One of my favorite Twitter follows and one of the best film breakdown guys on the internet said that the Steelers' Super Bowl window is now closed.
Wild. Another "window" for an #NFL team to win a/multiple championships likely closes not because of injury or retirement or even inability to pay. It closes for the @steelers 100% because of ego. And many people had their hand in it. #SteelerNation
- Dan Orlovsky (@danorlovsky7) February 20, 2019
To that, I say: Ha! Yep, just one simple loud laugh because that's a big take to throw out there. Let's talk about why the window isn't closed.
It's the Steelers
Orlovsky covered himself a bit by saying multiple, but he also threw in the word a there - as in single - so it helps the argument against his take a bit. The Steelers have been good forever. Let's go all the way back to 1972. That's 47 years folks. The Steelers have finished below .500 seven times since 1972. That's ridiculous! The Steelers window isn't closed because they are the Steelers. They are well-run. They are always in the mix. They are one of the best teams in NFL history. Seven times since 1972! They've made the playoffs 30 times in 47 years. That's a strong hit rate.
The Steelers always have a championship window because they are generally making the playoffs. At that point, it's what team gets hot at the right time. The Giants won when they weren't favored twice. Baltimore's most recent Super Bowl win was when they weren't favored and almost lost to the Broncos in Denver. The Super Bowl window isn't closed just because the Steelers are the Steelers but there's more.
Quick, give me the best receivers and running backs on most recent Super Bowl winning teams
Should we do the past 10 years? Let's do the past 10 seasons (which are technically the year before the Super Bowl is played).
2018: Julian Edelman
2017: Alshon Jeffrey
2016: Julian Edelman
2015: Emmanuel Sanders/Demaryius Thomas
2014: Julian Edelman
2013: Doug Baldwin
2012: Anquan Boldin
2011: Victor Cruz/Hakeem Nicks/Mario Manningham
2010: Greg Jennings/Jordy Nelson/Donald Driver
2009: Marques Colston
Do you see any automatic Hall of Famers in that list? There isn't even an automatic top-ten in the league receiver in that list. A lot of that is sheer luck. For example, if the Falcons didn't blow it, Julio Jones is in there. The point isn't that top-ten receivers don't win Super Bowls. It's that teams can win Super Bowls without having a top-ten receiver. I'll listen to the argument that high-paid receivers throw off cap distribution, but again, not the point here. Teams don't need star receivers to win Super Bowls.
Fine, Steelers' window is closed supporter would say, but they aren't just losing Brown. They are losing Le'Veon Bell as well. Okay.
2018: Sony Michel/James White
2017: Chris Clement/Jay Ajayi/LeGarrette Blount
2016: LeGarrette Blount/Dion Lewis/James White
2015: C.J. Anderson
2014: LeGarrette Blount/Stevan Ridley/Shane Vereen
2013: Marshawn Lynch
2012: Ray Rice
2011: Ahmad Bradshaw/Brandon Jacobs
2010: Brandon Jackson
2009: Pierre Thomas/Mike Bell/Reggie Bush
So there's on Hall of Fame running back with Lynch - maybe - and the rest aren't even close to the level of talent that Le'Veon Bell has. The analytics community has spent years of their life trying to say teams shouldn't overpay for a running back. This list helps their point.
So we know that Super Bowl winning teams are in a situation where a big-name, highly paid, top-10 wide receiver would be nice to have, but it's not a need to have. There's really only one thing that's a need to have and the Steelers still have it.
Ben Roethlisberger isn't going anywhere just yet
Sure, we have to sit through Roethlisberger pretending that he's going to retire soon or wearing a boot just so he can play the hero and be a tough guy playing through injury. That's extremely annoying. Ben playing is also extremely annoying to opponents. Big Ben is good. He's very good. He's already a Hall of Famer. He's not going anywhere. He's staying with the team. As long as Roethlisberger is around there's no need to panic.
The most important position in the NFL is quarterback. It's not even close. It's dumb to even have to say it. As long as the Steelers have a good quarterback - which they do - then they will continue to be a tough out for teams. In fact . . .
The Steelers still have a very good roster
We are pretending that the Steelers line isn't one of the top offensive lines in football. We are pretending that losing Antonio Brown makes the Steelers passing game non-existent when Juju Smith-Schuster is ready to be a No. 1 receiver in this league. Juju also costs less money - for now - and as far as we know doesn't have the locker room problems Antonio Brown has. Weren't we all applauding James Conner for his most recent season? Did the young Steelers defense all disappear off the face of the earth? Antonio Brown leaving doesn't suddenly make the rest of the team bad. The Steelers were a few plays away from being a scary playoff football team this year. Losing one guy doesn't make it all go away.
But what about the AFC North?
What about the AFC North? Seriously, what about the AFC North says that the Steelers can't win the division in 2019? Just because they didn't win the division this year? Sure.
Everyone loves the Browns coming into this next season. They have a new coach and some tape is out on Baker. Sometimes quarterbacks struggle in their second season. The Browns are ripe for the team that everyone picks as their sleeper this year but then they fall just short. Think of the Niners in 2018.
The Ravens will be good, but games will be close with how they play the game. That leaves a lot of variance and things to chance. Lose a fumble - which is a 50-50 proposition when the ball is on the ground - and the game can turn in an instant. The Bengals have a new coach who has never done this before. The Steelers definitely have a chance to win the AFC North this year.
The rest of the AFC
The Patriots will be at their normal spot atop the AFC East, but the Steelers beat them this year and can do it again even without AB. The Chiefs and Chargers will probably be back, but the Chiefs should regress a bit and the Chargers are cursed. If the Steelers get into the playoffs with their roster minus-Brown, they still have a shot. Spend that Brown money elsewhere to strengthen other positions.
The Steelers current regime has shown the ability to draft and develop
Fifteen of the Steelers 22 starters were drafted by the team. That's pretty good. So we are saying the window is closed, but they could easily draft players and do what they do and be competitive. The Steelers aren't done until Ben Roethlisberger is gone and they have to find a new franchise quarterback. So they are like every other team in the NFL.
Source : https://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/nfl/7-reasons-why-the-steelers-e2-80-99-super-bowl-window-isn-e2-80-99t-closing/ar-BBTSoDS