With some of the best skill players in football at his disposal, Mike Tomlin’s Steelers won their division but couldn’t get by the Patriots in the conference championship. This season, gray beards Ben Roethlisberger and James Harrison are suiting up for what could be their final campaign together.
Last year: 11-5
Subtractions: RB DeAngelo Williams, TE Ladarius Green, WR Markus Wheaton, LB Lawrence Timmons
Additions: WR Justin Hunter
Notable rookies: RB James Conner, WR Juju Smith Schuster, CB Cameron Smith, QB Joshua Dobbs
Analysis: He’s a bandaged, banged-up Frankenstein’s Monster of a man but Ben Roethlisberger is still one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. He’s 35 now and he didn’t announce he would be playing this season until April leading some to wonder how much longer he’s going to keep coming back. Helping to make that decision easier for him are his starting running back and top wide receiver: Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown respectively. These two are arguably the best in the game at their positions and they’re currently right in the prime of their careers. Receiver Martavis Bryant stretches the field giving Brown room to work underneath, while Bell has become famous for his patience as he waits for his hole to open up. Pittsburgh added offensive depth in the draft, selecting WR Juju Smith Schuster and power running back James Conner. the offensive line returns this year intact, anchored by center Maurkice Pouncey and right guard David DeCastro. On defense thirty-nine-year-old, James Harrison is the elder statesman. His unit is balanced but lacks the star power of the offense. Defensive backs are one of the team’s weaker units, but the same group returns from last year so what they lack in talent they theoretically have in continuity. The other question on defense is who lines up at inside linebacker with Lawrence Timmons gone. Even with questions on defense the Steelers have the firepower to hang with any team in football and are the odds-on favorites to win the AFC North this season.