Mike Tomlin has yet to finish under .500 with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Tomlin has been on the sidelines for Pittsburgh since 2007, and the Steelers have consistently been one of the most competitive teams in the league under his watch. This is the dawn of a new era though as Ben Roethlisberger has hung up his cleats. For the first time in his tenure, there are major concerns at quarterback, and that could lead to Tomlin posting his first losing season ever.
Pittsburgh Steelers Season Win Total
Over 7.5 Wins +106
Under 7.5 Wins -126
2022 Pittsburgh Steelers Schedule
|WEEK ||MATCHUP |
|1 ||@ Cincinnati Bengals |
|2 ||Vs. New England Patriots |
|3 ||@ Cleveland Browns |
|4 ||Vs. New York Jets |
|5 ||@ Buffalo Bills |
|6 ||Vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers |
|7 ||@ Miami Dolphins |
|8 ||@ Philadelphia Eagles |
|9 ||BYE WEEK |
|10 ||Vs. New Orleans Saints |
|11 ||Vs. Cincinnati Bengals |
|12 ||@ Indianapolis Colts |
|13 ||@ Atlanta Falcons |
|14 ||Vs. Baltimore Ravens |
|15 ||@ Carolina Panthers |
|16 ||Vs. Las Vegas Raiders |
|17 ||@ Baltimore Ravens |
|18 ||Vs. Cleveland Browns |
Pittsburgh Steelers Offense
Mitch Trubisky and rookie Kenny Pickett are vying for the starting quarterback job in the Steel City. Trubisky will have the edge early in the season since he is a veteran, but we have seen his ceiling. He was never better than average in his four seasons with the Chicago Bears, and he isn’t going to make a lot of plays downfield. Trubisky is a decent scrambler though, and he doesn’t throw a lot of interceptions.
Nearly four decades after passing on Dan Marino, the Steelers were under some local pressure to not pass on Pitt standout Kenny Pickett. That’s where the comparisons between Marino and Pickett end though as while Marino was obviously a generational talent, Pickett was a mediocre quarterback until exploding in his fifth season.
In his first four seasons with the Panthers, Pickett completed just over 60% of his passes and averaged under 7.0 YPA with 39 touchdowns and 25 interceptions in 39 games.
However, in his senior season, Pickett completed 67.2% of his passes for 4,319 yards (8.7 YPA) with 42 touchdowns and seven interceptions to lead Pitt to its first ACC title.
Najee Harris ran hard as a rookie running back last year. Harris finished the season with 1,200 yards and seven touchdowns, and he didn’t have a single fumble on over 300 carries.
Although Harris averaged just 3.9 YPC, his offensive line did a poor job of creating holes, and that front did not improve this offseason.
Whoever is playing quarterback won’t have great options to work with at receiver. While George Pickens and Calvin Austin III have a lot of potential, both players are rookies. Neither Diontae Johnson nor Chase Claypool creates a lot of separation, so there will be some tight throws.
Pittsburgh Steelers Defense
It’s a shame that the offense is likely to be one of the worst in the league, because this defense is loaded with talent. T.J. Watt is the reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year after tying Michael Strahan’s single-season sack record in one less game in 2021. Watt finished the season with 22.5 sacks in 15 games, and he is one of the most disruptive forces in the league.
Cam Heyward is one of the most underrated defensive linemen in the NFL too. Heyward had 10 sacks, 15 TFL, and nine pass deflections opposite Watt, and he can line up at end or tackle depending on the scheme. That gives this defense flexibility, and Tyson Alualu should help too after suffering a season-ending injury in Week 1 last year.
The linebacking corps has plenty of playmakers in addition to Watt in his hybrid role. Alonzo Highsmith had a breakout season in 2021, Devin Bush was decent in working his way back after a bad injury in 2020, and Myles Jack is an upgrade over Joe Schobert.
Minkah Fitzpatrick is an elite safety, but the rest of the secondary is an issue. Terrell Edmunds has not lived up his potential as a first-round pick, and the cornerbacks just aren’t that good.
Pittsburgh’s pedigree makes the ‘Over’ a tempting play at plus-odds, but the issues on offense are too much to overcome. Pickett will likely need at least a year to develop, and this offense could be one of the worst five units in the league.
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