The team is a compelling choice because of increased speed on both sides of the ball, an enticing cast of rookies and one of the game's most watchable quarterbacks in Ben Roethlisberger. The Steelers also have one of the AFC's better bounce-back candidates in Heath Miller.
The veteran tight end wasn't himself last season on the heels of ACL, MCL and PCL surgery in January 2013. Now healthy, Miller is a solid bet to improve on his 58 catches for just 593 yards from a season ago.
"(It's) huge, the way he has looked," Roethlisberger told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review on Monday. "He has looked healthy right from the get-go, looks kind of like the old Heath. One of the practices, he caught a pass about 12 yards downfield and made a move and actually made a guy miss and he finished all the way down the field. That was the Heath Miller we love to see."
Miller has long been a favorite of Big Ben, but Pittsburgh's quarterback isn't lacking for options in this offense. Behind Antonio Brown, "Making the Leap" candidate Markus Wheaton should see plenty of snaps in a passing game that also added Lance Moore in free agency and Martavis Bryant through the draft.
Housing one of the conference's more intriguing rosters on paper, the Steelers are shaping up as a lock to snap their streak of back-to-back 8-8 campaigns.