3. Pittsburgh Steelers
The Pittsburgh Steelers made a tough decision to part ways with Lawrence Timmons after 10 seasons, but when looking at how well the defense played in the second half of 2016, the unit will be just fine in the long run. The good news for the Steelers is when addressing the top needs of the offseason, they were able to make sure both Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell would be around for the 2017 season.
Making sure Brown would be around through the 2021 season was a no brainer for Pittsburgh, and while receiving the franchise tag wasn’t the ideal move for Bell, the running back knows his time will come when it comes to receiving a lucrative deal. Bell has wasted no time emerging as one of the league’s top running backs over the last four years, and the argument can be made that Pittsburgh would have been in much better shape in the AFC Championship against the New England Patriots if he was healthy.
There’s a reason why the Steelers are always one of the strong favorites in the AFC at the beginning of the season, and there’s no reason why that won’t be the case once again heading into 2017 thanks to having an offense loaded with talent. There aren’t going to be many teams capable of taking down New England in the AFC, but Pittsburgh could certainly be one of them.