As a part of a preseason preview, it’s time to take a look at the NFL 2014 by taking a look at the league’s contenders and pretenders. Now, Dancin’ Mike Tomlin and the Pittsburgh Steelers.
2013 Record: 8-8
2014 O/U: 8.5
Steelers Fan-Related Tweet of Note:
Summary: After starting out 0-4, Pittsburgh gathered themselves eventually to finish 8-8 including a 6-2 finish down the stretch of the ’13 campaign.
One reason for Pittsburgh’s struggles last season? Their running game. Once a strong compliment to Ben Roethlisberger’s passing attack, the Steelers ranked among the worst rushing teams in football despite 860 yards and eight scores from rookie runner Le’Veon Bell. Pittsburgh finished 29th in rushing DVOA a season ago, which incredibly was a slight upgrade from ’12 when they finished 31st.
Of course, on cue Bell and offseason acquisition LeGarrette Blount may have to deal with Roger Goodell after getting busted for marijuana possession prior to hopping a team flight to Philadelphia.
Oh, and Pittsburgh’s once-vaunted defense needs to get better fast. Traditionally a stout rush defense, Pittsburgh ranked 21st in yardage allowed – the worst finish by a Steeler defense since ’99.
Luckily for the Steelers, a Charmin-quality schedule awaits them in ’14.
PREDICTED FINISH: 10-6