With Chris (@Steel_By_Design) on board and doing a great job writing, we decided to put a bit of a different spin on the 2014 Steelers Season Preview. We’ll give you our predictions as well out thoughts on several different potential stats that may or may not happen this year.
Best case/worst case finish scenarios? Best: Divisional round playoff exit, Worst: 8-8 and miss playoffs
Chris: I’m going to guess the Steelers will just barely get into the playoffs and lose first round, probably having to travel to Indianapolis. Them making the playoffs has more to do with their schedule, than the talent of this team.
Marc: I say worst case is more likely. The defense gave up a league-worst 603 yards rushing in four preseason games and the return of Brett Keisel is nice but won’t help that much. If teams can run the ball that well, then it means they’ll be able to throw it well too.
Todd Haley runs top 10 offense (20th last year)?
Chris: True. I think Ben has a full grasp of the offense and the no huddle, plus a revamped run game will be big. I still think redzone struggles keep them from being truly elite though.
Marc: False. This offensive line is one injury away from being a complete disaster. I can see both Bell and Blount running well at times but I don’t think the consistency will be there.
Dick Lebeau runs top 10 defense (13th last year)?
Chris: False. I’m optimistic about the future of the defense, but we’re going to see lots of mistakes from young squad right now.
Marc: False. I’m with Chris here. I’m excited about the future of the defense, but I’m concerned big-time for this unit.
Le’Veon Bell: Over/Under 1,500 yards total offense
Chris: Over. The team struggled in pre-season, but the first team OL and run game looked solid. Bell will have a breakout year.
Marc: Under. I think he’ll be close but I think 1,200 – 1,300 is more realistic.
Who finishes 2nd in catches on the team?
Chris: Markus Wheaton
Marc: Lance Moore
Biggest surprise/breakout player this season?
Chris: Le’Veon Bell. I predict that Bell finishes top 10 in rushing yards, and top 5 in receiving yards for running backs.
Marc: David DeCastro… I think he settles in and finds his way to the Pro Bowl for the first time.
What needs to happen/who really needs to step up… to makes the playoffs? to go deep into the playoffs? to get to the superbowl?
Chris: In short, young defenders stepping up. Offense will be there… Success will depend on Jarvis Jones, Cam Heyward, Cortez Allen.
Marc: No doubt it’s Markus Wheaton and Jarvis Jones.
Game you’re most looking forward to?
Your next jersey purchase?
Chris: Shamarko Thomas
Marc: Mean Joe or whoever my son wants.
Photo courtesy Yahoo.com