2014 Record: 11-5, NFC North Division Champions, 4-1 in last five
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1st: 2nd in DVOA* overall offense (1st pass, 12th rush) | 30th in DVOA* overall defense (30th pass, 17th run)
2nd: Ineffective against all receiver types — worst in NFL against slot and reserve receivers (6.2 pass attempts per game, 63.3 yards per game) and fourth-worst against TEs (6.6, 47.2), according to Football Outsiders’ defense vs. receiver types chart.
3rd: Key loss: DB Troy Polamalu | Key addition: LB DeAngelo Williams
4th: Perhaps the biggest issue facing the Steelers is the departure of several defense stalwarts (Polamalu, DB Ike Taylor, DL Brett Keisel and LB Jason Worilds) from a unit that was very ineffective to begin with in 2014. The offense was the second-best in the NFL last season and the top passing offense — led by quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, superstar receiver Antonio Brown and budding star Martavis Bryant — according to DVOA. Their biggest skill position acquisition was Williams, a backup for star running back Le’Veon Bell, which says a lot about how there will be much fantasy goodness in Pittsburgh again in 2015.
*Defense-adjusted Value Over Average, a Football Outsiders’ advanced NFL metric, measures a team’s performance on a per-play basis. The metric attempts to limit variance and provides a more realistic measurement of how good a team is regardless of matchup or situation, making it a strong indicator of future success. Read more about DVOA.