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 want to see win the Super Bowl this year?
The contestants have been determined for two weeks now. The Cincinnati Bengals will ‘host’ the Los Angeles Rams in this rendition of the Super Bowl—even though they will be playing in the Rams’ stadium, for the second time in as many years, one of the contestants having the opportunity to host the game.
The first time it ever happened, in fact, was last year, when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers won it in their own home stadium. The Rams are favored to make it two for two, but the Bengals will be no pushovers, certainly, and they have proven their comeback mettle, both in the regular season and the postseason.
On paper, it has the potential to be a well-fought game, two teams with both good offenses and defenses, as well as special teams plusses. We could potentially be in for a pretty much objectively good football game, which hasn’t always been the case in the championship.
But the question isn’t about who you think would win, or who you think should win. The question is, who do you want to win? I raised a somewhat question earlier a few weeks ago, but now we’re down to just two teams.
The Bengals are the Steelers’ division rival. That means a lot more to some people than it does to others, and for some, that means never root for them. For others, they prefer to root for a division rival. Even former Bengals cornerback Adam Jones said he would be rooting for the Steelers if they were playing the Rams.
The Bengals do have local boy Tyler Boyd. But the Rams have local boy Aaron Donald. The Bengals have an exciting young team with great players like Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase. The Rams finally got Matthew Stafford into a position to succeed after a dozen years of floundering in Detroit.
For me, I’ve gone back and forth, but ultimately, I want to see Stafford and Donald get their rings. I ‘like’ the Bengals as a team the way they’re currently constructed, hopefully well past the Vontaze Burfict era, but they’ll have other chances, perhaps, with their young nucleus. I think this is Stafford’s time.