The 2016 season is unfortunately over, and the Pittsburgh Steelers are now embarking upon their latest offseason journey, heading back to the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, formerly known and still referred to as the ‘South Side’ facility of Heinz Field. While the postseason is now behind us, there is plenty left to discuss.
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 offseason as they develop, and beyond, looking for the answers as we look to evaluate the makeup of the Steelers as they try to navigate their way back to the Super Bowl, after reaching the AFC Championship game last season for the first time in more than half a decade.
Question: What will you remember most about the Steelers’ 2016 season?
If you look at it from the perspective of how far they were able to go, then the Steelers objectively had their best season in six years since they reached the Super Bowl in 2010. Reaching the AFC Championship game is no small feat, even if they came up quite small in that game and lost in fairly spectacular fashion.
The year really turned out to be a rollercoaster of highs and lows, even from game to game. There are two excellent examples of that fact from just within the same game. The Steelers scored a go-ahead touchdown on a fake spike against the Cowboys, only to see Dallas come back and put a touchdown on them.
Several weeks later, the Ravens did the same thing to the Steelers, but this time they were the spoil-sports, dethroning Baltimore with a nearly last-second touchdown from four yards out that has been unofficially coined the Immaculate Extension—the play that won the division.
It would probably be difficult to top that moment in terms of memorability, but everybody is different, and there were certainly lots of memorable moments during the year. There were multiple record-breaking performances from Le’Veon Bell alone that would make worthy candidates. James Harrison setting the franchise record in sacks was a bigger deal than it seemed at the time.
The impressive early season win against the Chiefs was a memorable one in my mind, as the most complete game that the team played all year. Antonio Brown’s pair of 50-plus-yard touchdowns to start off the playoffs in the first seven minutes of the game are a nice memory.
Others are not so nice, such as Martavis Bryant’s suspension. Then there was Joey Porter’s arrest, Ben Roethlisberger’s knee injury, the four-game losing streak, the Patriots’ trouncing of the Steelers in the conference finals…
Put simply, there was a lot going on this year, for better or worse. You can even throw in the draft here, or free agency—goodness knows everybody has an opinion on Ladarius Green. But above all, I want to know: what will you remember most about the 2016 season when all is said and done?