The 2017 Steelers accomplished their best record since 2004, but even after finishing with 13 wins, the Steelers still couldn’t make it out of the Divisional round of the AFC Playoffs. Injuries forced some players that weren’t ready to play into the starting line-up. Others saw their talent regress.
But who was the team’s worst starter in 2017? Let’s see who qualifies...
Brought in after Ryan Shazier went down, it was made very apparent why Spence wasn’t on an NFL roster from his first start. Baltimore ran the ball down the Steelers’ throat, calling many stretch run plays to Spence’s side. According to Pro-Football Focus, Spence graded out at an abysmal 26.2 out of a possible 100. If Shazier cannot play again, the Steelers desperately need to fill this ILB spot.
Davis led the Steelers with 92 tackles, however, he missed another 24. Davis struggled in the open field to get carriers to the ground. In what was probably his worst game of the season, against Green Bay, Davis missed the tackle which led to long Packer touchdown. In a game that should have never been close, 40+ yard plays kept the Green Bay Packers in the game. Davis will need to improve, or the 2016 2nd round pick could be replaced before his rookie contract expires.
One of the streakiest players on the team. When Dupree got hot he was hard to block, just look at his game vs. Cincinnati in Week 7. With a Sack and a few QB pressures, Dupree appeared to break out. Unfortunately, he was unable to keep the hot streak going. At of the time writing this, it appears unlikely that the Steelers will pick up Dupree’s 5th-year option. Though Dupree’s stats have trended upward, he’s going to have to have more than 6 sacks in 2018 if he wants to remain a member of the black-and-gold.
Sensabaugh was a large reason for the increase of big plays allowed. After Joe Haden went down, Sensabaugh had numerous wide-outs run past him. He played himself out of the starting spot, as rookie Cameron Sutton took over CB duties after just 5 starts.
When your defense has a problem with allowing a lot of big plays, most of the blame is going to fall on the safeties. Mitchell is the only player to not have a failing grade, according to Pro-Football Focus, on this list. However, for his price tag and for the number of times the defense got burnt, Mitchell finds himself on this list. With Mitchell owed over 7-million dollars in 2018, he likely becomes a cap casualty.
Clearly these guys all play on the defensive side of the ball. The Steelers offense is so talented, many football fans consider the unit the game’s best. But if the Steelers front office can’t plug the gaps in the defense this team may be remembered for having some of the best talent to never win a Super Bowl.
Now it’s your turn.
Who was the WORST Steelers starter in 2017
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