The Pittsburgh Steelers were the dominant team in the AFC North, and once again, it showed.
At the end of the year, the Pittsburgh Steelers had one goal – win a Super Bowl. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case, but there’s no hiding this was one of the best teams in the NFL. Within the AFC North, this year wasn’t even a competition, as Pittsburgh swept the division.
ESPN acknowledged that the Steelers were the clear dominator, awarding Pittsburgh every AFC North yearly award. Antonio Brown was named offensive MVP, Mike Tomlin coach of the year, Cameron Heyward defensive player of the year and JuJu Smith-Schuster rookie of the year.
Even missing the final two regular season games, Brown led the NFL in receiving yards. If he didn’t miss time, he would’ve finished the season a strong candidate for NFL MVP.
Cameron Heyward was easily the biggest snub of the Pro Bowl. His 12 regular season sacks were never recognized by voters, but now, after the season, he finally got the acknowledgment he deserves.
Mike Tomlin was a no brainer. The AFC North was no competition this year. The Baltimore Ravens were the only threat to Pittsburgh, and even then, John Harbaugh was not even close to Tomlin this season.
JuJu Smith-Schuster had some competition for Rookie of the Year. It was T.J. Watt, though. Outside of that, there wasn’t anyone in the AFC North that compared to these two. Pittsburgh’s first two picks impacted this team from day one, and have some of the brightest futures in the NFL.
The Steelers’ season didn’t end like many hoped, but the future is clearly bright in Pittsburgh. Ben Roethlisberger has indicated his return next season, and Le’Veon Bell will hopefully get the contract he deserves this offseason.
Even if a Super Bowl didn’t happen this season, there’s a lot to look forward to in Pittsburgh.