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2014 Pittsburgh Steelers Odds | Season Preview | NFL Predictions

2014 Steelers NFL Handicapping

Reinforcements Have Steelers Set To Challenge For AFC North Crown In 2014

The Pittsburgh Steelers went to three Super Bowls from 2005 through 2010 and won two of them. Heading in to 2014, they face the harsh reality of a team at risk of missing the playoffs for a third straight year.

2014 Pittsburgh Steelers Team Preview/Predictions

  • 2013 Record: 8-8
  • ATS Record: 9-7

2014 Steelers Futures

  • Super Bowl Odds: +2800
  • Conference Odds: +1200
  • AFC North Odds: +200
  • 2014 NFL Regular Season Wins: Over 9

The Steelers are coming off back-to-back 8-8 seasons but they won six of their final eight games a year ago and a relatively weak schedule could help them get over the .500 hump and back to the postseason in 2014.

Pittsburgh didn’t break the bank in the offseason but did make some significant additions on both sides of the ball. Running back LeGarrette Blount is a bruiser that proved his worth in New England a year ago and signed with the black and yellow to help second-year pro Le’Veon Bell in the ground game.

The Steelers also brought in wide receivers Lance Moore and Darius Heyward-Bey to help stretch the field for quarterback Ben Roethlisberger along with Antonio Brown and rookie fourth-round pick Martavis Bryant. Each of those additions will be important but in order for the offense to operate at a high level the line must do its job.

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All five starters are back including Pro Bowl center Maurkice Pouncey, who missed almost all of last year with a torn ACL. Perhaps the biggest addition will be offensive line coach Mike Munchak, who will put his players in position to succeed with a focus on the tackle positions.

Roethlisberger is a big body that can still perform at an elite level and he gets another chance to showcase his skills with an improved starting cast around him.
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The bigger area of concern heading in to this season is a defense that ranked 13th in the NFL a year ago and more importantly 21st against the run.

Pittsburgh has to be better against the run and it begins up front with a front-seven that was far too inconsistent last season. The Steelers used their first round pick to add linebacker Ryan Shazier in the middle and he will beside one of the best in the game in Lawrence Timmons at the heart of their 3-4 defense.

Pittsburgh is less set on the edges where it will need more out of second-year pro Jarvis Jones and Jason Worilds, who replaced LaMarr Woodley at one of the outside linebacker spots. Notre Dame defensive end Stephon Tuitt was drafted to help a defensive line that remains a weak link of this unit with fellow end Cameron Heyward and nose tackle Steve McLendon also projected to start.

Troy Polamalu no longer plays at a Pro Bowl level but is still a solid starter at the strong safety spot next to Mike Mitchell.

Cortez Allen emerged as the team’s best cornerback a year ago, and the Steelers are hoping that Ike Taylor and William Gay can stay healthy and handle the second and third spots on their cornerback depth chart.

This could be the year that Pittsburgh returns to the top of the AFC North with enough young talent ready to help support the veterans on the roster.

The Steelers upgraded at several positions through both free agency and the draft after back-to-back 8-8 seasons, and a relatively easy schedule should help Roethlisberger and company retake the division crown.

2014 Steelers Predictions

  • Place they’ll finish in AFC North: 1st
  • Place they’ll finish in AFC Conference: 4th
  • Over/Under Wins Prediction: OVER

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