As the 2012 NFL preseason is set to kick off in less than 24 hours, a number of football fanatics are wondering how well the Pittsburgh Steelers will play this season. Will the Steel Curtain return to Pittsburgh, will Ben Roethlisberger withstand being pounded game in and game out and will the team play deep into the playoffs?
The Steelers have a long tradition of putting superb teams on the field and this season should be no different. Pittsburgh has recorded at least 12 wins in each of its last three seasons. However, some critics are looking at the team to not perform as well as they have in the past in 2012.
Currently the team is favored at -170 to win 10.5 games. Although some of the larger books have the team competing for the division title and the AFC championship. The Steelers however have odds of +120 to take the AFC North crown and are +700 to be victorious in the AFC Championship. Even further out the odd makers have the Steelers at +1400 to won the Lombardi Trophy as the Super Bowl Champion.
The Steelers ended their 2011 regular season with a record of 12-4, but the club had a number of problems during the year. They had their season abruptly ended in the Wild Card round of the playoffs by the Denver Broncos. The Steelers only averaged just over 20 points per game even though they recorded the 11th best offense in the league as far as total yards were concerned.
Because of their failure to produce points, the Steelers let OC Bruce Arians go and hired Todd Haley the former head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs to be their new OC. QB Roethlisberger was not pleased with the move, with some believing the two might have a clash of opinions from time to time.
Look for the Steelers to play well, win 11 or 12 games and compete with Baltimore for the AFC North title. The AFC Championship looks less likely and the Super Bowl even more dim for the Steelers this year.
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