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: Can the Steelers defy the odds and actually win a playoff game?
Like it or not, the Steelers are officially in the postseason—and believe me, there are a number of Steelers fans who would rather have seen them not make it. But regardless of what one feels may have been in the organization’s long-term best interests, the simple fact of the matter is that they’re in the tournament now.
And they are the seventh seed. They will be playing the Kansas City Chiefs, in Kansas City, again, after having just played them a couple of weeks ago. And the Chiefs didn’t even have Travis Kelce for that game, with Tyreek Hill not being much of a factor.
They lost 36-10, one of their worst losses of the season. They are opening as nearly two-touchdown underdogs, but they are playing in the game, and that means that they have a chance to win the game. Hey, it’s not like they haven’t lost playoff games in which they were the clear favorite.
One thing that would help is getting Kevin Dotson and Dan Moore Jr. back along the offensive line—and keeping Kendrick Green on the bench. Running back Najee Harris’ arm being healthy would be a welcome touch, as well. And please, nobody breath on T.J. Watt.