1. The Defensive Front is Strong, Finally
The Steelers have allocated a lot of resources to fixing their defensive front. Over the last four years, they extended Cameron Heyward long-term, and drafted Stephon Tuitt, Ryan Shazier, Bud Dupree, and T.J. Watt in either the first or second round of their respective drafts. This has significantly improved their defense and added an additional speed component to Keith Butler’s defense that wasn’t present previously.
2. They Have the Dependable Offensive Weapons
Everyone knows that having players you can rely on in the postseason is a key to success. Ben Roethlisberger has plenty of postseason experience and two Super Bowl titles to his name, and this year he’ll get the chance to go for a third with arguably the best wide receiver and best running back in football to help him.
3. Other AFC Frontrunners Have Not Looked Impressive
Here is the list:
Patriots – Despite their Patriot-like record, they haven’t consistently played at the elite level we’ve seen from them in past seasons.
Jaguars – Yeah, their defense is phenomenal and they’ve beaten Pittsburgh, but lets be real, Bortles isn’t leading a team to the Super Bowl.
Chiefs – Uh, they just lost to the Giants and have recently considered starting their rookie backup QB, so there’s that.
Titans – We saw how that went on TNF.