The 2019 season has not gone at all to plan for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Injuries have ravaged the team all season. Instead of vying for another Super Bowl title, the team has been left to try to scrape together enough wins to make the playoffs. Even still, there is plenty to be thankful for this season. Here’s a list of the top ten:
1. Minkah Fitzpatrick:
There may never have been a better one player solution for a team, then Minkah Fitzpatrick for the Steelers defense. The improvement since he got here is nothing short of remarkable. This defense already has almost double the takeaways they had all of last season, in only eleven games. Minkah Fitzpatrick, and his ball-hawking style are a big reason for the sudden turn around in this category. He has an amazing five interceptions, and three fumbles recovered so far this season. Turnovers have transformed this average defense into an elite one.
2. The Cincinnati Bengals:
Pencil the Steelers in for two guaranteed wins at the start of every season thanks to having the Cincinnati Bengals in their division. They are now at ten straight wins over the Cincinnati, and there is no change in sight. The 0-11 Bengals are so bad, the Steelers should be able to expect two easy wins every season for the foreseeable future.
3. TJ Watt:
If we are not looking at the defensive player of the year in the NFL here, there needs to be an investigation. Watt has steadily improved every season to the point where he may be the best edge rusher in the league. With 11.5 sacks, 5 forced fumbles, and an interception, Watt has been simply dominant in 2019.
4. Bud Dupree:
It took a while, but Bud Dupree has now become a big time edge rusher in the NFL. He has been dominant against the run, as well as being a constant threat as a pass rusher. His timing couldn’t be better as he is set to hit free agency in 2020. The Steelers need to do whatever they can to retain Bud Dupree so they can keep the best pass rushing duo in their NFL intact.
5. Myles Garrett:
I know……I know, why should Steelers fans be thankful for Myles Garrett? Well it’s simple really. By trying to take Mason Rudolph’s head off with his own helmet, Garrett has singlehandedly killed the Cleveland Browns season. The Browns now must try to run the table without their best defensive player. Garrett’s monumental blunder will benefit the Steelers playoff hopes immensely.
6. Mike Tomlin:
Tomlin has his share of detractors in Pittsburgh without question, but his performance this season should silence any critics. Tomlin’s ability to keep this team competitive with all the injuries this team has suffered is nothing short of miraculous. It’s amazing what a good coach can accomplish when he spends less time babysitting, and more time on actual coaching. Mike Tomlin has his flaws, but he is an elite head coach in this league. The Pittsburgh Steelers are lucky to have him.
7. Maurkice Pouncey:
Pouncey will be held in the highest regard by anyone associated to the Steelers for the way he responded to the Myles Garrett situation. It is vitally important for players to know someone has their back when things go bad. Pouncey is a great center, and an even better leader for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
8. Kevin Colbert:
If not for all the injuries, Kevin Colbert would have constructed the most talented roster in the NFL. Think of what a healthy Ben Roehtlisberger would have meant to this struggling offense. Pair that with the elite defense Colbert has built, and we would be talking Super Bowl for this team. The list of moves Colbert has made this year is quite impressive. From the Minkah Fitzpatrick trade, to moving up for Devin Bush. From signing Steven Nelson, to getting TWO draft picks for that lunatic Antonio Brown. Even now pilfering Deon Cain and Kerrith Whyte from other teams practice squads, and seeing them both make significant contributions in the win over Cincinnati is amazing. Kevin Colbert is having his best season in a long line of great seasons as the Steelers general manager.
9. Chris Boswell:
Life in the NFL without a reliable kicker can be terrifying. The Steelers got a first hand look at that last season while Boswell struggled through his worst season as a pro in 2019. It seems clear now that the Steelers kicker had some sort of injury last season. Boz is now back to being one of the best kickers in the league as he is 21 for 23 in field goal attempts in 2019.
10. Being a Steelers fan:
Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on all the good things in our lives. Being a Pittsburgh Steelers fan comes with lots to be thankful for. Think for a minute what it would be like to be a fan of some of the other teams in the NFL? How about the poor Lions fans who have only one playoff win in fifty years to hang their hat on? Or a fan of teams like Cardinals, Browns, Vikings, or Bills who have been around since the first Super Bowl in 1969, but have no Super Bowl trophies to speak of. Then there’s fans of the Jets, Browns, and Buccaneers who haven’t even seen a playoff game in eight years. Being a Steelers fan means there hasn’t been a losing season since 2003, and you have six Super Bowl championships to celebrate. That’s more to to be thankful for than almost any other team in the NFL…….happy Thanksgiving.