For two straight seasons, the Pittsburgh Steelers have watched the playoffs from afar.
Conventional wisdom would tell you that they aren't that close to contending for a Super Bowl, right?
Wrong. This is the NFL. Three of the teams that participated in championship weekend didn't even make the playoffs last year.
The San Fransisco 49ers had the second pick in the draft last year, and now they’re going to the ‘ship. They were 4-12 and jumped to 13-3. The Niners last year, like the Steelers this season, lost their starting QB for the season due to injury.
The Steelers went 8-8 in a season where Ben Roethlisberger didn't win a football game. The Niners had further to go in a year than the Steelers do, and here they are playing on Super Bowl Sunday.
There were five teams in this year's NFL playoffs that didn't make it last year. It's funny how much can change in just one season.
Hell, the Super Bowl runner up (Rams) didn't even make the tournament this year.
The Steelers boast what I think is the best defense in football, so long as they resign Bud Dupree (they will).
T.J. Watt, Cam Heyward, and Minkah Fitzpatrick were named to the All-Pro team. Joe Haden was named to the Pro-Bowl. Devin Bush lead all rookies in tackles. Bud Dupree had 11.5 sacks. Steve Nelson was excellent. I thought Stephon Tuitt was the Steelers best defensive player the first six weeks of the season before he was lost to injury.
The Steelers are STACKED on that side of the ball.
On offense, Maurkice Pouncey and David DeCastro made the Pro-Bowl. This team is a year removed from seeing Al Villanueva, James Conner, and JuJu Smith-Schuster being named to the AFC team.
Presumably, they’re about to get back their Hall of Fame quarterback.
The Steelers are talented, and playing in a league that changes every year.
I wouldn’t count them out in 2020.