoffs this year? They missed it with 8-8 records in 2012 and 2013. They made it back in 2014, but lost in the Wildcard round. Last season, they made it two postseasons in a row, and won a playoff game. They even seemed at one point to be knocking on the doorstep of an AFC Championship game appearance, holding a lead over the eventual Super Bowl champions late in the fourth quarter.
But right now, they would have to run the table to even finish with an 11-5 record, currently sitting at 6-5. They were 7-5 when they ran the table in 2005 just to make the playoffs as the sixth seed, but they went on to the Super Bowl and won.
This is a team that has historically played some of its best football in November and December over the course of the past decade or so, and they seem to have gotten over a lot of the hurdles they’ve had to face and are on an upward trajectory. How far does that take them?
And that includes next season. I think that many have already written off this year, but what about next year? Do they have enough talent in-house that can grow and mature and make this unit a Super Bowl winner—all the while making sure their key veterans fend off father time?