Sunday saw Pittsburgh Steelers close their season with a 45,42 loss to the Jaguars. The intriguing season saw them win 10 of their last 11 games of the season. This stellar performance brought the most wins for Pittsburgh since 2004; these are about 13 wins.
Team 1 2 3 4 T Steelers 0 14 7 21 42 Jaguars 14 14 0 17 45
Despite a lethargic start, they picked up to finish third in the total offense. The team made history by recording the highest number of single-season franchise sacks that totaled 56. This was the largest number in the NFL. Other hardships faced by Pittsburgh in the season include the dampening loss to the Bears in Week 3. The team also suffered a blow by slipping to 27th in yards allowed for every carry.
Steelers had to overcome great adversity in the players front as well. To begin with, Ryan Shazier suffered a serious spinal injury. In addition, Le Veon Bell abstained from training camp, citing the lack of a long-term contract. As if this was not enough, controversy over an anthem gesture took center stage. As the season wore on, the players appeared more united in their locker room. The biggest play of the season saw Juju Smith Schuster finish with 917 yards and seven touch downs; marking the end of his rookie season. In Week 8, Schuster attained a 97 yard touchdown catch against the Lions.
According to Bell, their focus was to conquer the playoffs and reach the Super Bowl. Bell insisted that all other things were not as important, because the team was bent on attaining the bigger picture. This focus-driven mindset could still hold the key to Steelers odds after a solid season. Many off-season questions for Pittsburgh include who the replacement for Shazier will be. The gap left in the middle of defense will need a super talented player. This new talent will pair with linebacker Vince Williams . Also, it will be prudent to draft a potential successor to Roethlisberger if he chooses to leave. Knowing Bell's future will play a vital role in the team.
It is possible for Steelers to draft a free agent for inside linebacker. However, the talent options are not too impressive. The input from seasoned players like Vaccaro and Joyner could inject speed reviving the back end strategy. If Bell and Roethlisberger return, the team will head to off-season with a need to draft only one starting position. Core positions such as defensive and offensive line, and wide receiver look solid for many seasons to come. In terms of the way forward, Steelers will learn from the 10 pass-plays of at least 40 yards given up in the season's second half.
Note that cornerback Haden was injured in five of the total eight games. This means that there is a likelihood for minimizing the deep ball in the 2018 season. The team will certainly learn from mistakes and seek to improve on areas they could have performed better. Above all, Pittsburgh despite all the hardships pushed through to record a solid season. For fans, all eyes are on the Steelers with the hope that the next season will bring even bigger victories.
Still feeling this Steelers Lost Rn 😔— Leon O’Neal Jr 9️⃣ (@WakeEmUp9) January 16, 2018
On Steelers' failed 4th and 1 pass to Smith-Schuster, refs missed an obvious jersey pull that prevented S-S from getting separation pic.twitter.com/nHzhJnFfdr— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) January 16, 2018