Pittsburgh Has the Steel needed to Win the Super Bowl This Season
The last couple of years have been tough for Pittsburgh Steelers fans as their team has not reached the playoffs since the 2017/18 campaign. With the AFC North side boosted by the return of Ben Roethlisberger, those supporters are now dreaming of their seventh Super Bowl Championship.
Pittsburgh has gone 7-0 from their opening seven games in 2020. They lead the AFC North ahead of the Baltimore Ravens, while the Cleveland Browns are in third place, but very much in contention for the title in what is one of the strongest divisions in football this season, as all three are expected to finish with a positive record.
Mike Tomlin side’s schedule was kind at the start of 2020. Victories over the New York Giants and Denver Broncos did very little to make people take note of the Steelers. Success over the Houston Texans and Philadelphia Eagles looked better on paper, however, those two teams have had their struggles this year.
It’s wins over the Cleveland Browns and particularly the Tennessee Titans which made people revise their thoughts on Pittsburgh’s Super Bowl credentials. The Steelers hammered Cleveland 38-7 at Heinz Field, while a week later they went to Nashville and inflicted the first defeat on the Titans in 2020.
Their latest success was the most impressive of their seven wins so far as it came over divisional rivals Baltimore Ravens. Pittsburgh’s defence really stepped up in the game, and they needed to as they were up against one of the most dangerous quarterbacks in the league in Lamar Jackson.
At the time of writing, Pittsburgh can be backed at +550 to win the Super Bowl. Those odds could still be generous as the Steelers have proved they are strong on both sides of the ball this year.
Tomlin will ensure his players don’t look too far ahead. He is an experienced coach in the NFL so he will be fully aware of how quickly things can change. Their focus will continue to be the next game and that is going to help their chances of reaching the playoffs as the divisional winners with one of the top seeds in the AFC.
Revival of Big Ben
Although not all of Pittsburgh’s success so far this season has been down to Big Ben, having their veteran quarterback fit and healthy again has been huge for them. Roethlisberger is a two-time Super Bowl winner and has been named in the Pro Bowl on six occasions. Injuries over the last couple of years have really hampered the 38-year-old but he is reminding us this year that he remains one of the best in the division with his arm.
There will come a time when Pittsburgh need to think of the future and who Roethlisberger’s replacement is. The Steelers are one of a number of franchises monitoring Trevor Lawrence this year. Clemson Tigers, with Lawrence behind centre, have American football odds of +150 to the NCAAF Championship this year. Given he is expected to be the first overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, Pittsburgh will need to do a trade to up to that position.
As long as Big Ben is fit, he will be the future starter. His stats so far in 2020 are not spectacular, but they are solid. He has thrown 15 touchdowns, four interceptions, a 67.9% completion rate and a quarterback rating of 61. What those statistics don’t show, though, is how important Big Ben is in big moments of the game. His experience is invaluable. Important third down completions, big plays down the field and looking after the ball are crucial to a team’s success and Roethlisberger is very good at executing those.
The AFC is the strongest conference this year with the reigning champions Kansas City Chiefs and Baltimore Ravens both also having strong Super Bowl claims. Preference should be given to the Steelers as they too have everything required to come out on top this season.