2020 has been one hell of a year. It can be hard to find things to be thankful for with the Covid 19 virus ravaging through the country. In terms of strictly football however, there is plenty for Steelers fans to be thankful for. So much so, that we have come up with our own top ten list:
10. Drama free season:
The Pittsburgh Steelers have been the drama queens of the NFL for about five years running. 2020 has been quite a refreshing change to that. No more AB outbursts. Le’Veon Bell holdouts, or Martavis Bryant suspensions. This season has been all business for the Steelers, and the results speak for themselves.
9. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers:
Why should we be thankful for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers you ask? Well, they are the team that singlehandedly took down the Patriots dynasty. By signing Tom Brady and combining him with the terrible Bruce Arians offense, they have essentially killed what little Brady had left in the tank. At the same time, taking Brady out of New England has exposed how little talent that team actually has. This could not have worked out any better for Steelers fans. Thanks again Tampa.
8. Chase Claypool:
We have used this comparison to describe Chase Claypool a few times now because it fits perfectly…….. think Martavis Bryant without the marijuana haze. After years of trying to fill Bryant’s missing skill set with the likes of Donte Moncrief and Justin Hunter, Kevin Colbert finally succeeded with Claypool. Now Steelers fans can enjoy an exciting receiver without the fear of a looming suspension.
7. Lamar Jackson:
We would all like to thank Lamar Jackson for crashing back down to earth this season. It is looking more and more like the 2019 season was a complete aberration for the Ravens quarterback. Defenses have caught on to the gimmick, and Jackson looks pretty ordinary this season.
6. Mike Tomlin:
He certainly has his detractors. Even here at Steelers Sanctuary we have been critical of Mike Tomlin at times Mike Tomlin’s in-game decisions are costing the Steelers games
There is no denying that this is a top five coach in the NFL right now, with a good argument to for being the best in the league. We had Tomlin as the odds on favorite for NFL Coach of the year in 2020, and that prediction is looking spot on right about now. Mike Tomlin is the best bet for 2020 Coach of the Year
5. The NFL?
We have to be thankful for how the NFL has handled this Covid 19 situation so far. This season could have easily been wiped out due to the pandemic. Given how all-in the Steelers are for this season, not playing the 2020 season would have been a devastating blow to this franchise. We’re not all the way there yet, but so far so good by the NFL.
4. The NFC East:
When it comes to things Steelers fans have to be thankful for in 2020, getting to play the NFC East is right up there. This division does not have a team even sniffing .500 right now. So far it has provided three easy wins for the Steelers. There is a fourth win on the way next week when the Washington football team visits Pittsburgh.
3. Bud Dupree and TJ Watt:
We are witnessing something special in 2020. The pass rush combination of Bud Dupree and TJ Watt is the best in the NFL right now. It is also the best the Steelers have produced arguably ever. Enjoy it while you can because the likelihood of Bud Dupree being back in 2021 is slim at best.
2. Defense is back!:
For us old school Steelers fans, there is nothing better to watch than a dominant defense. It has been a long, painful journey for us to say the least. The last ten or so years heave brought some pretty awful defensive performances. The 2020 Steelers defense is a throwback to better times however. In an era where offense rules the NFL, the Steelers defense has proven to be elite. It is pure joy watching this defense go to work every Sunday. Take a look at this chart to see how good this defense really is: https://www.lineups.com/nfl-team-rankings/defense
1. Ben Roethlisberger:
If 2019 taught us anything, it’s if your team does not have a franchise quarterback your life is miserable. Watching the likes of Mason Rudolph and Duck Hodges waste away an entire season was brutal. We haven’t always loved Ben Roethlisberger’s play over the last few seasons, but even at his worst he is so much better than the alternative. Big Ben has cut his turnovers way down in 2020, while maintaining his aggressive style. If Roehtlisberger can remain healthy, and maintain his current form, the Steelers may very well get that elusive seventh Lombardi Trophy. That is certainly something Steelers fans will have to be thankful for.