Why The Steelers Are Extra Thankful This Season

By Brandon Wallace
SteelerNation.com

After starting the 2018 NFL season with a record of 1-2-1, the Pittsburgh Steelers are now on a six-game winning streak. With what seemed to be an awfully slow start, the Steelers find themselves gelling at all three phases of the game (offense, defense, and special teams).

11 weeks into the season, here are three reasons why the Steelers are extra thankful:

 

EMERGING STEEL CURTAIN

Giving up 1,682 yards in total defense through the first month of the season (4 games), the Steelers defense has started to settle in very nicely, only giving up 1,586 total yards since then (7 games). The defense currently ranks 6th in total defense and leads the league in sacks (37)! The elevated play of cornerback Joe Haden, linebackers Vince Williams, Jon Bostic, and T.J. Watt, along with defensive captain Cam Heyward and new starting cornerback opposite Haden, Coty Sensabaugh, has really been the spark plugs for the defensive side of the ball. Not to mention the underrated presence of defensive back Mike Hilton who could easily be the team’s defensive MVP.

 

7-2-1 RECORD (1st Place in the AFC North & Current #2 Seed in the AFC Conference)

The Steelers sit pretty and all alone atop of the AFC North, two games ahead of the Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals. The tie actually helps the Steelers when it comes to overall standings in the AFC Conference based on percentage. If the playoffs were to start today, the Steelers would have a first round bye, and then host their first playoff game in Pittsburgh. Let’s hope the Steelers can stay hot!

 

JAMES CONNER

With the ongoing contract drama early in the season with a running-back we’ll keep nameless, Steelers fans everywhere have been blessed with the materialization of 2nd year standout, James Conner. Conner is currently 4th in rushing yards (796), and 3rd in rushing touchdowns (10) in the NFL. With the continued stellar play of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, and wideouts Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster, Conner’s presence in the run game has been beyond uplifting for the Steelers in an area that had many question marks coming into the season.

 

There’s much to be thankful for this holiday season, one of them being the position the Steelers currently find themselves in this late in the season … and that’s 1st (as in the AFC North).

Be sure to vote for your favorite (Steelers) players in the 2019 Pro Bowl here: http://www.nfl.com/probowl/ballot

From all of us here at SteelerNation.com, we want to wish you a very very Happy Thanksgiving!

#SteelerNation

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