5 exceedingly bold predictions for the Steelers 2024 season

These predictions are bold, but not unattainable.
Pittsburgh Steelers OTA Offseason Workout
Pittsburgh Steelers OTA Offseason Workout / Joe Sargent/GettyImages

The 2024 season is just a couple of months away, and as the days inch closer to football season, here are 5 bold predictions for the upcoming Steelers season.

Bold prediction 1: Steelers will have two 1,000 yard rushers

Last year, the Steelers ranked 13th in total rushing yards, with Najee Harris contributing 1,035 yards and Jaylen Warren adding 783 yards. This year, with Arthur Smith as the new offensive coordinator, known for his commitment to the running game, Harris and Warren will be crucial to the team's ground attack.

Improvements at center and tackle on the offensive line provide the tools for a more potent rushing offense. Following last year's roller-coaster performance on offense, fans can expect more consistency.

Despite a struggling offense, Harris and Warren combined for nearly 2,000 rushing yards. With both running backs in a contract year, they will be motivated to deliver standout performances and secure bigger paychecks next year.

Bold prediction 2: Justin Fields will be the starting QB by November

This offseason, the Steelers made significant changes to their quarterback situation, trading Kenny Pickett, signing Russell Wilson, and trading for Justin Fields. Despite Mike Tomlin's remarks that "Russell has pole position" as the starter for now, I believe Wilson's best days are behind him.

While his statistics might indicate a solid year, the game film reveals frequent struggles, culminating in Wilson being benched and the Broncos absorbing a $53 million dead cap charge to remove him from their roster.

On the other hand, Justin Fields, though not without his own challenges in Chicago, appears to be a better fit for Arthur Smith's offensive scheme. With immense pressure from Art Rooney II to win immediately and secure playoff victories, the coaching staff might reconsider their quarterback choices if Wilson starts the season poorly.

Given that Fields will be a free agent next year, the team could be inclined to evaluate his potential more closely.

Bold prediction 3: Keeanu Benton will be a Pro Bowler

After an impressive rookie season, Keeanu Benton is poised for a much bigger role in his second year. Now a full-time starter with a larger workload, Benton is set to put the NFL and fans on notice. With additional talent bolstering the defense and the prospect of playing a full, healthy season alongside Cam Heyward, Benton is expected to make significant strides.

His exceptional talent and advanced skill set suggest a Pro Bowl nod is within reach in his second year. The Steelers appear to have found their next great defensive lineman, and this season could be the first of many Pro Bowl appearances for Keeanu Benton.

Bold prediction 4: Minkah Fitzpatrick will lead the league in INT's

With a 2023 season full of injuries at the MLB and safety positions, a lot was asked of Minkah Fitzpatrick. Instead of playing the majority of his snaps as a deep safety, he was required to support the run game more frequently.

This shift prevented him from being the ball-hawking player we know, but with the free agent additions of safety DeShon Elliott and MLB Patrick Queen, along with draft picks Ryan Watts and Payton Wilson, there is much more depth at these positions than last year. This added depth will allow Fitzpatrick to return to his traditional role.

With 17 career interceptions as a Steeler, I believe Minkah will have another big year, capitalizing on an improved defense after a frustrating season.

Bold prediction 5: TJ Watt will be the NFL DPOY

After being snubbed from the DPOY award in both 2020 and last year, TJ Watt is poised to go on another warpath this season. Last season's disappointment, where Watt left the award ceremony early, has only fueled his determination.

We've seen how these snubs have motivated Watt in the past, and this upcoming season promises to be another one to remember. With so much on the line for the team, coaching staff, and front office, you can bet that TJ Watt will be more than ready. The improvements made on the defense this offseason will only benefit Watt even more.

The 2024-2025 season will be a memorable year for TJ Watt and Steelers fans as he takes home his second DPOY award, further solidifying his Hall of Fame resume.