The Pittsburgh Steelers revamped their roster this offseason, upgrading at quarterback and along the offensive line as their roster in general just got better. It was a necessity for the Steelers to improve with how difficult their division is. In 2023 every AFC North team had a winning record, and heading into 2024, Pro Football Focus named the division the strongest in football.

“The AFC North was projected as the strongest division in 2023, and despite some ups and downs, the stark reality is that this is more than likely the strongest division again heading into 2024,” PFF’s Thomas Valentine wrote.

The outlet also believes the Steelers can be playoff hopefuls if quarterback Russell Wilson can improve in Arthur Smith’s scheme.

“The Pittsburgh Steelers will experiment with Russell Wilson under center in 2024 after finishing with a 10-7 record in 2023, and if Wilson can improve his 72.5 passing grade from a year ago in the new offense, the Steelers will continue their run of being perennial playoff hopefuls,” Valentine wrote.

The Steelers signed Wilson this offseason to improve a quarterback room that was lackluster with Kenny Pickett leading it. The team shipped Pickett off to Philadelphia, and now Wilson is going to be tasked with leading the Steelers. There’s some trepidation about whether he can do so after a rough 2022 season in Denver and a 2023 season where he wasn’t at his best and struggled to jell with Sean Payton. Still, Wilson’s numbers last season would be a huge upgrade over what Pittsburgh had at quarterback, and he could easily elevate the room this season.

In the AFC North, physical football usually rules the day, and with Smith’s hiring as offensive coordinator, the Steelers are going to be a physical team. Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren are one of the league’s best running back tandems, and by drafting Troy Fautanu and Zach Frazier in the first two rounds to improve the offensive line, the Steelers are committed to winning in the trenches.

While the Steelers went 5-1 against the AFC North last year, a lot of that was luck with them facing backup quarterbacks. The same can’t be expected this season, so the Steelers are going to have to lean on their ground game and physicality and hope Wilson can make the throws he needs to in order to win some divisional games.

But the Steelers have built a strong roster and are almost always competitive in the division. That should stay the same this year. One quirk though is that Pittsburgh’s six divisional games come in the team’s final eight games, so it’s going to be a grind without a lot of rest and a lot of physical play. Still, the talent is there, and the Steelers could certainly once again make the postseason.


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