Can The Steelers Capture The 2018 AFC Championship?

Why the Steelers will capture the AFC North Title

Frustration, anger, doubt, and exasperation. These are some of the adjectives that describe the rough start to the Pittsburgh Steelers 2018 season. The first game of the year began with a tie to the hapless Cleveland Browns. Their perennial superstar, Leveon Bell, held out of his contract and sat on the sidelines. Locker room drama quickly became the center of attention for the Steelers instead of winning football games. However, in a week five home game against the Atlanta Falcons, we began to see the Steelers that we all have known over the years. They pounded the Falcons and are currently riding the high tide of a five-game win streak. Here are the reasons the Steelers can win the AFC North.

Big Ben

Love him or hate him, Big Ben has been the face of the Steelers for over a decade. The retirement rumors seem to have subsided, and Ben looks as strong as ever behind center. His perfect quarterback rating against the Carolina Panthers is a reminder that he is still capable of being an elite quarterback. A healthy Ben Roethlisberger gives the Steelers a real shot at a deep playoff run.

James Connor

James Connor has gained the respect and admiration of Steeler nation. He is determined to substantiate his ability to be a feature back week in and week out. How could you not cheer for his success? Connor grew up in the Pittsburgh area, attended college in Pittsburgh, and beat cancer. Connor is taking full advantage of the Bell holdout and has provided a huge spark to the entire team.

Antonio Brown

This reason seems pretty obvious, but just in case you forgot Antonio Brown is the best wideout in the game. Watching AB’s moves on the field or Dancing With the Stars is indeed a spectacle. There is not one defensive back in the NFL who can cover Brown one on one. Antonio is a gifted athlete, and a great game from him always gives the Steelers a chance to win.

Offensive Line

The offensive line has been the unsung heroes of the 2018 season. Big Ben has time to scan the field and find open receivers. The line has bonded into one of the NFL’s best over the last several weeks. Consider that the offensive line is on pace to allow fewer than 25 sacks for a third consecutive season. James Connor has four 100-yard rushing game, and he is finding enormous holes to run through. Roethlisberger has a chance to reach 5,000 passing yards for the first time in his career, and he is completing a gaudy 66 percent of his passes. The line’s cohesiveness and receptiveness to growth are admirable among the coaching staff. A solid offensive line is the foundation of any successful football team.

Improving Defense

The Steelers were embarrassed in week two by a thrashing at the hands of Kansas City Chief’s quarterback, Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes constructed a masterpiece with six total touchdowns, only five incompletions, and a near-perfect quarterback ranking. The defense was outmatched and had no answer to stop Mahomes. During their winning streak, the Steelers have been near the top of the league in defensive rankings. The defense has gotten its swagger back, and the results are showing.

Mike Tomlin

The Steelers have been a model of consistency in the NFL. They have only had a total of three head coaches since 1969. The Steelers believe in sticking with their coaches through thick and thin. Mike Tomlin’s ability to rally his team through difficulty has been impressive. The beginning of the 2018 season seemed doomed for failure, but Tomlin’s leadership quickly reverted the ominous start. Tomlin’s even keel emotion and focus have been the recipe for the Steeler’s success for more than a decade.

Remaining Schedule

The Steelers have distanced themselves in the AFC North Division with seven games left in the season. Pittsburgh is in control of their destiny as they have only one remaining game at home against an AFC North division foe. The Steelers are clicking on all cylinders at the right time and have no signs of slowing down.

The Steelers are a confident bunch heading into week ten of the 2018 season. All signs point in their favor to continue their hot streak and capture the AFC North Division title.

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