Can you really blame the Steelers for being confident in their abilities to make it back to the Super Bowl? After surviving the Arizona Cardinals to win their second Super Bowl in four seasons (I’m not using that absurd term used by Steelers fans commerating their sixth Super Bowl victory), Pittsburgh returns with last year’s group largely together.
They are armed with a great defense, strong coaching and a money quarterback. Super Bowl MVP Santonio Holmes believes that another appearance in the big game is looming.
“We’re not wondering will we make it back, if we’ll make it back,” said Holmes. “We look forward to going back to the Super Bowl.”
In order for the Steelers to repeat, they’ll have to survive a few more AFC landmines; Tom Brady is back for the Patriots, the Titans are likely to be a challenger again (assuming Vince Young is not playing a significant role at quarterback), and San Diego should be a contender.
Beating the Patriots may very well be the key for Pittsburgh. After all, the Steelers’ two Super Bowl wins this decade came in seasons where New England wasn’t exactly at full speed.
During the ’05 season, the Patriots were trying to three-peat. I’ve always told anyone who will listen, a team trying to three-peat in the NFL is one of the most impossible feats in sports. It’s so tough that considering a two-time defending champion a favorite to win is almost folly. If you need further evidence, just consider who the Pats lost to that season, the Jake Plummer-led Denver Broncos. Then of course last season, Brady met Kansas City’s Bernard Pollard.
Besides the other obvious concerns (health and complacency), the Steelers have to get better play out of its offensive line. Luckily for Mike Tomlin and company, Ben Roethlisberger channeled another infamous quarterback who wore number 7 throughout 2008. His dipping, ducking, and dodging acts during games were awe-inspiring but somewhat frightening.
He was often in that position due to constant breakdowns in pass protection. Steelers’ brass can’t fully expect their franchise quarterback to dodge that many bullets again and come out with another Super Bowl ring.
Considering the returning talent, making the Steelers a favorite to win it all again is not a big stretch. However, this year’s road to the Super Bowl is likely to far more difficult.
Categories: Pittsburgh Steelers