The Pittsburgh Steelers look to improve on a (9-6-1) 2018 season, barely missing the postseason. The offense performed very well with James Connor having a Pro Bowl season taking over for Leveon Bell. Big Ben had one of his best seasons to date, throwing for over 5,000 passing yards and ranking 4th in total QBR. The Steelers hope to fine tune their good defense as they ranked 6th in total defense. The drafting of first round draft pick LB Devin Bush should provide a lot of the production lost from Ryan Shazier’s injury. Week 1 is where the season comes to fruition as the Steelers head to Foxborough to face the Patriots.
Week 1 vs at New England Patriots
The Steelers will come into their first game of the season on the road without top WR Antonio Brown. WR JuJu Smith Shuster is clearly the top option now and New England coach Bill Belichick will be able to put together a defensive scheme to neutralize him. Belichick, Brady, and Gillette Stadium are a combination I want no part of. Take the Patriots.
Week 2 vs Seattle Seahawks
Pittsburgh will head back to home after a tough road loss to the Steel Curtain in a tilt against the Seattle Seahawks. Russell Wilson will come into this game with something to prove, being the highest paid QB in the league, and going against the defending Super Bowl Champions. I see the loss of Doug Baldwin being big here as the lack of weapons will cause the Seahawks offense to falter. Take Pittsburgh to win at home.
Week 3 at San Francisco 49ers
In this matchup the Steelers will travel to Levi Stadium to face the second worst team in 2018. Jimmy Garopollo will be returning from an ACL injury that derailed him early into the 2019 season. The problem is that the 49ers just don’t have the weapons to match the Pittsburgh Steelers. Take the Steelers on the road.
Week 4 vs Cincinnati Bengals
The Cincinnati Bengals come into this matchup with a ton of question marks. They have a new coach in Zac Taylor, a turnover prone quarterback in Andy Dalton, and an injury prone primary target in AJ Green. They are also going against a Bengals defense that ranked last in the league in total yard allowed. Big Ben has a field day in this one as the Steelers win with ease.
Week 5 vs Baltimore Ravens
These two teams always slug it out in the regular season and I see no different outcome in this one. Big Ben will be able to do enough to make some big plays down the field in a low scoring outcome. Take the Steelers at home.
Week 6 at Los Angeles Chargers
Although Big Ben had a hell of a 2019 season, so did Phillip Rivers. Rivers posted the 7th highest QBR in the league and were tied for the 6th best ppg total with 26.8. I see Rivers being able to exploit an average Steelers defense at home for a win.
Week 7 Bye
Week 8 vs Miami Dolphins
In this week 8 matchup the Steelers will face a rebuilding Miami Dolphins team. The Dolphins are clearly in rebuild mode and have less talent on both sides of the ball than the Steelers. Talent wins, as the Steelers win at home.
Week 9 vs Indianapolis Colts
The Indianapolis Colts will be dangerous this season. Coming off of a playoff berth after starting 1-5 in the 2018 season under second year head coach Frank Reich, the Colts are hot. QB Andrew Luck has returned to prominence as he had the 5th total highest QBR in 2018 and has more weapons than the Steelers do. Take the Colts on the road.
Week 10 vs Los Angeles Rams
This will be the second of a three game brutal stretch for the Steelers. The defending NFC Champions bring back a roster full of talent. This is an offense that ranked 2nd in total offensive yards and points per game with 32.9. The Steelers will be unable to maintain the Rams weapons in a loss at home.
Week 11 at Cleveland Browns
I am a firm believer in the hype of this Cleveland Browns team, having a 5-3 record after Head Coach Freddie Kitchens started calling the shots, and adding possibly the best WR in the league in Odell Beckham Jr. With the fact that the Browns played the Steelers neck and neck last year, only one team clearly improved and that is the Browns. Take the Browns to win at home.
Week 12 at Cincinnati Bengals
I see this as a repeat of their week 4 matchup as the Steelers complete the season sweep.
Week 13 vs Cleveland Browns
The Browns will come into this game super confident after winning 4 in a row, but little do they forget Big Ben is playing better than he ever has and will show why he is the Steelers clear cut leader. The Steelers avenge their previous loss on the road and win at home.
Week 14 at Arizona Cardinals
Although there is promise with new coach Kliff Kingsbury trying to bring his air raid offense from Texas Tech with number one overall pick Kyler Murray. The Cardinals just do not have the weapons down the field to exploit a below average secondary. Rookie Devin Bush and company get after the rookie quarterback in another win.
Week 15 vs Buffalo Bills
Although the Bills return the 2nd ranked total yards allowed defense in 2018, with the addition of DT Ed Oliver, QB Josh Allen has had his struggles. I see QB Josh Allen making a few mistakes while Big Ben makes a couple big plays down the field out of the pocket in a road win.
Week 16 at New York Jets
In a matchup against the New York Jets and the ex-Pittsburgh Steeler RB Leveon Bell, I see this matchup coming down to pure effort. The Steelers will be hungry to show Leveon that he made a mistake holding out on them last year, costing them a possible playoff run. Big Ben torches in this one with a win on the road.
Week 17 at Baltimore Ravens
In this late season matchup the Ravens will have already seen this Steelers team and will be vying for playoff positioning. I see the coaching of John Harbaugh and the better defense in the Baltimore Ravens making the difference in a home win.
This line seems reasonable as the Steelers play a relatively tough schedule, but I see the playing of the Bengals twice, Dolphins, 49ers, Cardinals, and New York Jets allowing the Steelers to creep over the total.