3. Pittsburgh Steelers (3)
The good news for the Pittsburgh Steelers is the defense looked sharp as anything against the New York Giants in their first preseason game, even if Eli Manning and a majority of the starters were watching from the sidelines. From Arthur Moats recording three sacks to T.J. Watt having a strong debut with two sacks of his own, the Steelers’ defense already seems to be playing at that high level that was on display of the second half of last year, which helped earn them the AFC North title.
No matter how hard he tries, Watt will never be able to avoid the high expectations when seeing how successful his brother has been with the Houston Texans over the years. But for a rookie playing in his first career NFL game, it’s safe to say Watt exceeded all expectations by causing all sorts of problems for the Giants during the time he spent on the football field.
At the moment, the Steelers are the early favorites to repeat as division champions, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some bumps in the road that could cause some issues heading into the regular season. Seeing Le’Veon Bell continue to holdout heading into Week 2 while fighting for a new contract is the last thing Pittsburgh wanted to deal with, and nobody has to explain to them just how valuable he is to the offense, both as a running back and receiver.