Can the Steelers truly compete with the Ravens in 2020?

Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

The Pittsburgh Steelers hope they can unseat the Baltimore Ravens as the head of the AFC North.

Just about every analyst in existence is picking the Baltimore Ravens as the only other team in the AFC with a chance to take down the Kansas City Chiefs on the way to the Super Bowl. The Chiefs are the standard bearer, but the Ravens have the reigning MVP in Lamar Jackson and will be motivated by a one-and-done output in the playoffs.

However, before they get there, the Ravens should be worried about their own division. Sure, the Cleveland Browns still have a ton of talent, but the Pittsburgh Steelers are the team the Ravens need to be concerned about in the AFC North.

The Steelers had one of the best defenses in the league last season. It was so good, they were able to carry Mason Rudolph and Duck Hodges to playoff contention. They had more total turnovers than the New England Patriots (and every other team in the league), they only allowed 18.9 points per game despite having an offense that threw 19 interceptions, and they allowed less than 200 yards per game in the air.

Now, the Steelers are welcoming back a fully-healthy Ben Roethlisberger. He got hurt in Week 2 last season, so we expect him to be fully healthy. JuJu Smith-Schuster and James Conner are more used to their positions as the top skills guy. They signed Eric Ebron to give Roethlisberger another weapon. The offense should be worlds better this season.

Look at the schedules of the Ravens and the Steelers. Baltimore has to take on the Chiefs in Week 3, but the Steelers don’t have the defending Super Bowl champions on their schedule at all. Instead, they take on the Denver Broncos. They both have to go into a rough environment for the AFC East, with the Steelers taking on the Bills and the Ravens taking on the Patriots. That one’s pretty even.

Next. Best Bets To Make For Each NFL Team. dark

Look at the Ravens away games. They go on the road against Philadelphia, Washington, Houston, New England, and Indianapolis along with their divisional opponents. There’s only one bad team on that schedule.

The Steelers, on the contrary, take on the New York Giants, Titans, Cowboys, Jaguars, and Bills. Again, only one bad team, but a lot of other teams with more question marks than the Ravens schedule.

This season, the Steelers could very easily become the division winners if a few things go right. Lamar Jackson needs to put together another epic season to keep the Ravens atop the conference. With the Steelers defense playing like it was, they just need Big Ben to have an above average season and they could be the division champions.