It's hard enough to get to the superbowl in the NFL let alone do it two years in a row. If any team can do it, the Steelers can. They are the only team to win back to back superbowls twice in Superbowls 9 and 10 and then in Superbowls 13 and 14. There are only 6 other teams that have ever won back to back superbowls which are the Packers, Dolphins, 49ers, Cowboys, Broncos, and Patriots. And then like I said the Steelers did it twice, can they do it three times? I think they have a decent chance, and I'll explain why in this article. I'll also explain how they have to do it.
I'll first start off with explaining why they have a decent chance at making it back to back. Let's start off with saying that both Willie Parker and Rashard Mendenhall were injured a lot last season, hampering the Steelers running game. Now that they are both back this year could make a huge difference and take a lot of pressure off Big Ben and the passing game. Which can also limit injuries to Ben. Thus balancing out the offense for a better overall offensive performance. And don't forget that the Steelers won many games without them.
Another factor is that almost the whole Steelers defense from last year is going to look the same with the exceptions of Larry Foote and Bryant McFadden. Not to mention the Steelers defense was #1 in most categories last season. James Harrison is one of the key factors of that defense along with Troy Polamalu, Ike Taylor, Deshea Townsend, James Farrior, and LaMarr Woodley. And even with the loss of McFadden and Foote, there is probably going to be a young guy that will be able to step up and fill their shoes and we've seen it happen in past years. So look for the defense to be their old selves again, and to live up to the title of "Steel Curtain"
My next point is based around wide receiver Santonio Holmes who has done nothing but grow in his 2 years with the Steelers and he will show even more growth in the 09-10 season. Holmes, who was the 2nd best WR for the Steelers, had 52 receptions and 821 receiving yards. He was such a big playmaker for the Steelers in 08-09 along with veteran wide receiver Hines Ward who was the leading WR for the Steelers with 82 receptions and 1,047 receiving yards. With Big Ben in the pocket and those two sure-handed recievers in the offensive aresenal will be a nice help for the Steelers.
My next factor is the biggest one of all and it's a pretty simple one. And it's the fact that they have one of the easiest schedules in the league for the 09-10 season. They start off the season at home against the Titans who were amazing last year but will not be near as good this year, so the Steelers shouldn't have a problem. Then they go on to play the Bears which will also be pretty easy. They play the Bengals and Browns twice which should both be wins. They also play the Ravens twice which could be one of the only teams to pose a threat to them. They also play the Chargers, Lions, Vikings, Chiefs, Raiders, Packers and Dolphins. The Lions, Chiefs, Raiders, and Dolphins will all be easy games for the Steelers. Now I know a schedule can't win you superbowls(we all know what happened to the Patriots), but it can clinch you homefield advantage if you take advantage of an easy schedule. If they do that, the Steelers could easily go 12-4, 13-3, or even 14-2. Who knows, maybe they could run the table. We'll see.
My last point is the least important and the least meaningful, but the most simple. And that is, that they have won back to back superbowls twice before, so why can't they do it three times? Like I said if any team can do it, the Steelers can. With an amazing defense, clutch QB, explosive receivers, an easy schedule, and the fact that the Steelers have done it twice before, then you have a recipe for a great chance at another superbowl.
Now I will move on to what the Steelers have to do in order to win back to back superbowls.
One of the biggest problems with teams that come off of a superbowl win is that they don't stay hungry for another superbowl win. A lot of emotion is lost after just winning a superbowl. You really can't go any higher than a superbowl win so keeping that hunger is hard. A way to keep the hunger is to act like you never won a superbowl in the first place. I believe that Mike Tomlin is the kind of coach that will be able to keep his players hungry for another superbowl. He just needs to keep his players focused and keep the emotion like they had last year.
If the Steelers are going to win another superbowl this year, it will all start at the roots of a season in training camp. The Steelers are going to have to make sure they stay focused at training camp and avoid any major injuries. Pre season games are good for starters to get back in the swing of things, but obviously cannot play all four games at risk of injury. Any major injury to a key player could mean no back to back for the Steelers.
So, if they stay hungry and keep the emotion for anther superbowl they have a great chance at getting there.
Lastly, I would like to note out some of my concerns for the upcoming season. One of the biggest concerns for all Steelers fans out there is obviously the offensive line. Luckily, Big Ben can move around very well and is a big guy that is hard to take down. But, just because Ben can move around doesn't mean he will be able to avoid sacks every single time, and we know that just from watching. And the offensive line isn't just for protecting the quarterback, they have to open up holes to run through for Parker and Mendenhall. Without good blocking up front, the running game could really feel a hit. I know I said that with Parker and Mendenhall back will make a difference, it's all up to the O-line to help them out.
Another concern would have to be the distraction of the allegations against Big Ben this offseason. I personally don't think he did a thing, but the media could possibly be a distraction at camp. In an interview where the media brought up the assualt issue at camp, Ben just said "Are we gonna talk about football or not?" So he doesn't seem too distracted, but other players may be. Like I said earlier camp is a time to be focused and I'm sure Tomlin keeps them in line, but you never know and it is just a little concern that I have thought about.
Well that is my thoughts on how the Steelers can go back to back and the reason that they have the potential to do it. Even if they don't go back to back, I think they will get very close to doing it.