14. Pittsburgh Steelers (finished 12)
What I said at the end of last season:
"The Steelers are this high for a few reasons, and the first and most important of which is that Mike Tomlin deserves a Coach of the Year award for the job he has done with basically nothing at the quarterback position. He did that by leaning on a defense that was absolutely suffocating for most of the year, despite missing one of their best front seven players in Stephon Tuitt for most of the season. The final thing propping these Steelers up is because I just can’t believe that Juju Smith-Schuster has completely lost all of his talent. This has been a turbulent year for him filled with constant change and I can’t believe that he is this bad without Big Ben. Getting healthy is key, but going forward this team’s Super Bowl window could open up for a year or two and they need to capitalize."
The Steelers have an outstanding defense, but I don’t think that transfers year to year and we saw how quickly the Chicago Bears collapsed as a team built around defense. The argument that Big Ben is better than Mitch Trubisky is apparent, but he is 38 and coming off of a lost season. There is no guarantee that he makes it through the entire season healthy.
This team’s grade depends entirely on Big Ben’s health and if that defense can repeat their success from 2019. If either of those things are in question, this season can go south quickly.