2017 NFL Season Preview – Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers
Is this the year the Steelers get over the Patriots Hurdle
After making the 2016 playoffs once again, the Pittsburgh Steelers have more in mind than once again losing to the Patriots in the playoffs. The Steelers had a strong run in last year’s playoffs beating both the Dolphins and the Chiefs in the Playoffs and posted an 11 win season. But, they still need to figure out how to beat the Patriots in the playoffs after losing 36-17 in the AFC Championship game. All the big guns are back though for Pittsburgh in 2017. Their experienced quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is back and hopefully with an injury free season, should put up big numbers again. He has some big offensive weapons of course with two of the top players in the game at their respective positions. The Steelers couldn’t reach a deal with star running back Le’Veon Bell, but did put him on the franchise tag for the upcoming season. He’s one of the most exciting players in the game when he’s in the line up and expect the same thing this season. Their receiving unit is led by Antonio Brown, who led the team with 106 catches and 1284 yards. Bell, also helped tremendously catching 75 balls out of the backfield. That helps stretch defenses and keeps the opposing team’s linebackers on their toes. In the 2017 NFL Draft the Steelers decided to upgrade their defense with their number one pick, selecting T.J. Watt. The Outside Linebacker out of Wisconsin should make a big impact as the season rolls along. Pittsburgh ranked 12th in the league in yards given up per game in 2016, so look for the team to try to improve on that this upcoming season.
Can the Packers Over take the Falcons and the Cowboys and reach the 2017 Superbowl
The Green Bay Packers started out very slow in the 2016 season, but finished with a flurry passing the Detroit Lions at the end of the season to win yet another Division title. The Packers obviously don’t want to come out that slow again, but anytime a team has a future hall of fame quarterback like Aaron Rodgers, anything is possible. Rodgers played super in the second half of the season and was driven to lead his team to the Super Bowl. With his lead, Green Bay beat the New York Giants and upset the Dallas Cowboys, who had the best record in the league during the regular season. But Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons proved to be too much as they dusted Green Bay 44 to 21 in the NFC Championship game. It was quite obvious what the Packers had in mind going into this year’s College draft. They selected all defensive players for their first four picks. The first two picks were both second round picks and both were players in the defensive backfield. The first pick was Kevin King, a cornerback coming out of Washington. The 29th pick of the second round was Josh Jones, a safety from North Carolina State. Green Bay ranked next to last in the NFC in passing yards given up in 2016, so deciding to select players for the defensive backfield was a wise choice. Green Bay has the talent and experience and anytime you have a superior player like Aaron Rodgers leading the team, anything can happen. So look for them to again be in the playoff mix.