4 obstacles in Steelers way of winning AFC North

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports /
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Chukwuma Okorafor #76 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /

The Steelers made the playoffs as a Wild Card team in 2021, but these four obstacles stand in their way of winning the AFC North this year.

After a disappointing end to the 2021 season, the Pittsburgh Steelers need to correct a handful of issues in order to win the AFC North. Sadly, their odds of claiming the division title in 2022 aren’t good.

Kevin Colbert may have improved his team’s roster during free agency this offseason, but the AFC North is looking as strong as ever. These are the obstacles standing in the Steelers’ way of winning the division.

Steelers offensive line 

Over the past two seasons, the Steelers had one of the most inefficient and inconsistent offensive lines in the NFL. In the hopes of correcting that, the Steelers made a firm investment in the offensive line after signing James Daniels and Mason Cole. Adding two experienced linemen gives hope to a lot of fans that this could eradicate the poor play on the line.

However, it doesn’t quite solve the issue. The issue can only begin to get fixed once training camp starts. The linemen need to start working together, they need to build chemistry with one another.  Only then will we be able to tell if the free-agent signings were worth the money.

One of the biggest improvements the line can make is with run blocking. The Steelers have a tough running back in Najee Harris. Harris can do real damage to defenses when he has some space to work. Unfortunately, last year the line didn’t give him much of an opportunity to make those splash plays. But despite the poor blocking, he still produced at a very high level. Harris rushed for 1,200 yards as a rookie, although impressive, a lot of folks that watch football know that he could probably exceed that with better blocking.

If the offensive line can begin to create more space for Harris, then we can expect the Steelers to have a better chance at winning the AFC North.