Jerome Bettis confident Steelers will be 'top-tier' team opponents fear in 2024

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2024 schedule is not a friendly one, as they will be facing a gauntlet following their bye week, which includes all of their divisional games with the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs sprinkled in. 

Some have called it one of the toughest schedules they have seen in years, as the AFC North is one of the toughest divisions in football this season. 

However, Pro Football Hall of Famer and legendary Steelers running back Jerome Bettis thinks his former team is looking at the schedule and salivating. 


That is because he feels they are primed to be one of the “top-tier teams” in the NFL this year. 

“I think the Steelers are going to be one of those top-tier teams that everyone else is going to be looking at on their schedule like, ‘Oh boy, they’re going to be a tough team to beat.’ So I’m excited about the season and the schedule,” he told Fox News Digital while sharing his excitement to cohost the Aire Serv Ultimate Fantasy Football Draft Party in Nashville, Tennessee, this August.

Of course, Bettis is always thinking optimistically about his former team, but there is a big reason behind his excitement for the season. 


The Steelers notably added two new quarterbacks this offseason, a major upgrade at a position they desperately need consistency from. Russell Wilson was added on a veteran-minimum deal after the Denver Broncos cut ties with him after two seasons, and Justin Fields was brought in after that as well. 

Despite Wilson’s rocky tenure at Mile High, Bettis believes he showed last season that he can still lead an offense, and a leader is what the Steelers need on that side of the ball. 

“I think when you look at Russell Wilson and his career, just go back a year ago,” Bettis explained. “Obviously, his departure from Denver, he was playing really good football. Two years ago, maybe not so much. But last year, he was able to right the wrongs, he was able to really go out there and lead that football team. When he had those opportunities, he made good by them. 

“So, that tells me that if you put a good system around him, you put some good football players around him, he’s going to be successful. That’s the promising part of all of this – he’s a quality quarterback. That’s really the only piece the Steelers were really missing was the quarterback play. You put that in the fold, now you got a championship quality football team. That’s what I believe.” 

Bettis also loves the “two-headed monster” Fields provides in the quarterbacks room, especially considering he told reporters he does not plan on sitting all season. That shows Bettis that he is not content being the backup quarterback, and that is not a bad thing. Rather, it creates great competition each day in practice for Wilson, and if the time comes for Fields to get the nod, he will be ready. 

However, the Steelers will need to click on all phases if they wish to make the playoffs again this season, as the Cleveland Browns, Cincinnati Bengals and the No. 1 seed in the AFC last year, the Baltimore Ravens, are all playoff-ready teams. 

How do they get through a second half when they will have to face all those teams twice, as well as Philly and Kansas City? 


“Well, the key is health,” Bettis replied. “I think if this football team is healthy, they will be one of the best teams in the NFL. It’ll be one of those where it’s going to be really good football games down the stretch. I don’t think it’s going to be any game that they cannot win. I think that’s all you want as a football player. 

“When I was playing, we got the schedule. We looked at it, and there was never a game where we thought we had no chance of winning. That’s what you see with the Pittsburgh Steelers. If you can get consistent quarterback play, there’s not a team on the schedule that the Steelers can’t beat. They got a really good defense, and I expect them to be playing at a high level. 

“Offensively, if you can score points, you’re going to be a tough team to beat.”

Not only will Bettis be ready to give his best fantasy football advice to fans at the Air Serv Ultimate Fantasty Football Draft Party in Nashville, but he also wants to help those that may not be aware of how important air quality is in their homes. 

Diagnosed with asthma at age 14, Bettis knows how much of a difference fresh air makes in his life, and he is helping Air Serv – a Neighborly company that is one of the leading HVAC teams in the country – change the lives of many within their own homes. 

“People don’t really think that’s an issue until there’s a problem,” Bettis said. “That’s why I’ve been fortunate to work with Air Serv, and really show and tell people there are issues in your home you’re not aware of.”

Fans have until June 30 to enter for a chance to win to meet Bettis at the party on Aug. 10. 

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