Hard to Predict by J.T.
The 2021 Pittsburgh Steelers are a very tough team to put a finger on. They have a ton of talent of offense with Roethlisberger, Harris, Claypool, Freiermuth, and Dionte Johnson. They also have a lot to be happy about on defense with the likes of Watt, Tuitt, Heyward, Bush, and Fitzpatrick but besides all of this there are some question marks which make it hard to be overly excited about this squad.
The offensive line is at best mediocre and that may be a compliment. Zach Banner and Chukwuma Okorafor are the starters at tackle with Kevin Dotson and Trai Turner probably starting at guard. Dotson, had a very nice rookie season but came into camp out of shape. At center the Steelers seem high on Kendrick Green though he may split time at the beginning with JC Hassenauer. The line was the weak link in 20-21 and losing Pouncey and Decastro and adding Turner and Green is the exchange. Besides the questions on the offensive line the Steelers also let cornerback Steven Nelson walk away. The Steelers cornerbacks are now only led by 32-year-old veteran Joe Haden and not much after that. Cameron Sutton at times seems to be making some strides but then takes a step or two back. Justin Layne and James Pierre offer no more than some depth. I would not be shocked if the Steelers look for a veteran cornerback on the market as cuts are made.
The Steelers have talent to score and talent to make some huge plays on the defensive side of the ball but with a bad offensive line and some holes in the secondary this team will lose struggle against this first-place schedule they will be playing.
I think the Steelers will be an exciting team to watch all year long, win or lose. With the division getting tougher and a lot of tough games early on I predict 9-8 and just looking on the outside of the playoffs. I hope I am wrong.