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The Pittsburgh Steelers haven’t made the playoffs since 2011. They have finished 8-8 each of the past two seasons. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has not been playing up to his usual self. The rough and tough defense that has brought two Super Bowls to the city of Pittsburgh is no longer there. The defense isn’t scary. This past draft the team addressed their defensive needs. In the first round, they drafted Ryan Shaizer a linebacker from Ohio State fifteenth overall. The next round, the Steelers drafted Stephon Tuitt a defensive end from Notre Damn forty-sixth overall. Analysts everywhere praised both of these draft picks.

Going into the season, the Steelers were expected to have a mediocre year. The offense was supposed to be decent. Big Ben is always an underrated quarterback who is forgotten. Second year running back Le’Veon Bell was expected to continue his high level of play. Wide receiver Antonio Brown stepped up last season and was expected to continue the high level of production. But the defense was not anticipated to be very good.

The Steelers started their season at home against the Cleveland Browns. Going into the game, Pittsburgh was expected to dominate. The Browns have been in the basement of the AFC North for as long as I can remember. Cleveland drafted Johnny Manziel out of Texas A&M and the NFL fan base anxiously awaited to see if he would start for the team. But he didn’t. Brian Hoyer started and played at a high level. The Steelers won the game 30-27 on a last second Shaun Suisham field goal. Many Pittsburgh fans were disappointed on how close the game was, but a win is a win.

Week 2 of the season, the Pittsburgh Steelers faced off against their long time rival, the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday Night Football. This was a highly anticipated game. It was an extreme let down. The Ravens dominated from the very beginning. The final score was 26-6. The Steelers only points came from two field goals. Pittsburgh just did not come to play.

The Pittsburgh Steelers split their next four games going 2-2, with wins against Carolina and Jacksonville and losses against Tampa Bay and Cleveland.

The Steelers have been an entirely different team in their past three games. They have won all three against the Texans, Colts, and Ravens. Over that span, Pittsburgh has averaged to score 41.3 points per game. But the defense has given up an average of 26.6 points over the past three games.

Ben Roethlisberger has thrown 14 touchdown passes. 6 in each of the past two games… 6! Big Ben broke a record for most TD passes in a two game pass that was 9. Over this span, wide receiver Antonio Brown has 30 receptions for 367 yards and 3 touchdowns. Rookie receiver Martavis Bryant has been a revelation. His first game was at the beginning of this win streak. He only has caught 10 receptions for 167 yards but half of those receptions went for touchdowns.
Another big key for the Steelers during their current win streak has been running back Le’Veon Bell. He is one of the best backs in terms of catching the out of the backfield. Over the past three games, he has 19 receptions for 182 yards and two touchdowns.

Another big key for this Steelers team has been the resigning of linebacker James Harrison. Harrison was on the team from 2004-12 and was a key cog in the rough and tough Pitt defenses. Last year he signed with a divisional foe, the Bengals but retired this past offseason. With the injury to Jarvis Jones, the team signed Harrison out of retirement.

Over the course of the past three games, the offense has looked amazing. The offense has been on par with the Broncos and Patriots. If the offense can stay this hot, it’s difficult to envision them missing the playoffs. Their schedule works in their favor. The Steelers next two games, before a bye week, are against the Jets and Titans. Expect the offense to continue its hot streak. This team will live or die based on the defense and its ability to get stops when necessary.