The Pittsburgh Steelers are now into the regular season, following the most unique offseason in the NFL since at least World War II. While it didn’t involve a player lockout, teams still did not have physical access to their players, though they were at least able to meet with them virtually.
Even training camp looked much different from the norm, and a big part of that was the fact that there will be no games along the way to prepare for. Their first football game of the year was to be the opener against the New York Giants.
As the season progresses, however, there will be a number of questions that arise on a daily basis, and we will do our best to try to raise attention to them as they come along, in an effort to both point them out and to create discussion
Questions like, how will the players who are in new positions this year going to perform? Will the rookies be able to contribute significantly? How will Ben Roethlisberger look—and the other quarterbacks as well? Now, we even have questions about whether or not players will be in quarantine.
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: Did the Steelers get the playoff matchup that they should want?
The Steelers came into the day with the possibility of facing one of any five different teams in the first round of the postseason, between the Cleveland Browns, the Baltimore Ravens, the Miami Dolphins, the Indianapolis Colts, and the Tennessee Titans.
With everything basically breaking the way it was expected to break, it ended up that the Browns would be the sixth seed, the Steelers the third, meaning that they will face each other in the first round of the postseason.
Even though the Browns did just beat the Steelers, 24-22, it came with Pittsburgh resting a number of starters, and missing a couple more due to Covid-19. They won’t be getting Joe Haden back in time for the first round as a result, but Eric Ebron should be back provided that he doesn’t test positive.
Outside of perhaps the Dolphins, I’m not sure that there is another team among the possibilities that I would have rather seen the Steelers face in the opening round. They pretty much always play Cleveland well, even beating them 38-7 earlier this year.
While they beat the Ravens twice, and the Colts and Titans as well, all of them are arguably better teams who match up better against Pittsburgh. Nick Chubb will be a handful that they didn’t have to deal with in their win earlier this season, but so would Jonathan Taylor or J.K. Dobbins or Derrick Henry, or DH2K.