The Pittsburgh Steelers won the AFC North last year with an 11-5, but then lost in their divisional round playoff game vs the Baltimore Ravens. They are not expect to repeat last year's 11 wins as their Win Total set at 8.5 (O -135). Vegas odds have the Steelers listed at +220 to win the AFC North, +1500 to win the AFC Title and +3000 to win the Superbowl. A preview of the Steelers along with their 2015 Schedule are below.
Last year the Pittsburgh offense ranked 7th in scoring, at 27.2 ppg, while also ranking 2nd in total yards (411.1 ypg), 2nd in passing (301.6 ypg) and 16th in rushing (109.5 ypg). The Pittsburgh offense had its best showing in a very long time and this year's edition may be every bit as good. The Offense is led buy Ben Roethlisberger, who threw for 4952 yards last year, and it finally looks liek he and OC Todd Haley are on the same page now. Many feel that Ben's best years are still ahead of him and this year again he has one of the best WR corps to throw to. Antonio Brown rates as a top 3 WR in the league, to go with Markus Wheaton, Martavius Bryant and Heath Miller, who all had solid seasons as well last year. Wheaton and Bryant are still young and they will only get much better. Depth was added to the group in the form of Sammy Coates (Auburn), who they drafted in the third tound, plus they resigned Darrius Heyward-Bey. The Running game is set as with Le'Veon Bell and Dri archer, plus they added DeAngelo Williams, who will take over for Bel in the early part of the year due to an upcoming suspension. The OL last year was very green, but it was talented and it allowed Ben the time he needed to get the ball downfield, plus it also allowed Bell to put up 4.7 ypc last year. It will only be a better line this year now that they have a year under their belt.
Defensively the Steelers ranked 18th in points allowed (23.0 ppg), 18th in yards allowed (353.4 ypg), 27th vs the pass (253.1 ypg) and 6th vs the run (100.3 ypg). The defense was decent last year, but did struggle vs the pass and if anything holds this team ack a bit this year it will be the defense. For starters **** LeBeau is gone as DC. Keith Butler will take over and will look to use the same philosophy of of stopping the run. Last year the Steelers were 6th at stopping the run, but teams only ran 23 times per game vs them and they still allowed 4.4 rpg, which isn't really good. TheDL is led by Cameron Heyward, who finally played to his potential last year and is rated as one of the best 3-4 ends in the game and he is only 25. The rest of he line is rather average at best . The LB corps is solid and does bring back Lawrence Timmons, who had 100 stops last year, but Ryan Shazier does really need to step his game up and become the player the Steelers thought he would be when they took him with their first pick in the 2014 draft. Bud Dupree was taken in tyhe first round and should step in and help right away. The secondary is the weak sot, especially with the retiring of Ttroy Polamalu, but the Steelers hope they have addressed this issue with the drafting of Senquez Golson and Doran Grant. Still this is an average secondary at best.
The Steelers are a contender for the AFC Title again, especially because their offense will be a top 5 unit again and just may top last year's numbers. They have probably the best QB-WR-RB trio in the league and that is always a very nice combination to have. The Defense was a bit below average last year and will be going through a youth movement this year, plus the have a new DC. This still is a unit with talent that should gel as the season goes on and be much better by the time the playoffs roll around. I do expect this team to be in the playoffs and battle the Ravens and Bengals for the top spot in the AFC North. As long as the defense doesn't take a step back I will call for this team to notch 10 wins and win the NFC North.
Info Gathered From Pro Football Weekly & Athlon Sports
2015 Pittsburgh Steelers Schedule
Sept. 10 at New England Patriots (Thu), 8:30
Sept. 20 San Francisco 49ers, 1
Sept. 27 at St. Louis Rams, 1
Oct. 1 Baltimore Ravens (Thu), 8:25
Oct. 12 at San Diego Chargers (Mon), 8:30
Oct. 18 Arizona Cardinals, 1
Oct. 25 at Kansas City Chiefs, 1
Nov. 1 Cincinnati Bengals, 1
Nov. 8 Oakland Raiders, 1
Nov. 15 Cleveland Browns, 1
Nov. 22 BYE
Nov. 29 at Seattle Seahawks, 4:25
Dec. 6 Indianapolis Colts*, 8:30
Dec. 13 at Cincinnati Bengals, 1
Dec. 20 Denver Broncos, 4:25
Dec. 27 at Baltimore Ravens*, 8:30
Jan. 3 at Cleveland Browns, 1
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College Football Betting Pick: Utah vs Michigan
Jim Harbaugh is worth six points to Michigan according to the recently released Golden Nugget NCAA Football odds, but pro bettors Steve Fezzik and Scott Spreitzer think fans are expecting way too much way too soon for the new Wolverines head coach. In this 9/3/2015 match up, the guys think the Utes are on the way up, recruiting top Pac-12 talent, while Harbaugh and company will be struggling to find their stride this early in the season.