Recently I was on YouTube doing what I normally do — searching Pittsburgh Steelers videos. I like to watch highlight videos, and every now and then I will see something which either sparks my interest, or could be shared on the site.
In my most recent search I stumbled upon the Super Bowl 40 and Super Bowl 43 season compilation videos. I hadn’t seen them in a while, so I watched a bit of each, and couldn’t stop thinking about what might be the difference between those teams, and the 2018 team about to head to training camp on July 25th.
In 2005, when the Super Bowl 40 team was the first team to win the Super Bowl as a No. 6 seed, the defense was dominant, but what about the offense? The offensive line wasn’t horrible, behind Jeff Hartings, Max Starks and company, but lacked the true playmakers the current team possesses. Going back to the defense, this was a defense which possessed outside linebackers named Joey Porter and Clark Haggans. Not really an all-time pair of bookend OLBs for a 3-4 defense. The front three of Kimo Von Oelhoffen, Casey Hampton and Aaron Smith might have been the most underrated part of the defense. The cornerbacks of Ike Taylor, DeShea Townsend and Bryant McFadden were a decent group, but the safety group, Troy Polamalu and Ryan Clark, were dominant.
When I think more about it, the current Steelers team has a better offense, and although some areas of the defense aren’t as strong, certainly are comparable.
In 2009, the Steelers’ defense was ridiculous. James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley in their primes, Polamalu and Clark roaming the back end and the only real weakness being the cornerbacks on the team. Then there was the offense. Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes were the playmakers, but that offensive line was atrocious. For as great as the Steelers’ defense was, the offense simply made plays when they had to. That season had so many games where Jeff Reed was the deciding factor.
Comparing this team to the current team, the ‘08-’09 defense dominates, but the 2018 offense is far and away better than the alternative.
So, what is the 2018 team missing?
Yes, inside linebacker is a hole on the roster, but it isn’t as if those other teams didn’t have holes on their roster. The more I think about it, the more I believe this 2018 team is more than capable of bringing home a Lombardi trophy. They will need some luck, every team does, and to stay healthy, but will also need the heart of their team to step up in a big way — the offense.
Fans should embrace the fact this team is built around the offense, and there were times when the offense didn’t stand up to the task last season. While the defense might be improving, this team will go as far as the offense takes it.
They are capable of great things, but what do you think is missing from this team which could keep them from winning a seventh Super Bowl title? Let us know in the comment section below!