As we all know, with the NFL these days teams can come out of no where to make the play offs the following year. KC was the team who did that last year. True, they weren't ever as good as their 9-0 start, but they certainly were better than the teams prior to 2013. (They still need a QB and a few more play makers on offense.)
So, can the Steelers expect to be right there with the top AFC teams?
Fist of all, who likely are the contenders?
Denver - Super Bowl collapse and all, they are a likely AFC contender to make it to the Super Bowl again. Not only are they most returning with all the significant players (Knowson Moreno wasn't one of them), but they added some big names as well, including Ware. If we are going to beat these guys, we better have 5 good DBs going against them. And we better get pressure on Manning. We have beat him in the play offs before, we could do it again, but we will be a pass rush.
Pats - It's as simple as this: As long as they got Brady and Belichick, they are dangerous. I thought their draft was terrible though and they really give Brady barely anything to work with.
KC - If they still have the same QB, we can beat them.
Ravens - If they get the rushing game going again, they could still be a threat. Will they? Their D was still respectable, their O was terrible and they drafted heavy on D?
I think it's possible we can contend with the best the AFC has to offer this season.