NFL

Reasons The Pittsburgh Steelers Won’t Win The Super Bowl

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When it comes to the most prestigious franchises in NFL history, it doesn’t get any better than the Pittsburgh Steelers. As an organization, the Steelers have the most Super Bowl titles with six, one ahead of the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers.

As Pittsburgh looks for that elusive seventh Lombardi Trophy, there are several obstacles they’ll have to overcome.

Offensively, the Steelers are arguably among the best in the entire league.

Last season, Pittsburgh finished third in points per game (26.4), while finishing third in total passing yards (4,603) and passing yards per game (287.7).

On the flip side, Pittsburgh’s running game suffered due to Le’Veon Bell missing 10 games. An early season suspension and a season-ending knee injury hindered Bell’s activity in 2015.

As we look forward to the upcoming 2016 campaign, Bell is staring another suspension in the face, as he’s set to miss the first four games due to a missed drug test.

Missing a drug test is the equivalent of failing one, but Bell plans to appeal the suspension.

Whether or not Bell starts the season, veteran running back DeAngelo Williams is more than capable of filling the void.

In 2015, Williams rushed for 907 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Nonetheless, Pittsburgh will be without their No. 2 receiver from a season ago, Martavis Bryant. The Clemson product has been suspended for the season for substance abuse.

Just like Bell, Bryant missed the beginning of last season as well for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.

Fortunately for Ben Roethlisberger and company, 25-year-old receiver Markus Wheaton looks to be more than ready to fill in during Bryant’s absence.

Although Wheaton was fourth on the team in receptions a year ago, he led Pittsburgh in yards per catch (17.0). This stat alone should let you know about the down the field capabilities the former Oregon State standout possesses.

Not to mention, Pittsburgh re-signed Darrius Hayward-Bey and picked up promising tight end Ladarius Green.

As you see, the Steelers shouldn’t have issues putting points on the board, but stopping opponents from doing just that is another situation within itself.

Surprisingly, Pittsburgh only allowed 19.9 points per game last season, which ranked 11th in the league.

This defensive unit was a prime example of bend but don’t break, which typically isn’t a great formula for championship level football.

The ability to turn opponents over was Pittsburgh’s saving grace, as they totaled 30 takeaways, tying the New York Jets for third in the league.

Sure, being able to create turnovers is a great asset, but it’s not something you can particularly bank on game-to-game.

Does anyone truly believe Pittsburgh will create 30 takeaways again this year?

That seems very unlikely to say the least and with today’s game being such a pass happy league, the Steelers didn’t do anything significant this offseason to improve their fragile secondary.

Pittsburgh ranked 30th against the pass in 2015, while allowing 271.9 yards per game through the air.

To their defense, Pittsburgh did select cornerback Artie Burns with the 25th overall pick of this year’s draft, but expecting a rookie to come in and solve your secondary problems immediately is not only unfair, but unrealistic.

If Pittsburgh had a stellar pass rush, that would dramatically help out their secondary, but that’s simply not the case here. Cameron Hayward was the team’s sack leader with just seven sacks a year ago.  The team is hoping that Alvin “Bud” Dupree makes strides in his second season, but there’s no guarantee that will happen.

As a team, Pittsburgh totaled 33 sacks, which ranked in the bottom half of the league.

On the bright side, Pittsburgh’s offense will be so good to the point where their defense doesn’t have to be elite, but when it comes down to playoff level football, I don’t see them being able to overcome the imperfections of their defense.  Especially when the weather gets worse.


About Mark Gunnels

Mark Gunnels

Mark Gunnels is an NFL columnist for Football Insiders. He has several years of experience covering the NFL and NCAA football. He's the radio color commentator for Lincoln University football. Mark's work has been featured on Sports Illustrated, Fox Sports and Yard Barker.