The Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2021 season is over, already eliminated from the postseason after suffering a 42-21 loss at the hands of Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. They just barely made the postseason with a 9-7-1 record and a little help from their friends.
This is an offseason of major change, with the retirement of Ben Roethlisberger, the possible retirement of general manager Kevin Colbert, and the decisions about the futures of many important players to be made, such as Joe Haden, Stephon Tuitt, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and others.
Aside from exploring their options at the quarterback position, the top global priority, once again, figures to be addressing the offensive line, which they did not do quite adequately enough a year ago. Dan Moore Jr. looks like he may have a future as a full-time starter, but Kendrick Green was clearly not ready. Chukwuma Okorafor is heading into free agency, as is Trai Turner.
These are the sorts of topics 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: Who do you think will be playing in the Super Bowl this season (and who are you rooting for, or against)?
Well, the Pittsburgh Steelers aren’t going to be playing any games for a while. There are only three more meaningful games left in the NFL’s 2021 season, period: The two conference finals, and then the league championship, better known as the Super Bowl.
The AFC comes down to two teams from opposite recent ends of the spectrum: The most successful team and the until recently least successful. The Kansas City Chiefs have hosted, including today’s game, the past four AFC Championship Games, a record for the most consecutive hosted conference finals. They’ve won twice, including the past two. On the other side is the Cincinnati Bengals, who won six games total in 2019-20 and just won their first playoff game since 1990.
Representing the NFC is the team that has been in more conference finals than anybody in the form of the San Francisco 49ers. They will be hosted by the Los Angeles Rams, who have perhaps the most complete team they have assembled—including the quarterback position—since Kurt Warner was there.
Which team in either conference will emerge victorious and represent in the Super Bowl two weeks from today? Three of the four home teams lost in the Divisional Round, but every single one of those games was incredibly close, three coming down to the final seconds in regulation, another in overtime.
Personally speaking, I fully expect the Rams and the Chiefs to move on and play in the Super Bowl. This may be blasphemous from a divisional perspective, but I would like to see this Bengals team have success as well. It certainly would be interesting, and very impressive, if they could actually pull the whole thing off and win the Super Bowl this year.