Steelers: Is the Super Bowl realistic?


The Steelers have defeated two of the AFC’s best in two straight weeks, so how high can the black and gold go?

The Pittsburgh Steelers have been rolling.

In consecutive weeks, Pittsburgh has beaten the Indianapolis Colts, Cincinnati Bengals and Denver Broncos. They have scored at least thirty points in each of those three matchups against playoff contenders and have set themselves up to control their own playoff destiny in the AFC wild card chase.

Vegas Insider currently gives the Steelers a 6/1 chance to win Super Bowl L. As the winners of Super Bowl XL, it would only be fitting that the Steelers take the prize. However, is it realistic to expect the Steelers to make that jump?

The short answer is that while it should not be expected, the Steelers are fully capable of making a run at NFL gold.

Let’s get one thing straight. There is not a team in the NFL that wants to see the Steelers in the playoffs. Since quarterback Ben Roethlisberger returned from an MCL injury earlier this season, Pittsburgh’s offense has scored more than 30 points in every game except for week 8 against Cincinnati, Roethlisberger’s first game back.

Dec 20, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) throws a pass against the Denver Broncos during the second half at Heinz Field. The Steelers won the game, 34-27. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

Roethlisberger has also been held under 300 yards passing just twice during that stretch, both against the Bengals. Statistically, he’s never been better in his career.

In addition, All-Pro receiver Antonio Brown has arguably never been better as well. Brown has had two games in which he has ammassed more than 175 receiving yards and is averaging nearly 14 yards per catch.

The success of Pittsburgh’s offense is well known. Roethlisberger and the Killer B’s aren’t going to sneak up on anyone, but the Steelers defense will.

Steelers fans are spoiled when it comes to defense. They expect the days of James Harrison and Troy Polamalu in their primes to occur year after year. The fact of the matter is that this unit does not have the potential to dominate opposing offenses like it has in the past. However, the Steelers have arguably never had a more opportunistic defense.

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Ryan Shazier‘s interception on Sunday against Denver was a microcosm of the entire season. In both games against Cincinnati, Arizona and Denver, the defense has come through with an opportunistic interception or forced fumble that has changed the course of the season.

A team does not make the Super Bowl without a certain amount of luck, and there has been as much good luck as there has been bad. Defensively, there are no metrics to suggest that the Steelers will go far in the playoffs. There are no tangible arguments to be made about this team, but they do have luck on their side at the right time.

Next: Brown dominates as Steelers edge Broncos

Sometimes you just have to look at what you have and say ‘Hey, it could happen.’