Steelers run first offense might be better than I thought

Pittsburgh Steelers running back Najee Harris (22)
Pittsburgh Steelers running back Najee Harris (22) / Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports
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What can the Steelers expect from their offense?

Based on the study and assuming the Steelers meet the set qualifications, expectations for this offense should be higher than it has been in recent seasons. Personally, I had a lackluster view of this offense and expected these numbers to be lower than where they came in at.

The offense as a whole should be close to the top-ten unit all said and done. While the overall offense numbers are relatively wide apart, there have only been nine teams in this span that have finished with a top rushing offense but a bottom-half total offense. The two worst cases were the Titans in 2018 and the Patriots in 2020, who both had the 27th-best offense overall.

On the flip side of things, you had 11 top rushing offenses go on to be top-five offenses overall. While the NFL is a passing-dominated league on all accounts, there is still a place for a good ground game, and that in turn can yield a more complete offense.

The average record isn’t anything to look past either. Top rushing teams averaged 9.95 wins to only 6.425 losses in a given season. A 10-7 record (essentially) is more than enough to make the playoffs and be competitive.

The playoff record was a little better than I thought as well. Top rushing teams tended to make the playoffs and get knocked off somewhere between the wild card and divisional round. Four of these teams did ultimately make it to the Super Bowl, and one actually won the whole thing, that being the 2018 Patriots.

Based on these stats alone, I would expect the Steelers to be a competitive unit, record a winning season, make the playoffs, and have essentially a 50/50 shot at making winning one game once they get to the postseason.

For an offense that has sputtered these past two seasons, that would be a welcome change. No, I don’t believe this makes them a Super Bowl favorite, but their playoff odds do increase, in my opinion, after seeing these numbers.