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The Good: Given all the stuff with Ben Roethlisberger's suspension and the unbelievable amount of injuries the Steelers had, Mike Tomlin and his staff had a really, really good year. They weren't even projected to make the playoffs. All they did was win their division, earn a first round bye, and go to the Super Bowl.
Tomlin continues to grow as a coach, learning from the mistakes he makes, and minimizing the damage when he does make them.
He admitted immediately after the game that the 52 yard field goal attempt in the Super Bowl was a mistake and that shows you the kind of man he is. He admits his mistakes and moves on. I guarantee he does not make that mistake again.
Dick Lebeau continues to field one of the best defenses in the league year after year, and this year was no exception. His players love playing for him and the Steelers are truly fortunate to have him patrolling the sidelines on Sundays and coming up with new ways to terrorize quarterbacks.
The Steelers defense played much better over the previous year, when they let far too many leads get away, costing them several games and a chance to defend their title from 2009.
The Bad: I don't want to say they were bad, because they certainly were not bad, but I feel like this offense could be so much better.
Bruce Arians seems to abandon the run very easily and early in games, even when it is working. He seems to love the spread offense, which is fine, but when the run is working, why not run the ball and shorten the game?
There were several times throughout the year that I was hoping the Steelers would go into their no-huddle offense so Bruce would not be calling the plays.
I'm sure he is a good football coach and he knows his business, but it just doesn't feel like he is a good fit for the team.
The Ugly: The penalties, oh, the penalties. How many times this year did the Steelers make a good play only to have it wiped out by a penalty? How many times did they give an opponent good field position or an extra chunk of yardage because of a penalty?
In a blowout win over the Raiders, they committed 14 penalties for a team record 163 yards. They won that game by 32 points!
Would the Super Bowl have ended differently without Keyaron Fox's bonehead penalty near the end of the Super Bowl, backing the Steelers up to their own 13 yard line? Who knows, but I like the Steelers chances from their own 26 more than from their own 13 with 1:59 left in the game.
The Steelers picked up 20 yards in that last drive before turning the ball over on downs. If that drive starts from their own 26 (as it would have if Fox had been using his head), they would have been on their own 46 after picking up 20 yards. A Hail-Mary would not have been out of the question on fourth down. Stranger things have happened.
This area of the game must improve. I have no doubt it will.