I have written several articles and the topic of the Steelers going 16-0 has come up many times. So now I'm going to ask the rest of the Bleacher Report community. Can the Steelers go 16-0 next year? I think they can but a lot of changes need to be made.
OFFENSE For the first time in Steelers history, they've had a QB to pass for over 4000 yards, 2 receivers with 1000 yards and a running back with a thousand yards all in one season. Ben passed for 26 TD's and Mendenhall ran for 6. Rookie Mike Wallace exceeded expectations and has established himself as the Steelers deep threat. Sounds like the offense is in good shape. Not.
The offensive line was atrocious again this year allowing Ben to get sacked 50 times, the offense kept stalling in the endzone, and the running game was mediocre at best. This simply cannot continue to happen. Thankfully steps have already been taken. The Steelers have hired a new O line coach and Rooney has requested that the Steelers put a bigger emphasis on running the ball effectively. With these changes our offense should be hard to stop next year.
DEFENSE The last thing Steeler fans expected was the defense to fall from grace. But fall it did. Sure the absence of our star safety Troy Polamalu and DE Aaron Smith affected our defense significantly, but they still had no business blowing 4th qtr leads in all but 2 games. Thanks to their play the Steelers lost to some of the worst teams such as the Bears, Chiefs, Raiders, and Browns. But there is hope.
The DB coach has been fired and Polamalu and Smith will return next year. Hampton and Clark will be free agents but hopefully they can negotiate a deal to stay longer. Also the Steelers need to stop playing prevent in the 4th qtr. That's called playing not to lose and it cost us many games. There is no need to stop what has been working all game and what the D is so good at which is blitzing. With these changes I believe the D will become #1 again.
SPECIAL TEAMS This unit was ranked 30th in the league in coverage after being ranked #1 the year before. It allowed 4 kickoffs and 1 punt for TD's this year. This is totally unacceptable and cannot continue into next year. The special teams coordinator has already lost his job and has been replaced. Hopefully the new guy will be up to par and can get this unit on the right track.
But on the bright side the return game received a much needed boost with Stefan Logan who broke the team record for most return yards in a season. Keep up the good work. Jeff Reed continues to succeed being 27-31 this year on field goal tries. Besides that game against the bears when he missed 2 field goals, he has made all field goals inside of 50 yards.
Some have called my claim gutsy. Others have said it won't happen. I say different. I believe so strongly in this team and I am positive they'll go undefeated. Going 16-0 will not be easy. But with the changes mentioned above, I believe the Steelers can do it. They should have the drive and the will to do it which is something that came into question this year. Do you think so? Let me know in the comments.