There are plenty of reasons to be optimistic for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2024. The upgraded offensive line, the new offensive coordinator, and the defense should be healthier and with a few additional pieces. But one big question mark is at quarterback. Had you told me four years ago that Russell Wilson and Justin Fields were going to be the team’s top two quarterbacks for the season, I would have thought it was a great situation for the team. Is that true given their recent track records?

Bleacher Report’s Ryan Fowler put together a list of the worst QB situations around the NFL, and the Steelers cracked the bottom 10 with the No. 9 spot on the list.

“The Pittsburgh Steelers continue to say that Russell Wilson will likely begin the year as their starting quarterback, with Justin Fields backing him up,” Fowler wrote. “Competition only makes players better. While either Fields or Wilson will start the year holding a clipboard, whoever develops the hot hand during training camp and the preseason could ultimately earn the majority of snaps this fall…As the late John Madden would say, however, ‘If you have two quarterbacks, you actually have none.’”

That old Madden saying has been uttered many times in connection with the Steelers this season. That doesn’t mean it is automatically true. Wilson has the championship pedigree to hold onto that starting job pretty firmly entering the season. Despite his tenure with the Denver Broncos going just about as poorly as anybody could have imagined when he signed that massive contract extension, he actually had a decent 2023 season.

His completion rate rebounded from the lowest level of his career in 2022 to be back in line with his career average at 66.4 percent last season. He threw for 3,070 yards and 26 touchdowns with only eight interceptions. If you could take those numbers and put them on the 2023 version of the Steelers, they could have accomplished much more than 10-7 and a first-round exit in the playoffs.

Sticking with Fowler and the pessimistic side of things, both Wilson and Fields hold onto the ball too long and take far too many sacks. The quarterbacks’ combined record over the last two seasons is an abysmal 19-39. Wilson is 35 years old and should only be declining in his abilities at this stage of his career, while Fields has done nothing to prove he has a future as a starting quarterback in the NFL.

I do think there are reasons to be optimistic, however, with a better supporting cast than either has been given in recent years. The Steelers’ offensive line has a chance to be great but might need time to jell before that takes shape. A strong defense and running game should help provide a floor of play that they can build off of.

The other good news? The Steelers will play five games against teams with worse rankings on this list. The Indianapolis Colts, Denver Broncos, Cleveland Browns (twice), Las Vegas Raiders, and New York Giants.


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