Not only did Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers take a big step backwards last season to see their four-year playoff run come to an abrupt halt, but now, as they get set for the upcoming 2019 NFL regular season, the AFC North playoff hopefuls are looking at some significant changes. With perennial Pro Bowl wide receiver Antonio Brown now in Oakland and star running back Le’Veon Bell suiting up for the New York Jets, the Steelers will have an almost completely new look to their offense this coming season.
Whether the Steelers find suitable replacements for their departed stars or not remains to be seen, but with a bunch of change going on in Pittsburgh, there are definitely a bunch of things you need to know about the Steelers before they take to the field for the 2019 campaign.
Let’s find out what those things are right now.
Pittsburgh Steelers 2019 NFL Season Betting Guide
- ATS: 9-6-1 (W-L) / 8-7-1 (ATS) / 4-4-0 (Home) / 4-3-1 (Away) / 5-7-1 (Grass) / 3-0-0 (Turf)
- O/U: 8-8-0 (W-L) / 5-3-0 (Home) / 3-5-0 (Away) / 7-6-0 (Grass) / 1-2-0 (Turf) / 49.2 (Total)
Pittsburgh was limited to nine wins last season to snap a four-year trend of recording double-digit victories. The Steelers did manage to record a winning ATS mark by covering the chalk four times at home and on the road. Ben Roethlisberger and company also went a dead-even 8-8 against their Over/Under totals last season while topping the total five time at home and playing under their set figure five times on the road.
- Total Yards: 403.3 / Rank 4
- Passing Yards: 313 / Rank 2
- Rushing Yards: 90.3 /Rank 31
- Points Scored: 26.8 / Rank 7
- Field Goal %: 69.6 / Rank 31
The Steelers finished the 2018 season ranked an impressive fourth overall, including a stellar second in passing and encouraging seventh in scoring (26.8 ppg). Without Le’Veon Bell’s services however, Pittsburgh ranked a discouraging 31st in rushing. To address their needs on the offensive side of the ball, the Steelers signed former Jaguars wideout Donte Moncrief and former Chiefs wide receiver Steven Nelson in free agency while re-signing wide receiver Eli Rogers and selecting Toledo wide receiver Diontae Johnson in the third round of the NFL draft.
- Total Yards: 327.2 / Rank 6
- Passing Yards: 231.1 / Rank 10
- Rushing Yards: 96.9 /Rank 6
- Points Allowed: 22.5 / Rank 17
- Field Goal %: 84.6 / Rank 15
Defensively, Pittsburgh finished the 2018 campaign ranked an encouraging sixth overall, 10th against the pass and sixth against the run. In spite of those impressive numbers, Pittsburgh finished last season ranked a modest 17th in points allowed (22.5 ppg). To address their needs on the defensive side of the ball, Pittsburgh signed former Rams linebacker Mark Barron and former Chiefs cornerback Steve Nelson while re-signing linebacker Anthony Chickillo and defensive tackle Dan McCullers. The Steelers also drafted Michigan linebacker Devin Bush with the 10th overall pick and Michigan State cornerback Justin Layne in the third round.
- Touchdowns: Antonio Brown (15)
- Rushing: James Conner (973)
- Passing: Ben Roethilsberger (5129)
- Receiving: JuJu Smith-Schuster (1426)
- Sacks: T.J. Watt (13.0)
- Interceptions: Joe Haden (2)
In 2018, superstar wideout Antonio Brown led the team with 15 touchdowns scored, but it was emerging star JuJu Smith-Schuster that led the team in receiving yards in his second season. While Pittsburgh saw star running back Le’Veon Bell sit out the entire season in another contract dispute with the franchise, second-year running back James Conner was solid in rushing for a team-high 973 yards while averaging 4.5 yards per carry. Another second-year performer also played at a high level as linebacker T.J. Watt led the team with 13 sacks. Former Pro Bowl cornerback Joe Haden led the team in interceptions in his second season with the Steelers.
Let me get started by saying that you just don’t lose two players the caliber of Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell and not feel its effects. With that said, I like the Steelers to make a good run at reaching 10 victories in 2019, though that’s certainly not etched in stone. In addition to their pair of tough AFC North division matchups against reigning champion Baltimore, the Steelers will also be facing an improved Cleveland squad in 2019 and a Bengals team with a new look as well.
In addition to that, Pittsburgh has a bunch of difficult non-division contests looming at New England and the L.A. Chargers and at home against Seattle, Indianapolis and the L.A. Rams. Still, Pittsburgh’s defense was pretty good last season and they made some nice additions to improve on that side of the ball. If Pittsburgh struggles on offense, they could be in for a long season, but I’m banking on the Steelers to beat the hell out of rebuilding teams like San Francisco, Miami, Arizona, Buffalo and the New York Jets.