Pittsburgh Steelers Odds, Picks & Season Preview
When it comes to historic football franchises, the Pittsburgh Steelers are a name that always comes up. With a rich history dating back to 1933, the Steelers have consistently been a force to be reckoned with in the National Football League (NFL). Heading into the 2021 season, the Steelers are once again ready to make a run for the playoffs and potentially another Super Bowl title. In this article, we will take a closer look at the Steelers’ odds, make some picks, and provide a season preview for the upcoming year.
The Ben Roethlisberger Factor
One of the most crucial factors in determining the Steelers’ success this season is the performance of their veteran quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger. After 17 seasons in the NFL, Roethlisberger is undoubtedly one of the most experienced and accomplished players in the league. However, age is starting to catch up with the 39-year-old quarterback, and questions about his ability to lead the offense have arisen.
Last season, the Steelers started strong with an 11-0 record but faltered down the stretch. Roethlisberger struggled with consistency and arm strength, leading to a disappointing playoff exit. However, during the offseason, he underwent a rigorous training program to improve his overall fitness and work on his mechanics. If Roethlisberger can return to his prime form, the Steelers’ offense will be a force to be reckoned with.
Strong Defensive Unit
While the Steelers’ offense may have question marks, their defense is undoubtedly one of the best in the league. Led by perennial Pro-Bowlers such as T.J. Watt, Minkah Fitzpatrick, and Cameron Heyward, the Steelers’ defense is stacked with talent in every position.
Last season, they finished first in total defense, giving up just over 300 yards per game. Their ability to create turnovers and put pressure on opposing quarterbacks makes them a nightmare for any offense. With defensive coordinator Keith Butler at the helm, the Steelers’ defense is expected to continue its dominance and help carry the team to victory.
One obstacle the Steelers will have to overcome is their challenging schedule. The NFL is known for its parity, and every game is a battle. The Steelers will face tough competition from teams such as the Green Bay Packers, Kansas City Chiefs, and Baltimore Ravens.
The divisional games against the Ravens will be especially crucial, as both teams have a history of fierce matchups. Additionally, the Steelers will have to prove themselves against top teams in the league if they want to secure a playoff spot and potentially compete for a Super Bowl.
Key Additions and Losses
During the offseason, the Steelers made several key additions to address some of their weaknesses. One notable addition is Najee Harris, a running back drafted in the first round. Harris brings a dynamic playmaking ability to the offense and will be a significant boost to the rushing attack.
On the defensive side, the Steelers signed cornerback Joe Haden to a contract extension, solidifying their secondary. Haden is a veteran presence and has consistently been one of the top corners in the league.
However, the Steelers did lose some key players during free agency, including linebacker Bud Dupree and offensive lineman Alejandro Villanueva. These losses will undoubtedly impact the team, but the Steelers have shown a knack for developing young players and finding replacements.
Odds and Picks
Heading into the season, the odds for the Pittsburgh Steelers to win the Super Bowl sit at around +4000, according to various sportsbooks. While the odds may not indicate them as favorites, the Steelers have the potential to surprise many and make a deep playoff run.
In terms of picks, the Steelers are a team that should never be counted out. With a strong defense and experienced coaching staff, they have the ability to compete with any team in the league. If Roethlisberger performs at a high level and the running game improves with the addition of Harris, the Steelers’ offense can put up points against any defense.
Ultimately, the success of the Steelers this season will depend on how well they navigate their challenging schedule and whether their key players can stay healthy and perform at a high level. If everything falls into place, don’t be surprised to see the Steelers competing for a playoff spot and potentially making a deep run.
The Pittsburgh Steelers have a long and storied history in the NFL, and the 2021 season promises to add another chapter to their legacy. With the steady hand of Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback, a dominant defense, and key additions during the offseason, the Steelers have the pieces in place to be a contender. While they face challenges from a tough schedule and the emergence of new contenders, the Steelers should never be underestimated. As the season unfolds, fans and pundits alike will be eagerly watching to see if the Steelers can write another successful chapter in their illustrious history.