There is no doubt the Pittsburgh Steelers offense could be absolutely lethal in 2017. The key words in the previous sentence would absolutely be ‘could be’. Fans of the black and gold have watched the offense stumble the past few seasons, mainly due to injury.
Whether it was Ben Roethlisberger’s fluke knee injury, Le’Veon Bell’s groin, Martavis Bryant’s suspension or Ladarius Green’s concussions, no matter how you slice it this offense could have been something truly worth writing home about.
While most talk about the team’s goal of scoring 30 points-per-game, if all key components of the team stay together, there is no reason why the goal shouldn’t be for opposing defensive coordinators trying to find a way to somehow stop this offense...at all.
However, as ridiculous as their starting depth chart could be, a recent NFL.com article has the Steelers as the second-best offense in the NFL.
Check out the Top 10 offenses in the NFL heading into 2017:
1. New England Patriots
2. Pittsburgh Steelers
3. Atlanta Falcons
4. Oakland Raiders
5. Dallas Cowboys
6. New Orleans Saints
7. Green Bay Packers
8. Los Angeles Chargers
9. Tennessee Titans
10. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Author Chris Wesseling went into great detail on each team, the specific positions, and grading them each out accordingly. Check out what he had to say about the Steelers.
2) Pittsburgh Steelers
Quarterback: B+ | Ben Roethlisberger, Landry Jones, Joshua Dobbs
Roethlisberger faded down the stretch last season, perhaps struggling to adapt to an offense suddenly running through Le'Veon Bell rather than the quarterback. Now that the receiving corps is restocked, there's ample reason to believe Big Ben will return to 2015 form in which he was the league's most dangerous downfield passer. The Steelers would earn a higher grade at the position if there were any confidence that Jones could step in and keep the season afloat in the event of yet another Roethlisberger injury.
Backfield: A- | Le'Veon Bell, James Conner, Knile Davis, Fitzgerald Toussaint
The league's premier dual-threat back, Bell is coming off one of the most productive stretches in NFL history. He's missed time due to injury or suspension in each of the past three seasons, however, a potential problem that could be exacerbated if trusty veteran DeAngelo Williams isn't re-signed before training camp.
Receiving corps: A- | Antonio Brown, Martavis Bryant, Eli Rogers, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Sammie Coates,Ladarius Green (TE), Jesse James (TE), Darrius Heyward-Bey, Cobi Hamilton, Demarcus Ayers, Justin Hunter, Xavier Grimble (TE)
Brown is a perennial All-Pro challenging Julio Jones for the wideout crown now that Calvin Johnson is retired. For all of the league's marquee additions in free agency and the draft, Bryant's return from suspension might just have the biggest impact of any single skill-position talent. Prior to the suspension that wiped out his 2016 season, Bryant and Brown had emerged as the NFL's most dynamic wideout duo, leading a historically prolific offensive attack for stretches of 2015.
Beyond Brown and Bryant, this unit features a host of wild cards. Before Coates broke a pair of fingers in October, he was an electric -- albeit inconsistent -- downfield playmaker in September. If Green can overcome concussion issues, he's an ideal seam-stretcher for Roethlisberger. Is second-round pick Smith-Schuster too young to challenge Coates and Rogers for playing time as a rookie?
Offensive line: A | Alejandro Villanueva, Ramon Foster, Maurkice Pouncey, David DeCastro, Marcus Gilbert, Chris Hubbard, B.J. Finney
The spotlight rarely leaves Pittsburgh's celebrated triplets long enough to shine on an offensive line that outperformed even Dallas' star-studded unit in several key categories last season.
Wesseling’s rankings and grades certainly have their merit, and it is very difficult to find fault in the way he graded the Steelers offense by position. Some might be angry with Roethlisberger being graded at a B+, but last year he was every bit of a B+ quarterback. Great at times, and very meh at others.
Either way you look at it, 2017 should be the year of the offense. Not that the defense isn’t capable of stepping up as they did in 2016, but the Pittsburgh offense should be able to carry the team on more than one occasion, if the defense even comes close to faltering at some point during the season.
2017 very well could not only be the year the team targets 30 points per game, but the year the Steelers’ offense is feared for just how quick they can put up points on opponents.
Is it football season yet?