2. Pittsburgh Steelers
Top Players: T.J. Watt, Alex Highsmith, Cameron Heyward
One of the most enjoyable past times for Cleveland fans is to pick on the Pittsburgh Steelers. Yes, they've had their share of success through the years but that won't stop the Dawg Pound from laughing when they lose a game.
That's not going to stop but we can be realistic and admit they have some very talented players especially in their front seven.
T.J. Watt gets all the love, and it's easy to see why. The 2021 NFL Defensive Player of the Year tied the league record for the most sacks in a single season with 22.5. But he's not alone on this unit and that was clear in 2022 when he missed seven games and had just 5.5 sacks.
With Watt missing time, Alex Highsmith had a breakout campaign with a team-leading 14.5 sacks. He's progressed each year he's been in the league and can be a real problem across from Watt.
As good as the two pass-rushing outside linebackers are, the Steelers success on defense starts with Cameron Heyward. The 6-foot-5, 295-pounder might be 33 years of age but he had 10.5 sacks in 2022 and 10 in 2021. He plays defensive end in a 3-4 front and while that role usually occupies blocks allowing the linebackers to feast, Heyward does just as much damage.
Right now, the Steelers are second in the AFC North but it's a close match-up with the Browns.