Steelers Back in Super Bowl Conversation

The Pittsburgh Steelers are back in Super Bowl contention after a successful offseason.
Dec 31, 2023; Seattle, Washington, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin during the second
Dec 31, 2023; Seattle, Washington, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin during the second / Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports
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PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Steelers said at the onset of the offseason that 2024 would be different. The franchise was not content with treading water and simply getting to the postseason - they have bigger aims. So they went to work retooling and reloading their roster and it's led them back into contention, according to one analyst.

The Steelers are one of five teams that Bleacher Report's Brent Sobleski tabbed as having "reignited" their Super Bowl hopes following free agency and the NFL Draft and his faith in them is rooted in the upgrade they made at quarterback.

"The Kenny Pickett first-round selection flopped. To Pittsburgh's credit, the organization didn't fall prey to the sunk-cost fallacy. Instead, general manager Omar Khan immediately pursued Russell Wilson after the Denver Broncos released the veteran quarterback. Khan doubled down at the game's most important position by flipping a conditional 2025 sixth-round draft pick to the Chicago Bears for Justin Fields," Sobleski wrote. "The Steelers may be buying low when it comes to both of these quarterbacks, yet each is an upgrade over what the team featured a year ago when it still found a way to win 10 games and snuck into the postseason."

Sobleski went on to praise the Steelers' top draft selections - mainly offensive line additions Troy Fautanu, Zach Frazier and Mason McCormick, the first two of which he believes will be immediate starters. Roman Wilson was a 'perfect fit,' according to Sobleski and now this improved offense can come closer to matching the quality of its elite counterparts on defense.

Even the defense got stronger with the addition of linebacker Patrick Queen to complement T.J. Watt, Cam Heyward, Minkah Fitzpatrick and Deshon Elliott. He's high on rookie Payton Wilson as a reserve linebacker as well.

It all adds up to an optimistic outlook for the Steelers, according to Sobleski, who thinks they will be contenders even in a crowded AFC North.

"The AFC North will be a dog fight this fall, especially with Joe Burrow and Deshaun Watson expected to be healthy," he said. "The Steelers have closed the most ground throughout this offseason, though."

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Stephen Thompson


Stephen Thompson graduated with a bachelor's degree in communications and political science from Pitt in April 2022 after spending four years as a sports writer and editor at The Pitt News, the University of Pittsburgh's independent, student-run newspaper. He primarily worked the Pitt men's basketball beat, and filled in on coverage of football, volleyball, softball, gymnastics and lacrosse, in addition to other sports as needed. His work at The Pitt News has won awards from the Pennsylvania News Media Association and Associated College Press. During the spring and summer of 2021, Stephen interned for Pittsburgh Sports Now, covering baseball in western Pennsylvania. Hailing from Washington D.C., family ties have cultivated a love of Boston's professional teams and Pitt athletics, and a fascination with sports in general.