The Pittsburgh Steelers start off the 2015 season with the task of facing the defending super bowl champion New England Patriots. Luckily for them the Patriots may look a little different with Tom Brady being suspended to begin the season. They caught the Patriots at the right time and hopefully for them Tom Brady does not win his appeal. Pittsburgh should have a decent shot at starting out 3-0. After facing New England they have games against San Francisco, who lost many defensive players this offseason, and St. Louis, who should not be able to hang with Pittsburgh offensively. Following the favorable start, Pittsburgh faces Baltimore for their first divisional game. Although, they have a three game “break” until their next divisional game.
Things will not be easy in between Baltimore and Cincinnati, as Pittsburgh faces San Diego, Arizona, and Kansas City. In general their schedule gets much tougher after week three. The last four games of the season could make or break the Steelers playoffs hope for this season. They play all three of their divisional opponents and also have a date with the Denver Broncos mixed into their last four games. One thing Pittsburgh has going for them is that they have the best offense in the AFC East. None of the three teams can keep up with them offensively, but they do all have stout defenses that could potentially slow down the Pittsburgh offense. Pittsburgh’s best chance to win the division this year is to play an up-tempo style and attempt to outscore their opponents.
The same strategy goes for Baltimore, Cincinnati, and Cleveland as none of them have particularly high powered offensive attacks. The Steeler’s arguably have the best quarterback, running back, and wide receiver in the division and that is their main strength. They need to force Andy Dalton and either Josh Mccown and Johnny Manziel into high scoring games where they are likely to force throws and turn the ball over. The same goes for Joe Flacco, although he is the best of the other bunch. The Pittsburgh defense is far from the steel curtain days and will also need to be better this year. The AFC East is a tough division but luckily for Pittsburgh most of that toughness comes on the defensive side of the ball. If they put up points similar to how they did last season they should have no trouble winning the division and making the playoffs. They do have a very tough non-divisional schedule and winning the division may be their best shot at reaching the playoffs. The AFC is very tough but Pittsburgh has as good a shot as anyone in their division at reaching the postseason.