The Steelers records in most categories will not be touched in 2019. Ben Roethlisberger already holds the team records in every major passing category, and will simply expand his lead over Terry Bradshaw in all of those stats. In an alternate universe, we would be talking about Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown challenging for the top spots in rushing, receiving, and overall yards from scrimmage categories. But that is not the universe we live in. Instead, the 2019 Steelers team is stocked with young, talented players who all have the abilities to put together big seasons and significantly improve their standings on the all-time lists. Many could even move into the Top 10 or Top 15 in a respective category with an above-average season.
Ben Roethlisberger already owns the Steelers franchise records for Wins, Passing Yards, and Passing Touchdowns. As a sign of the changing nature of quarterback play, despite attempting 80% more passes than Terry Bradshaw, Ben still has thrown 20 fewer interceptions. From a league-wide standpoint, Ben could surpass Dan Marino with 351 completions this year. Marino is currently 5th all-time in completions with Eli Manning 6th and Ben 7th.
Ben is currently tied with John Elway in 6th place all-time with 31 Fourth Quarter Comebacks. He is two Fourth Quarter Comebacks behind Dan Marino who currently is 5th all-time. Drew Brees and Johnny Unitas are tied for 3rd with 34 Fourth Quarter Comebacks. Ben is also currently 6th in Game Winning Drives with 42. Brett Favre (43), Tom Brady (44), and Dan Marino (47) are the next three in line ahead of Ben.
Le’Veon Bell ended his Steelers career with the fourth-most yards (5336) and third-most touchdowns (35) among Steelers backs. After his first full year as a starter, James Conner is 33rd on the Steelers all-time rushing list, but could quickly rise this season. A 1000-yard season for Conner would get him into the Top 20. Conner’s 12 rushing touchdowns rank 26th on the Steelers all-time list. He would need 8 touchdowns to get into the Top 15 on the list. A repeat of last year’s 12-touchdown performance would get Conner into the Top 10.
Antonio Brown’s meltdown kept Hines Ward atop the Steelers record charts in both yards and touchdowns. Brown left Pittsburgh just 876 yards and 11 touchdowns shy of Ward’s records. As previously detailed, JuJu Smith-Schuster as put together the best first two seasons of any receiver in Steelers history. JuJu enters his third year with 2343 yards and 14 TDs. He is currently 23rd on the Steelers all-time receiving yards list, and an 1100-yard season would elevate JuJu into the Top 15. Surpassing Mike Wallace and entering the Top 10 might be a stretch as it would require a 1700-yard season. JuJu has 169 receptions and needs 95 this season to leap from 22nd on the Steelers all-time list into the Top 10. Smith-Schuster would need 10 touchdowns this season to get into the Top 15 in that category.
Chris Boswell won the kicking job in training camp. Boswell has made 98 field goals with the Steelers, the 6th most all-time. He is currently 7 behind 5th place Norm Johnson and 26 behind his predecessor Shaun Suisham. On his career, Boswell has accounted for 436 points, the 10th most of all Steelers players. Boswell would need 110 points this season to surpass Shaun Suisham and break into the Top 5. If he regains his form from 2017, that number is certainly within reach.
Within the last two seasons, Cam Heyward and TJ Watt have both posted double-digit sack seasons. Heyward currently ranks 7th on the Steelers sack list (45 sacks), with the caveat that sacks have only been an official stat since 1980. The Steelers media guide lists Heyward 10th, including LC Greenwood, Joe Greene, and Dwight White ahead of him. Heyward can surpass Greg Lloyd’s 53.5 career sacks with a 9-sack season. If Cam can repeat his career-best 12 sacks from 2017, he would tie Lamarr Woodley for 5th on the official list (or 7th on the team-published list).
Outside linebackers TJ Watt and Bud Dupree both enter 2019 with 20 career sacks. The two players have taken different paths to get here, with Watt racking up double-digit sacks in his second season and Dupree never recording more than 6 in a year. Stephon Tuitt is also tied with 20 career sacks. It would take a double-digit sack season by any of those three to get into the Top 15 on the official all-time list.