The Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2021 season is underway, and they are hoping for a better outcome in comparison to last season. After starting out 11-0, they finished the year 1-4 in the regular season, and then lost in the Wildcard Round to the Cleveland Browns, ignited by a 0-28 first quarter.
They have lost a large number of key players in the offseason, like Maurkice Pouncey, Bud Dupree, Alejandro Villanueva, David DeCastro, Mike Hilton, and Steven Nelson, but they’ve also made significant additions as the months have gone on, notably Trai Turner, Melvin Ingram, Joe Schobert, and Ahkello Witherspoon. They also added Najee Harris, Pat Freiermuth, Kendrick Green, and Dan Moore Jr., all of whom are starting.
There isn’t much left to do but to play the games at this point. Even if they play them poorly. They still have a lot to figure out, though, such as what Matt Canada’s offense is going to look like in any given week, or how the new-look secondary and offensive line is going to play.
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. There is rarely a concrete answer, but this is your venue for exploring the topics we present through all their uncertainty.
Question: What are you most thankful for when it comes to the Steelers in 2021?
Whether talking about football or life in general, most likely, the year of 2021 was probably a trying time for many. Many things are not ‘normal’, and one wonders if that normal is gone for good, or at least a long way off.
But as always, life goes on, and another day dawns. The day after today is Christmas, which serves as a time of reflection for many—and also coincides with the home stretch of the NFL season. While not exactly storming through their schedule, the Steelers remain very much alive in the middle of a very mediocre pack in the AFC playoff picture.
Standing at 7-6-1 with a very shaky offense, a very shaky defense, and a very shaky punter, it seems as though the Steelers could genuinely go either way in any game. They still have talent, and sometimes that talent is enough to carry them through the day, but every week has been an adventure—and a cardiac checkup.
Just consider this fact: The Steelers have won seven games this year. Six of them have required a game-winning drive in the fourth quarter, and five have required a fourth-quarter comeback. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger leads the NFL in both statistics, and in fact both are career highs.
In light of that, I suppose I would say that, if for anything, I’m thankful that this Steelers team has found ways to win. They have gotten blown out a couple of times, but they almost always at least make things interesting. Just ask the Minnesota Vikings or the Los Angeles Chargers. Pittsburgh didn’t win either game, but man, those were some fourth quarters to see.