The Pittsburgh Steelers have been one of the most consistent teams in the NFL over the years and they seemingly always have a team that can win the Super Bowl. The 2012 version is once again well equipped with a strong defense and a core of veterans, but they will have a much tougher time finding success on the field this year.
The latest odds posted by Just Bet have the Pittsburgh Steelers at 20-to-1 to win the Super Bowl and 10-to-1 to win the tough AFC, this is a sign that the oddsmakers have lost faith in the Steelers this year.
The Steelers will have their hands full with a changing offense and a demanding schedule.
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is the one mainstay on offense that is the heartbeat of the team. After the seemingly forced retirement of Hines Ward the Steelers will be looking for leadership and hope they get it from Big Ben who has matured over the years.
Head coach Mike Tomlin’s decision to bring on Todd Haley as offensive coordinator has attracted some criticism. Haley and Roethlisberger have had a rocky relationship and the thinking is that the focus will be on a running game. The problem with a returned focus to the running game is that the Steelers need to address some issues.
They had a wonderful draft grabbing guard David Decastro with their first overall pick and following up with Mike Adams, a tackle out of Ohio State. The Steelers will need young players to adjust quickly if they want to have a strong offensive line. Another problem with running back is that they don’t have a steady back at the moment and have hopes that one will emerge.
Rashard Mendenhall will start the season on the PUP list and that will leave a running back-by-committee approach. John Clay, Isaac Redman, and Jonathan Dwyer all have potential and tremendous upside, but have yet to prove their worth as an every down back. The position to go away from the pass to reestablish the run will take the ball out of their best players hand in Roethlisberger. When he does throw he will have one of the best at his disposal in mike Wallace, but will he be ready to go if he misses most of camp in a contract dispute? This doesn’t even begin to answer the questions on defense.
The Steelers secondary has been their weakness of late and the reason they lost to Tim Tebow and the Broncos last year in the playoffs. Ike Taylor is a liability at time and Kennan Lewis is average at best. One of the decent corners they did have in William Gay, left to play with Arizona. In a pass-happy AFC, this could be the Achilles Heel of this team.
The Steelers finished last year with a 12-4 record and still lost the division to the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens and the Bengals will compete against Pittsburgh for the division and the remaining schedule for Pittsburgh is just as ugly. The schedule features games against Peyton Manning and the Broncos, Eli Manning and the Giants and a brutal stretch to end the season against Baltimore, Dallas, and San Diego.
The Pittsburgh Steelers should not be concerned with winning the Super Bowl, but just making the playoffs.
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