Steelers SI 2019 season staff predictions

The Steelers' season gets underway in two days. Our staff put together our predictions for what the 2019 season will hold for the black and gold of Pittsburgh.

It seems like this season marks an new era of Steelers football. In actuality, it really isn't (same front office, head coach, and quarterback), but with everything that's transpired over the past 12-14 months, it feels like this is the start of something new. 

We may see a rejuvenated Ben Roethlisberger, skill guys like James Conner and JuJu Smith-Schuster prove their legitimate stars, and see a faster and more dangerous defense. We could also see a lot of unknowns play out poorly for Pittsburgh and miss out on the playoffs yet again.

Our staff at Steelers SI put together our predictions for what we believe will happen this season for Pittsburgh. First will be our game-by-game prediction for the Steelers' schedule. Each one of us will then break down why we feel the way we do about the team going into the season.

Schedule
Noah Strackbein
Chris Halicke
Donnie Druin

at New England

Win

Loss

Loss

SEATTLE

Win

Win

Win

at San Francisco

Win

Win

Win

CINCINNATI

Win

Win

Win

BALTIMORE

Win

Loss

Win

at L.A. Chargers

Loss

Win

Loss

MIAMI

Win

Win

Win

INDIANAPOLIS

Win

Win

Win

L.A. RAMS

Loss

Loss

Loss

at Cleveland

Win

Loss

Loss

at Cincinnati

Win

Win

Win

CLEVELAND

Loss

Win

Win

at Arizona

Win

Win

Win

BUFFALO

Win

Win

Win

at N.Y. Jets

Win

Loss

Win

at Baltimore

Win

Win

Loss

FINAL RECORD:

13-3

11-5

11-5

Noah Strackbein (Reporter/Insider)

Season outcome: Win Super Bowl

The 2019 Steelers head into the season a little different from their past tenures. The drama, critics and headlines have shaped Pittsburgh into a Super Bowl contender while also losing their two biggest superstars. 

Ben Roethlisberger is looking at an MVP-caliber season, and as a whole, this team’s biggest change will come from winning games they’re supposed to. 

The AFC North has gotten better but so have the Steelers. They’ll take the division and head into the postseason as the AFC’s top seed. 

It’s not a Super Bowl or bust year, but the Steelers see it as that. So, don’t expect anything less - Pittsburgh walks away as Super Bowl champs.

Chris Halicke (Analyst)

Season outcome: Loss in AFC Championship

The Steelers will prove that they didn’t need ultra-talented players like Antonio Brown or Le’Veon Bell to win. The offense won’t put up as many yards, but will not see a drop off in point production.

The defense will be very much improved. They will once again be near the top of the league in sacks. They will also become a top-five defense in the NFL in 2019. 

The Steelers will be much improved in 2019, but I do not see them getting past Kansas City in the AFC Championship. The game will be at Arrowhead, and I don’t see the Steelers being able to overcome that. 

Donnie Druin (Analyst)

Season outcome: Loss in divisional playoffs

2019 looks to be a rebound year for the Pittsburgh Steelers after missing the playoffs for the first time in five seasons. With Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell officially out of the picture, some are doubting Pittsburgh’s offensive prowess despite having Pro Bowl players in JuJu Smith-Schuster and James Conner still residing at their positions. With a core that features one of the best offensive lines in football, a franchise quarterback and Pro Bowl players at skill positions, I believe the Steelers offense will be just fine going into the season.

On the defensive side of the football, the front seven may be in the best shape since the Steelers last missed the playoffs in 2013. Add in the talents of rookie Devin Bush with impact players such as T.J. Watt and Cam Heyward, and you have a formidable front seven to carry you into a deep post-season. However, this defense will only go as far as its secondary will let them. Outside of Joe Haden and Mike Hilton, every defensive back on the depth chart is labeled as suspect until further notice. The Steelers defense has potential to be great, but only if the secondary is up for the challenge.

Assessing the schedule, the Steelers don’t exactly have favorable match-ups. After making the dreaded trek to New England to open the season, Pittsburgh finds themselves on the west coast for three games this season, a time zone where the Steelers have struggled as of late. Mix in some home duels with the Rams and Seahawks outside of their typical AFC North schedule, and the Steelers have a tricky map ahead. However, the Steelers are too talented of a team to not find themselves in the playoff hunt for 2019. However, I do not believe the Steelers have enough gas in the tank to make a deep run in the post-season.

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