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: Which recent Super Bowl loser is most likely to win one the soonest?
I saw this question asked recently, so I thought I would pose it to the community. Of the Super Bowl losers of this millennium, let’s say, going back to 2010 when the Steelers lost to the Packers, who among them is most likely to return to the Super Bowl and change their fortunes?
The teams in play here are, obviously, the Steelers, who lost in 2010, the 49ers, who lost in 2012, the Seahawks, losers of the 2014 Super Bowl, and the Panthers and Falcons, who lost to the Broncos and Patriots, respectively.
It’s worth pointing out that both the Patriots and the Broncos lost prior Super Bowl appearances (the Broncos in the 2013 season, the Patriots in the 2011 season), so for that reason, I am excluding them from the conversation. But the fact that they accomplished the task drives home the point that it’s a more than realistic goal.
Of the five teams named, the 49ers and Panthers have struggled the most since, while the Falcons are of course coming off an excellent season, but must fight against the supposed Super Bowl hangover. The Seahawks have won at least 10 game in all five seasons since Russell Wilson was drafted, so they have been a consistent presence and in the playoffs every year.
The Steelers are no doubt the team who has seen the most change from their Super Bowl loss to now, which is to be of no surprise given that they have seen the most time pass since their last appearance. But they have spent that down time renovating their team, and they have incrementally improved for three years, reaching the AFC Championship game last season.
Are they the team most likely to redeem their prior Super Bowl loss? Or would it be perhaps the Falcons, who retain what was already a growing roster from last year’s appearance, which they let slip through their fingers? Will the Seahawks return to the Super Bowl soon? They had already won one before losing the following year—yet another game that was in their grasp, yet again against the Patriots.