The Pittsburgh Steelers are now into the offseason, following a year in which they had high hopes for Super Bowl success, but ultimately fell short of even reaching the postseason at 8-8. It was a tumultuous season, both on the field and within the roster, and the months to follow figure to have some drama as well, especially in light of the team’s failure to improve upon the year before.
The team made some bold moves over the course of the past year, and some areas of the roster look quite a bit different than they did a year ago, or even at the start of the regular season. Whether due to injuries or otherwise, a lot has transpired, and we’re left to wonder how much more will change prior to September.
How will Ben Roethlisberger’s rehab progress as he winds toward recovery from an elbow injury that cost him almost the entire season? What about some of the key young players, some of whom have already impressed, others still needing quite a bit of growth? Will there be changes to the coaching staff? The front office? Who will they not retain in free agency, and whom might they bring in?
These are the sorts of questions among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked, though there is rarely a concrete answer, as I’ve learned in my years of doing this.
Question: Will teams ‘figure out’ Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens’ offense by next season?
The Ravens didn’t simply have a great offense last season. They had one of the great offenses in NFL history. Their 33.2 points scored per game by the end of the season—while resting starters in the finale, and frequently pulling starters in the fourth quarter due to score differentials—ranks as the 12th-highest in NFL history. Of the teams ahead of them, only two teams had a lower points allowed per game figure.
Yet it’s worth noting that none of the teams ahead of them actually won a Super Bowl. Six of them reached the Super Bowl, but lost. Three failed to reach their conference finals, while one failed to reach even the divisional round. The Ravens now join that group after being dominated by the Tennessee Titans.
But did the Titans ‘figure them out’? or was it because Mark Ingram was banged up, and Jackson and the offense was rusty from not playing for a couple of weeks? This isn’t about whether or not the same thing will happen in the postseason next year, but whether or not this will still be a dominant offense over the course of the 2020 season.