After wrapping up week 8 of the NFL season, the Pittsburgh Steelers remain the only undefeated team in the league. After beating two championship contenders in the Tennessee Titans and Baltimore Ravens, the Steelers are set for quite an easy schedule. This Steelers team is quite different from their 2019 form, and has not all been due to the return of Ben Roethlisberger.
The Pittsburgh Steelers hold the second best overall defense in the AFC, and that has been a big part of their success. In 2019 the Steelers relied on their defense to carry them through games, and now we are seeing how good this defense is when paired with a good offense. Starting upfront, the Steelers hold two of the most explosive edge rushers in T.J Watt and Bud Dupree as well as Cam Heyward pressuring up the middle. This defensive line is always applying pressure, which takes pressure off everyone else on defense. Behind Watt and the line the Steelers had a stud in Devin Bush, but now that he is gone for the season due to injury; the Steelers have made moves, trading for Avery Williamson, to fill the hole that was left by Bush. In the secondary the Steelers have top corners in Joe Haden and Steve Nelson, but the star of the secondary is safety Minkah Fitzpatrick who has been making plays all over the field. This defense has talent on all levels and that is what makes them one of the best in the league.
The Pittsburgh offense struggled in 2019 without Ben Roethlisberger, and as he grew older every day there was speculation on whether he could effectively lead this team. That doubt has been dismissed so far, as he has put over 1500 yards and 15 touchdowns. The Steelers also have a very explosive group of wideouts that are making life easier for Roethlisberger. Juju Smith-Schuster who had an off year in 2019 has come back with 346 yards, while the rookie Chase Claypool has exploded onto the scene with 5 touchdowns and 375 yards. The Steelers also have a solid duo of running backs with James Conner, 498 yards and 5 touchdowns, and the rookie Benny Snell, 167 yards and 2 touchdowns, giving the Steelers balance on offense.
The Steelers undefeated start has been due to their talent on both sides of the ball, and the great coaching that put this team in a position to win. After starting 7-0 we can expect the Steelers to be fighting in the playoffs and give the Chiefs a run for their money.
Top Image: SteelersNow/Alan Saunders