The Steelers are starting the season coming off a great ending to last season, with a not so great preseason. Despite not looking sharp in all their preseason games, many lists have the Steelers up just a bit from where they left off last season. Let see where they stand around the league in the power rankings:
Some believe the Steelers are old and finished. I’m not one of them, especially after their 6-2 finish last year. Todd Haley and Big Ben look like they figured out how this offense works. The run game with Le’Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount will remind fans of the old days. I like the young speed on defense.
– Pat Kirwan (CBS Sports, Ranked #13)
Mr. Kirwan can say the Steelers are on the rise and will win the division, while ranking the Bengals at #6 and the Steelers at #13. Yeah, that makes sense. Wait, what?
2013 was the third straight season Pittsburgh finished with a negative turnover margin. Once a Pittsburgh hallmark, the Steelers’ defense hasn’t had more than 20 takeaways in a season since 2010.
– ESPN.com (Ranked #13)
This is a great stat to point to, and hopefully we will see the defense throughout the season that we saw against Buffalo in Week 2.
Calling it right now: Dri Archer returns the opening kick of the regular season for a touchdown … and then the Steelers score 10 points the rest of the game. While I expect them to be OK, something seems off with Ben Roethlisberger and the the first-team offense. Sure would help if receiver Markus Wheaton were to turn it up a notch in Year 2. We’re still waiting on that — and on an apology from Emmanuel Sanders, too.
– Elliott Harrison (NFL.com, Ranked #16)
It would be nice to get some fireworks on Special Teams this year, which would take pressure off of the offense and defense. Hopefully, many teams will see how fast Dri Archer is by seeing the back of his jersey.
The Steelers have been marred by recent legal issues at running back, but Ben Roethlisberger should continue to progress as Markus Wheaton and Dri Archer add a new element to the offense. Rookie Ryan Shazier already looks like he will be in the mix for defensive ROY.
-Dan Schneier (FoxSports, Ranked #16)
Ryan Shazier joins Jack Lambert and Kendrell Bell as the only Steeler linebackers to start in their rookie campaign. Hopefully Shazier is a lot more Lambert than Bell, but time will tell. I think he adds an X-factor to go along with Troy Polamalu.
The Steelers are not turning to dust quite as rapidly as they were a couple years ago — at least a dozen of their projected starters entered the league in 2010 or later. But Ben Roethlisberger is not one of them, so the sense of urgency in getting it done before Big Ben breaks down remains.
-Chris Burke (SI.com, Ranked #16)
I do agree Ben’s window is closing, but it’s not there yet. He still has the skill and play-making ability to lead this team back to another championship.
That’s it Steeler Nation! Let us know what you think!