Brian Roach’s bold predictions for the 2017 Steelers season

In case you missed them, I recently did a series of articles that break the upcoming Steelers season down into four quarters. Buried in those articles are some interesting “take aways” that might even be called… bold predictions!

They could have been easy to miss considering that I broke the season down into four separate articles, but I thought I’d take a moment to call them out in one place. I do this not only to allow potential ridiculers to have any easy to reference place for their mocking, but also so that after the season is over I can be lazy when trying to see how far off I was on this stuff.

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Steelers Win The AFC North

To be fair, this is probably the least bold of all my predictions. Most of the prognostications I have read predict the Steelers to repeat as AFC North champions in 2017. Frankly, why wouldn’t they the way this team is stacked offensively?

In my scenario, I have the Steelers going 4-2 in their six division games, sweeping the Bengals, winning on the road in Cleveland and at home against Baltimore. I have them dropping their first road game in Baltimore and losing a meaningless home game against the Browns to end the season (when Landry Jones gets his only start of 2017, and all the starters get to enjoy an extra week’s rest).

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Steelers Sweep the NFC North

Now we’re getting somewhere! There are several tough games in this grouping (road games in both Detroit and Chicago, and home against the Packers), but I have the Steelers pulling off the sweep and taking all four games.

Do you want bigger boldness? In those four games, the Steelers will not average 30 points a game.They will average 41 points a game.

I predicted shoot-outs against the Lions (43-33) and Packers (56-45) and a blow out against the Vikings (42-10). If it wasn’t for a bit of a dud in Chicago (23-14) the average would have been higher.

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Steelers Set a Franchise Mark for Points Scored

Right now, the franchise mark for points scored in a season is 436 which was set in 2014. Based on my season projections, I am predicting the Steelers don’t just break that record, but shatter it.

How does 556 points sound? That total would tie for the second-most points ever scored in a single season. I’d like to go back and boost some of my lower estimates so I can predict the Steelers steal the lead away from the Patriots, but I’m trying to be at least somewhat reasonable.

To make this happen, the Steelers will break the 30-point mark 12 times, 40-mark five times and even break 50 points at least once. That’s 12 games where the average points scored is nearly 40 points a game (39.583 to be exact).

If I’m right, they would break their old scoring mark in just those 12 games; that leads right into my next prediction…

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Steelers Average More than 30 Points Per Game

Averaging more than 30 points per game has been a goal of Coaches Todd Haley and Mike Tomlin for the past couple of seasons, and while they’ve done well, they haven’t really come that close to hitting that number.

However, if – based on my predictions – the Steelers average 34.5 points per game, they would also set a franchise record. Not only am I predicting Pittsburgh scores all those points, I am saying they will win by an average of nearly 13 points per game.

The Steelers have the offense to do it. There are a ton of guys playing for more than pride in 2017. Le’Veon Bell wants to make a statement and prove he was right to turn down the Steelers’ contract offer; the only place he can do that is on the field by putting up ridiculous numbers. Antonio Brown wants to cement his legacy and prove he is worth the contract he already received. Ben Roethlisberger wants to win, understanding that time is not on his side before he’ll finally be forced to hang up those cleats.

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Steelers Are The Best Road Team In The League

Alright, I am not 100% certain that my predications are indicating the Steelers will meet this achievement, but I am giving them a 7-1 road record on the season. If that’s not the top mark in the league for 2017, it’s going to be pretty darn close.

A lot has been made about the Steelers’ “road woes” and the truth is, for the most part, very few teams actually play well on the road. The Steelers were 5-3 on the road in 2016 and the pulled off a nice upset win in Kansas City. The road isn’t an easy place to play, but Steelers Nation does tend to make it a little friendlier for the most part.

Considering how bad Chicago might be, and the proximity of that city paired with Detroit and Indianapolis, there is a real possibility that some of these road games may turn into home-away-from-home games.

Bottom line: winning those games. They’ve shown they can. They typically struggle early in the year – and that’s good for the Steelers in 2017 because their first road games are against Cleveland, Chicago, and Baltimore.

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Steelers Are Number One Seed In AFC

Again, I’m not sure that I actually prove this will be the case. With a predicted 14-2 record at the end of the regular season (and the fact that I say they will be the number one seed), it’s pretty clear I expect the Steelers to make the ‘road to the Super Bowl’ come through Pittsburgh this year.

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There are other things I’m willing to make bold predictions on, but those are more individual stats, and I think I’ll do those in a podcast rather than an article.

Why am I so optimistic about this upcoming season? It’s simple – this offense (barring injury or suspension) is just too crazy good.

Unlike last season – where they managed to score just under 25 points per game (24.94) – the Steelers will have Brown and Martavis Bryant on the outside, Eli Rogers and possibly JuJu Smith-Schuster in the slot. They’ll have Bell at full strength. I think Jesse James will surprise many with the season he has.

The Steelers defense will be improved, more fully stocked and will need to ‘win’ a few games – even carrying the offense should they stumble – to make these forecasted outcomes to be true.

So, Steelers Nation – it’s going to be an interesting season. All I can say is let’s keep away from the Buffalo Wild Wings Foodoo dolls and hope the Steelers can stay healthy and unsuspended. Let’s get this party started!

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