Updated: Sep 27
A couple years removed from the infamous JuJu Smith-Schuster team MVP situation spat with Antonio Brown, I think the beginning of the season is ample time to discuss some of the early favorites for team MVP. Last year’s team MVP was T J. Watt and if he improves off of last season, I still think he is the favorite to repeat again. However, there is only one man who might take that spot from him and that person is Ben Roethlisberger. Especially after last year when the team is really missing their starting QB. If the Steelers make the playoffs with the help of their offense rather than defense, expect to see Big Ben hoisting the team MVP honors once again.
A couple of dark-horse candidates coming from the WR position are JuJu Smith-Schuster especially after a really productive offseason where he put on tons of muscle. Another potential WR I see winning the award would have to be 2nd year Receiver Diontae Johnson who is looking to make a huge leap after quality play with lackluster QB play.
The trends over the last 10 years, 8/10 players who have won team MVP have been on the offensive side of the ball and four of those have been Antonio Brown. The rest have been Le’Veon Bell, Heath Miller and of course, JuJu. Troy Polamalu and T.J. Watt are the only defensive players in the last decade. The last time Ben Roethlisberger won team MVP was 2009. It’s been quite a long time since he’s had honors again, but if he plays well and stays healthy the Steelers will be much better than last year and that will prove he is the difference maker.