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: How realistic are the Steelers’ Super Bowl chances for 2020?
The Steelers will have last played in a Super Bowl a decade ago. They lost that game, their chance to reach seven Lombardis. Thus far, they are the only franchise to have had the opportunity to win a seventh (the New England Patriots became only the second team to win six last year). What are the odds that they get a second shot at seven during the 2020 season?
That depends largely upon how much you believe that quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will return in 2020 and play at a high level. At least from appearances, they have a defense that took major strides toward reaching a championship level last season, so now it’s up to the offense to play catch-up.
The defense was a top-five unit in 2019, so I think it’s fair to rest on the assumption that they have enough on that end to win. Does the offense? They have talent at wide receiver. James Conner has done good things in the past when healthy. The offensive line is getting long in the tooth. It’s hard to say.
Meanwhile, the Baltimore Ravens still figure to be one of the top teams in all of football in 2020. It will be hard to even get out of their own division, and the Ravens going one-and-done in the postseason does nothing to change that.