12/17/18-What To Make Of This Group?

By: Mike Pelaia

Fourteen games into the 2018 season, it’s still very difficult to decipher just exactly what to make of the Pittsburgh Steelers. 

How good are they? 

Can they win the Super Bowl?

Will they make the playoffs?

These are all questions that don’t really have answers….until now.


How Good Are They?

This is a great question and one that’s hard to answer, even this deep into the season but I’m going to give it a shot here.  This team started the season losing two of their first four, went on a six game winning streak after that, followed that with a three game dud of a losing streak, including losses to the Broncos and Raiders and then, with their backs against the wall, exorcised some demons and beat the New England Patriots to keep their hopes alive.

It’s been whacky, it’s been interesting and it’s shown that the Steelers can be as good or as bad as they want to be. 

This team is as good as its’ focus.

When they put together a game plan, run the game plan as designed or make adjustments when needed, they can beat anyone in the league.

When the offense is flowing with Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, JuJu Smith-Schuster, James Conner and Vance McDonald making plays; they can score with anyone in the league.

If the defense applies pressure to the opposition and masks their weak secondary, they can go on a long winning streak (hence the six game streak this season). 

Yet, if they begin to consistently make mistakes, turn the ball over in the red zone, not put pressure on the quarterback, fail to prepare and make adjustments, they are capable of losing to anyone (hence the three game skid they just snapped).

So, their talent is tied to their focus, and when they focus, they are as good as any other team in the league. 

But perhaps the questions should really be, how focused are they?

Can They Win The Super Bowl?

When talking about the Steelers in Pittsburgh, the Super Bowl always comes up. It’s always the goal and the fans expect a trip to the big game every season, this season was and is no exception.

But can this team win the Super Bowl? 

Immediately, fans and experts alike would put the Steelers behind teams like the Saints, Rams and Bears in the NFC and the Chiefs, Chargers and still the Patriots in the AFC.

I wouldn’t argue the odds favor those six over the Steelers, even with the Steelers most recent win of New England.

That said, the black and gold CAN win the Super Bowl, as previously stated, if they focus.  There is no reason this team can’t get hot and go on a long run.  They’ve proven it earlier this year with he six game winning streak and they have now proven they can beat the Patriots.

They’ll get a shot at the Saints this week in a game that will go a long way in helping us understand just what they’re made of. 

This team has the talent to win the Super Bowl but in order to do that, they have to actually make the playoffs first!

Will They Make The Playoffs?

Obviously in order to win the Super Bowl, you have to make the playoffs. Thanks to their three game skid, they went from a shoe in and possible first round bye to a measly half game lead and a chance of missing the playoffs entirely.

The way I see it, if the Steelers lose to the Saints and beat the Bengals and the Ravens win out, the Steelers are out of the playoffs entirely.  

That first game tie will keep them out as they will finish a half game behind the winner of the season finale between the Titans and Colts (assuming both win this coming Sunday in games they are favored to do so).

I think the Steelers will go 1-1, losing to the Saints this coming Sunday by a score of 30-24 (Chris Boswell will NOT miss a kick though) and then they’ll beat the Bengals in the season finale at Heinz Field.

So, that leaves it in the hands of the Ravens who are at the Chargers, who have a division title and first round bye at stake and an upstart Browns team who is good and only getting better (watch out in 2019).  I think the Ravens can win both of those games but won’t, therefore the Steelers will slip into the playoffs and as I said from there, if they are on their game and focused, they absolutely can win the Super Bowl this season.

Let the games begin…


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