Pittsburgh Steelers 2016 Team Report and Odds
Posted by: Mike Davis
Last season recap
The 2015 NFL betting season was proof that maybe what the Pittsburgh Steelers needed was to not be as good as they were in 2014. As football betting fans might remember, the Steelers finished the 2014 season with an 11-5 record and won the AFC North division title, but went on to lost in the Wild Card playoffs to the Baltimore Ravens. Pittsburgh was the first team to have a 4,500-yard passer, 1,500-yard receiver and 1,300-yard rusher in the same season, but what good did that really do them? Conversely, last season they finished second in the AFC North with a 10-6 record, but made it as far as the divisional playoffs – which they lost, but they did succumb to the eventual champions the Denver Broncos, so there’s that.
The 2016 season will be the Steelers’ 84th in the NFL and the 10th with head coach Mike Tomlin. Pittsburgh will be without tight end Heath Miller for the first time since 2005, following the veteran’s retirement after 11 years with the team which echoes safety Troy Plamalu’s retirement the year prior. On the plus side, running back Le’Veon Bell is expected to be back for the season opener versus the Washington Redskins. Bell finished 2014 with a career-high 290 carries, 1,361 rushing yards (ranking 2nd in the league behind DeMarco Murray), 8 rushing touchdowns, 83 receptions, 854 receiving yards, and 3 receiving touchdowns. Unfortunately, the RB sustained a season-ending injury when he tore his MLC in the 2nd quarter of the November 1st, 2015 game versus the Bengals.
What to expect
Steelers NFL betting fans expect – have been expecting, actually – that the team finally fixes the cornerback situation. Whether that is a realistic expectation is another matter entirely. This year’s answer to the question mark at CB was thought to be 25th overall pick in the first round of the 2016 draft Artie Burns, from the University of Miami. As it turns out, however, the 21 year old recently missed a practice – and not the first, either – as a result of a lingering thigh injury that has reduced him to watching summer camp from the sidelines. If that wasn’t bad enough, Senquez Golson just underwent surgery to repair a Lisfranc surgery – at the very least the second surgery he’s undergone in as many years “in” the league (the quotes are in place because, if the prognosis is correct, Golson will have been on the shelf for half of the four years that the Steelers sign him for).
Currently, Ross Cockrell and William Gay are the Steelers starting cornerbacks, with no competition to speak of other than the likes of Doran Grant, Donald Washington, Montel Garner, Al-Haji Shabazz, Kevin White – a veritable who’s who of “who are they?” Unless the organization manages to make a worthwhile trade, Steelers NFL betting fans will have to hope and pray that versatile second round rookie Sean Davis can be the glue that holds the brittle secondary together. Davis is a safety but played cornerback his senior year at Maryland.
Odds to win Super Bowl 50: +1125