The Pittsburgh Steelers are entering a new era after veteran quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has retired. Last season, they finished 9-7-1 to finish second in the AFC North and snuck into the playoffs. It was a swift exit as they lost to the Kansas City Chiefs 42-21 in the Wild Card round.
With the 20th pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, Pittsburgh selected local quarterback Kenny Pickett. They also bolstered their wide receiver depth after JuJu Smith-Schuster left in free agency. Pittsburgh selected Georgia WR George Pickens and Memphis WR Calvin Austin III in the second and fourth rounds, respectively. The Steelers signed Mitch Trubisky in free agency along with defensive back Levi Wallace and linebacker Myles Jack. People are assuming that Pittsburgh is going to take a giant step back, but I don’t think they will.
2022 Steelers schedule with odds
|1||Sep. 11||at Cincinnati Bengals||+6.5|
|2||Sep. 18||New England Patriots||+1|
|3||Sep. 22||at Cleveland Browns (TNF)|
|4||Oct. 2||New York Jets||-3.5|
|5||Oct. 9||at Buffalo Bills||+9.5|
|6||Oct. 16||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||+5.5|
|7||Oct. 23||at Miami Dolphins (SNF)||+4.5|
|8||Oct. 30||at Philadelphia Eagles||+3.5|
|10||Nov. 13||New Orleans Saints||-1.5|
|11||Nov. 20||Cincinnati Bengals (SNF)||+2.5|
|12||Nov. 28||at Indianapolis Colts (MNF)||+4.5|
|13||Dec. 4||at Atlanta Falcons||-2.5|
|14||Dec. 11||Baltimore Ravens||+2|
|15||Dec. 18||at Carolina Panthers||-1|
|16||Dec. 24||Las Vegas Raiders (Sat)||+1.5|
|17||Jan. 1||at Baltimore Ravens||+5.5|
|18||Jan. 7/8||Cleveland Browns|
Why the Steelers will go over their win total
The debate over Trubisky and Pickett has been long drawn out. The Steelers are going to be a solid team. They are going to have a tough schedule, but they don’t leave the east coast and they travel the fewest miles of any team in the NFL. Throw in the dominant force in Najee Harris and a likely improved defense and this Steelers team could compete in the AFC North. If the Cincinnati Bengals take a step back, Pittsburgh could find itself in familiar territory on top of this division.
Why the Steelers will go under their win total
Pittsburgh’s schedule has them start off with one of their toughest tests. They play the Cincinnati Bengals, the New England Patriots and Cleveland Browns in the first three weeks. We don’t know the fate of Cleveland QB Deshaun Watson at the time of this writing. Starting with these teams could easily result in an 0-3 hole that will be tough to dig out of. Add games against the Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Miami Dolphins, Philadelphia Eagles and Las Vegas Raiders and eight wins could be hard to come by.
Prediction: Over 7.5 wins
The Steelers were able to win nine games a season ago with an aging Roethlisberger who struggled to throw the ball 15 yards down the field. They do head into the season with a question mark at quarterback between Trubisky and Pickett. They would have to be awful to replicate what Big Ben did in his final year. It won’t be an easy year, but Pittsburgh should be able to win at least eight games.
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