After seven long months, the NFL season is about to begin. And with that comes the Steelers Sanctuary 2021 season Steelers predictions. Let’s take a look at what we believe is in store for this franchise this upcoming season:
Final Record: 10-7
We bounced around from 9-8, and 10-7 until finally settling on the latter. The key to this entire season is how well this offensive line plays. There are certainly plenty of doubts about this unit heading into 2021. Will the Steelers offensive line be their undoing in 2021? If they somehow play well, this team could very well be a Super Bowl contender. If they play poorly, the Steelers will be in danger of breaking their consecutive winning seasons streak. We feel like with so much talent elsewhere, this team will figure out a way to put together a double digit win campaign. It will unfortunately be no more than another one and done in the playoffs.
Final AFC North Standings:
1. Cleveland Browns 11-6
2. Pittsburgh Steelers 10-7
3. Baltimore Ravens 8-9
4. Cincinnati Bengals 5-12
Leading Receiver: Diontae Johnson
Provided Ben Roethlisberger can remain upright for the majority of the season, we are predicting a monster season for Diontae Johnson. Expect a minimum of 100/1,000 catches and yards for this talented receiver in 2021. Despite all his drops last season, Johnson still managed to garner 88 catches, for over 900 yards. Look for him to shatter those numbers under the new Matt Canada offense.
Leading Rusher: Najee Harris
Put this in the absolute lock column for the 2021 season. Harris’s will have far and away the most rushing yards on this team. If he doesn’t, there will have been a major injury of some type that sidelined the rookie running back for most of the year.
Sack Leader: Alex Highsmith
Call us pessimistic, but the fact that TJ Watt has not practiced with the team all off-season has us concerned form an injury standpoint. It is looking more and more likely Watt will play this Sunday, even though he hasn’t taken a meaningful snap thus far. This seems like a sure fire way to pick up an injury with all the other players ramped up for the beginning of the season. Missing a handful of games will open the door for Alex Highsmith to steal the sack title this season. Look for double digit sacks fro the Steelers second year edge rusher.
Do not be surprised if Pat Freiermuth leads this team in touchdowns in 2021. In fact, that is exactly who we are predicting here. He already appears to be Ben Roethlisberger’s favorite red zone target in the limited preseason time they had together. Big Ben has been dying for a top notch tight end ever since Heath Miller retired. Look for ten touchdowns plus for the rookie tight end by season’s end.
Interceptions leader: Minkah Fitzpatrick
This is another no-brainer as far as 2021 predictions go. There simply isn’t anyone else talented enough to challenge Minkah in this secondary. Minkah Fitzpatrick will win this category in a landslide.
Najee Harris wins NFL offensive rookie of the year:
No rookie will have a bigger impact on offense than Najee Harris will in 2021. The Steelers are prepared to run their first year running back into the ground this season. He will eclipse all the touches records Le’Veon Bell had in his heyday with this franchise. https://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/B/BellLe00.htm Look for 400 plus touches, and some eye popping results from Najee Harris before its all said and done.