As the Steelers appear to be a dilapidated, down the pan team, headed for a fiery, violent crash, it is time to question wether they will be considered a rival of ours next year. Of course, the Patriots’ run should come to a close once their older veterans leave, like Brady, Gronk, Belichick. However, different from the Patriots, the Steelers main problem is keeping their younger stars happy. We all know about the Bell debacle that developed over a two year period. Now, the Steelers are considering exploring the trade market for Antonio Brown this offseason. Big Ben is not getting any younger and although he would still have Juju Smith-Schuster as a target, life without Brown for an older quarterback like Roethlisberger would be a painful and embarrassing season for him. Life without Antonio Brown, who holds a spot in every discussion of the best receiver in the league, would almost force Big Ben to hang up the cleats. The locker room in Pittsburgh is toxic and out of control, leadership is flawed, and teammates turn on each other faster than rats abandoning a sinking ship. Tomlin might have his moments as a good football mind but relying on him to control his team’s behavior or even his own is a dangerous risk.
Out with the old, In with the new
Meanwhile, watching Andrew Luck pitch to a receiving corps lacking any huge star is scary. TY Hilton is pretty good, but not a guy who scares the living daylights out of defensive coordinators. The Colts put together fantastic performances versus the Titans and Texans, both divisional opponents with good defenses. The Colts are the future. Their whopping projected 118 million dollar cap space in 2019 is scary for a team that is currently making a playoff run. The Colts may not win it all this year but they will be a daunting force to any team not prepared for them in 2019 and beyond. With their main needs being a running back, defensive linemen and defensive backs, there is no better year to grab one of each through either the draft and or free agency. Discussion and rumors already link Le’Veon Bell to the Colts, which would make a huge difference to their already thriving offense. I will assure you, every running back on the free agent market is salivating at the sight of Indianapolis. A team with a boat load of money, a great offensive line, and an indoor stadium is running back paradise. If the Colts check off all the needs on their shopping list this offseason, that team would be a group no one would want to face.
So, New England, forget Pittsburgh, they are as dead as a maggot in a freezer. The Colts, who we hated during the Manning years and after the whole Deflategate saga are the guys to hate again. Which is convenient because they already hate us back. A marque matchup of Brady vs Luck is something that Pats fans should be accustomed to over at least the next one or two seasons.