Why the Pittsburgh Steelers should be AFC title favorites in 2020

Why the Pittsburgh Steelers should be AFC title favorites in 2020

  • 2020 NFL Season
  • Ben Roethlisberger
  • Bud Dupree
  • Cam Heyward
  • Mike Tomlin
  • Minkah Fitzpatrick
  • Pittsburgh Steelers
  • T.J. Watt
By Zach Szklenski August 4, 2020 1 Comment

To many, the Pittsburgh Steelers aren’t viewed as true AFC “heavyweights”, but they should be. Especially in a world with COVID-19.

If someone were to ask, “Which teams are going to be playing in the 2020 AFC Championship game?” Most would answer the Kansas City Chiefs and Baltimore Ravens. The Pittsburgh Steelers have everything it takes to make an AFC title game, yet they aren’t seen in the same light as the formerly mentioned teams.

Realistically, they should be. Here’s why they can go toe-to-toe with anybody in the AFC, and the entire NFL for that matter.

Ben Roethlisberger

The answer to this question lies in the evaluation of what the Chiefs and Ravens don’t have that the Steelers do.

The Chiefs and Ravens don’t have quarterbacks with three SuperBowl appearances. Nor do either of them have one with two Super Bowls.

Heck, the Ravens don’t even have a quarterback with a playoff win. Lamar Jackson owns an 0-2 record in the playoffs. But, guess who does? The Pittsburgh Steelers with a guy named Ben Roethlisberger.

Great defense

Defensively, the Steelers lead all NFL pass-rush categories, such as, sacks, pressure rate, pass-rush grade, and pass-rush win percentage.

On the defensive line, they have all-pro caliber and pro-bowl caliber players everywhere. On the edges, they have sack monsters in T.J. Watt (an all-pro) and Bud Dupree.

Additionally, they have Cam Heyward (a 2x all-pro) and Stephon Tuitt (a guy that had 3.5 sacks after only six games last year due to injury and was set to have a potentially pro-bowl earning type season) on the interior.

With depth up front and a superstar EDGE player T.J. Watt, the Steelers figure to once again have a premier pass rush. The Chiefs and the Ravens can’t say that.

Furthermore, defense as a whole is quite dangerous. After acquiring Minkah Fitzpatrick from the Dolphins following week 2 of the 2019 NFL season, Pittsburgh would go on to accomplish a feat that has not been done since 1974. They led the NFL in the aforementioned categories of sacks, as well as takeaways, with 59 and 38, respectively.

Great coaching

In a world with COVID-19, experience is definitely going to be the key to winning it all. Luckily, for the Steelers, they have just that.

As mentioned earlier, the Steelers have a quarterback in Ben Roethlisberger who has played on the biggest stage a trio of times and has won it twice. That experience is invaluable for a team that is trying to win it all. This is especially true in a year without preseason games and only two weeks of padded practices before week 1.

Additionally, the Pittsburgh Steelers have a head coach with 133 wins since arriving in 2007. That man’s name- Mike Tomlin. Along with those 133 wins Mike Tomlin also has a SuperBowl ring. He will be a key reason why the Steelers are standing under the confetti in Raymond James Stadium on February 7, 2021.

Offensive line

In addition to having great people at the position of head coach and quarterback, the Steelers have an experienced offensive line that can help them win it all.

On the offensive line, they have all-pro players in Maurkice Pouncey and David DeCastro and a pro bowler in Alejandro Villanueva. One of the key factors in making a deep playoff push and Super Bowl run is that their offensive line is experienced and talented. These three have played alongside each other since 2015.

This team is certainly one to look out for in 2020. With all that experience and skill, don’t look past them to win the AFC. And perhaps even the Lombardi Trophy.

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Sam Corcoran

August 4, 2020

Don’t think they’ll be the team to come out of the AFC but people are definitely sleeping on them, imo they have a legit chance to be the 1 seed

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