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30 Scenarios in 30 Days: The Steelers offense will have more turnovers this season

The Pittsburgh Steelers are preparing for the 2024 regular season, but before the real games begin, the team has to head to training camp back at Saint Vincent College in order to fine tune their skills. As we here at SCN prepare you for the start of camp, we give you a series called “30 Scenarios in 30 Days” which gives you a Steelers scenario every day leading up to the start of camp.

It is simple how it works. We provide you the scenario, reasons why it will or won’t happen, and then our prediction for what we think will take place.

Let’s get to the scenario…

Scenario: The Steelers offense will have more turnovers this season (16)

Why it will happen: The Steelers set a franchise low for turnovers in 2023. After 19 turnovers in 2022, the Steelers only had 9 interceptions and 7 lost fumbles last year. But the cost of being super-protective of the ball was also an inept offense. The cause and effect can argued, but the Steelers had to take care of the ball to keep them in games. If the Steelers are going to have more offensive production in 2024, the likely byproduct would be more turnovers. It’s hard to both take a step up in scoring and, once again, set a franchise record for fewest turnovers.

Why it won’t happen: One thing that appears to not have changed for the 2024 Steelers is an emphasis on taking care of the ball. Even though he had seasons in the 20s his three seasons as a head coach in Atlanta, Arthur Smith’s first year is an offensive coordinator in Tennessee saw them tie their franchise record low of 17 turnovers in 2019. And what did Smith’s offense do in 2020? They crushed the franchise record with 12 turnovers on the season. Seeing how Smith’s numbers align with Mike Tomlin’s philosophy, taking care of the ball can very well be a higher priority than putting points on the board. With this combination, the Steelers could see another record-setting year.

Prediction: As much as I want to see the Steelers holding onto the football, I don’t know that their new quarterbacks are ones to get the job done. Even though Russell Wilson only had eight interceptions in 15 games in 2023 with Justin Fields having nine interceptions in 13 games, it could be holding onto the football which could create more of an issue. This is two-fold with the quarterbacks possibly holding onto the ball longer in the pocket, potentially taking more hits, which then makes it harder to secure the football all the way to the ground.  Even if these things are improved with these quarterbacks in Pittsburgh as each quarterback put the ball on the turf 10 times last season, my hope is that the Steelers are taking more shots down the field and, therefore, putting more points on the board. If this is the case, the natural byproduct will be an increase in turnovers. But what is ultimately the goal is to see the increase in offensive scoring significantly outpace any increase in turnovers.

Miss a scenario? You can see the full list of scenarios below, and be sure to stay tuned to SCN for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for training camp.

The Steelers will go above and beyond their win-loss prediction in 2024


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