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My 2020 Steelers Predictions

It's here.

Steeler Nation, we made it. Yesterday was great to have football back, but it wasn't really back until the black & yellow are on the TV. 

That happens tonight. Let's take a look at my season predictions for 2020. Here We Go. 

Record: 12-4

said this back in May when the schedule initially came out, and I'm sticking to it. It's pretty simple. Big Ben plays 16 games, hell even 14 games, then the Steelers record will improve from last year. Their schedule is one of the top-5 weakest according to last year's records, they get their HOF QB back, and the defense has had another year together under their belt. 

Plus, did you see the shit show that was Cleveland and Cincy yesterday? That a lone plus a home-home split with the Ravens should make up 5 wins already. I've just never understood these different talking heads talking about the Steelers being 6-10 or 7-9 this year. So you mean to tell me you're getting Big Ben back, with the same defense returning from the past couple years while also adding Stephon Tuitt back to the mix and they're going to….regress? Doesn't make sense.

Stay healthy, go 12-4. 

Offensive MVP: James Conner

I think this is finally the year he puts it all together. James has really, really been putting in the work this offseason, and I know it's kind of going out on a limb here with his history of injuries and fumbles, but I have confidence that he's putting his own little "revenge tour" together in 2020. Coach Tomlin came out last week and firmly said Conner will be their "bell cow", and he'll need to be with 38-year-old Ben Roethlisberger coming back from a year long injury. 

Conner being the bell cow, plus being a safety outlet for Ben to get rid of it before risking another hit and injury makes me think that James will become the reliable, star back that we saw tons of flashes of in 2018, and a few in 2019. 

Defensive MVP: TJ Watt

Yep, not taking a big risk here, but the dude is just so good. So fucking good. Part of me thought about being sneaky trendy and giving this to Stephon Tuitt coming back from injury, but Watt is clearly the best player on the defense and usually the field whenever he's on it. He should be right up there once again being talked about for DPOY. He's improved and improved each year since he got drafted in 2017. 

2017:  7 sacks, 7 QB hits, 1 INT, 1 forced fumble.

2018: 13 sacks, 21 QB hits, 0 INT, 6 forced fumbles.

2019: 14.5 sacks, 36 QB hits, 2 INT, 8 forced fumbles.


Team MVP: Ben Roethlisberger

Going there. I mean, it's pretty simple. A team last year on the cusp of making the playoffs with two third string QBs holding things together is the perfect chance for Big Ben to come back and say "yeah, I'm worth 3 to 4 wins" and be the difference we all know he can be. He's got a revamped group of playmakers. Chase Claypool will be a stud. Diontae Johnson showed what he could do last year as a rookie with Duck throwing to him. James Washington finally established himself as a deep threat. He's got dual tight ends with Ebron and McDonald. 

This is his Revenge Tour. If he stays healthy it should be clear without a doubt - Ben Roethlisberger is the most important player on this team. 

Best Game: Thanksgiving Night, November 26 vs. Baltimore

They had their chances to beat the Ravens at home last year bouncing back and forth from Mason to Duck in overtime before JuJu fumbled away the likely win in field goal territory in OT. Last year's MVP and stud Lamar Jackson posted his worst statistical performance of his career last year at Heinz Field only throwing for 168 yards, 1 TD, and 3 INT while being sacked 5 times and only rushing for 70 yards. 

I think in primetime, on a holiday, probably wearing all black color rush uniforms with Big Ben back at home against Baltimore puts together the best performance of the year, and starts really turning some heads heading into December football. 

Worst Game: November 22 @ Jacksonville

This has puke written all over it. I predicted them to win this game, and maybe yesterday's 19-20 performance by Minshew has me in my head too much already, but this just screams a Steelers let down doesn't it? A week after beating the shit out of the Bengals at home then looking ahead to Baltimore on a short week at home with a trip to Jacksonville smack dab in the middle is no good in my mind. Sloppy. Gross. Stressful. Just a few adjectives that come to mind when thinking about this one. 

The Game That Makes Me Tell My Dad "This Is A Super Bowl Team": Week 13 @ Buffalo

The way I see it they'll be coming off at least two straight wins including a primetime W over Baltimore on Thanksgiving night, they'll be getting on a roll when they have to go on the road to a team that spoiled our playoff hopes last year. The defense smacks around Josh Allen, and Big Ben doesn't make Tre White the star of the game like he was last year. Steelers come out of SNF with a thorough thumping of the Bills with three weeks to play. My adrenaline keeps me up until Monday morning. I text my dad "should we get tickets to Tampa just in case?"

The Game That Makes Me Tweet "Fire the whole staff": Also Week 11 @ Jacksonville

Yes, the worst game of the year and this one are one in the same. We've seen the story too many times. At Oakland. At Denver. At the Jets. They'll look ill-prepared. Big Ben will throw like 3 picks. The defense will randomly be gassed. All leading up to Baltimore. At about 4:30 on this day, I'll be sick to my stomach. 

Playoff Prediction: Divisional Round Loss @ Baltimore

Kills me to say. By NO means do I want this to happen at all. My Steelers cap on tells me to predict them going to the Super Bowl. But I've taken my Steelers cap off for this, "put the pom-poms down" as Cowherd would say, and thrown on my objective football fan hat and this is what it tells me. 

I think they'll play and win in the Wild Card round against the Titans or Texans or Bills then head to Baltimore and be outmatched. It'll suck to giving Lamar his first playoff win, but that team is damn good, and Lamar Jackson is fuckin' electric. I think it'll be a close game, but the Ravens pull it out 27-23. 

I'm all in. Do I think this team is good enough to make a run to Tampa again? Without having seen a game or Big Ben play in a year I do, yes. Does the "sort of media" objectiveness in me think it will happen? Not as much.


But damn I'm ready to throw on the ol' jersey, grab my Terrible Towel, and find out. 

Here We Go Steelers.