Steelers Full of Hope Ahead of 2020 Campaign
The Pittsburgh Steelers had two pretty frustrating seasons behind them. Their fans also experienced the same feeling throughout that time. If they considered a failure to lose in the Divisional Round of the 2017 NFL playoffs, imagine how they felt in the next two campaigns once their favorites failed to reach the postseason.
Last year, Mike Tomlin had one hell of a task ahead of him, and that is to fill in the gap left with Antonio Brown’s departure. It was a massive challenge. Fast forward several weeks, Tomlin not only missed Brown in the team, but Ben Roethlisberger as well. The two-time NFL champion suffered a season-ending injury early on.
The Steelers began the campaign with 1-4 and after that lost Big Ben, yet they managed to reach 8-8 record in the end, having a solid finish, which raised a lot of hope among the fans and the board that the franchise created solid foundations for this year. The arrival of Minkah Fitzpatrick from the Dolphins was a jackpot, and Tomlins’ defense became one of the best in the league after free safety’s arrival.
Fitzpatrick is not among the top-ranked favorites for winning the Defensive Player of the Year award, but we could easily see him snatching that trophy. At the moment, his odds are set at 30/1. The No.1 on the list is Aaron Donald with 13/2. Khalil Mack is next 12/1, Joey Bosa 10/1, Stephon Gilmore 16/1, Chandler Jones, Derwin James, Von Miller 20/1, and Danielle Hunter at 25/1 all come before Pittsburgh’s new star. If you want to see interesting betting offers involving the Steelers’ players, read more here.
With Roethlisberger healthy, the appetites of the team and the fans are getting pretty high, and right now, the veteran QB seems pretty pumped up to come back and have his finals few years played at best possible level.
Apart from that, the management got him one target more in the attack, and that is Eric Ebron, the Pro Bowl tight end who had a terrible year with the Colts, and is looking to bounce back among the elite echelon of players in his position. Plus, the addition of Chase Claypool, the wide receiver who was their second-round selection, indicates that Big Ben’s options in the attack are going to be much more diverse than before. Remember that he has James Conner and Ju Ju Smith-Schuster too.
After all this, Tomlin’s crew is the No.5 favorite to win the AFC Conference, with the odds at 11/1. The biggest candidates are the reigning Super Bowl champions, the Kansas City Chiefs, 11/4, and are slightly ahead of the Baltimore Ravens led by the MVP, Lamar Jackson, 3/1. The Patriots and the Indianapolis Colts are 10/1, but we’ll see what will happen with New England after all the opt-outs due to COVID-19.
In order to win the conference, Pittsburgh will have to be successful in its AFC North division, which is arguably one of the toughest in the entire league. Just look at the names involved here, Ravens, Browns, Bengals, and Steelers.
The franchise from Baltimore tops the list of the favorites 5/13, Pittsburgh comes next at 4/1, and after these two, Browns and the Bengals. Cleveland is 11/2 and they are under a heavy pressure to prove that they aren’t just a big hype, and a team loaded with big names who can’t do anything. As for the Bengals, who are 28/1 to win the division, they are more into properly developing the No.1 pick from this year’s draft, Joe Burrow. They probably won’t be a threath this season, but in the next ones, the situation will be different.
Pretty much, the situation is clear for the Steelers. They know their biggest rivals, and unlike the previous campaign, have a much better team, whose ceiling is still not explored well enough.