Steelers Nation is in a place we aren’t used to as fans of the team. Questions are starting to arise at every level, including the untouchable Mike Tomlin catching some serious heat from fans and media alike. The team is in transition, yes, but the amount of talented players on this roster should equate to better results than the team’s current 1-3 start.
Kenny Pickett’s presence in the starting lineup could start to quell some of those questions, especially if he shows steady improvement week to week and proves capable of moving the offense regularly. His gutsy play in a tough situation against the Jets, where he didn’t take any practice reps all week, has endeared himself to the majority of Steelers fans already. He’ll need to make better decisions and eliminate the turnovers moving forward to gain the rest of the fanbase that isn’t ready to hop on the Pickett fence yet.
This season has hope, though. There are pieces already in place for Pittsburgh to be a contender if Pickett is indeed the answer at QB. No matter the result, and there’s a lot of season left, Steelers Nation should take heart in the direction of the franchise, even if this season’s results are less than ideal.
Anyway, let’s see where the Steelers fall in the NFL landscape this week after their 3rd consecutive loss:
1. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES
One Liner: The Eagles are riding their attacking, opportunistic defense as much as they are their dynamic offense.
2. BUFFALO BILLS
One Liner: The Buffalo Bills are the most complete team in football even when they’re struggling with injuries.
3. GREEN BAY PACKERS
One Liner: Aaron Rodgers is starting to trust his young, inexperienced WR corps.
4. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
One Liner: Patrick Mahomes makes 1 or 2 incredible plays every week that we’ve never seen before.
5. MIAMI DOLPHINS
One Liner: Tua has played well, but health aside, he remains an inconsistent playmaker at the QB position.
6. BALTIMORE RAVENS
One Liner: The most surprising result of this season so far is that the Ravens aren’t 4-0 after holding big 2nd-half leads over the Dolphins and the Bills.
7. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
One Liner: The Buccaneers getting healthy at WR is going to be a huge problem for the league moving forward.
8. MINNESOTA VIKINGS
One Liner: Rookie head coach Kevin O’Connell successfully figured out how to get All-World receiver Justin Jefferson back in the game plan after defenses had figured him out.
9. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
This team can beat anybody when the defense and the offense are playing complimentary football.
10. LOS ANGELES CHARGERS
One Liner: A heavily-involved and electric Austin Ekeler makes this offense extra dangerous.
11. LOS ANGELES RAMS
One Liner: The offense is too one dimensional right now to hang with the other top dogs in the league.
12. DALLAS COWBOYS
One Liner: The Cowboys play football like the Steelers wish they could with efficient offense supporting smothering defense.
13. CINCINNATI BENGALS
One Liner: Tee Higgins might be Joe Burrow’s true WR1 despite the flashier Ja’Marr Chase dominating the headlines.
14. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS
One Liner: This team has something special if Trevor Lawrence can clean up some of the errant throws.
15. NEW YORK GIANTS
One Liner: Daniel Jones the runner > Daniel Jones the passer.
16. TENNESSEE TITANS
One Liner: Derrick Henry is getting rolling and that makes the Titans a feisty group.
17. DENVER BRONCOS
One Liner: The loss of Javonte Williams is yet another blow to an offense that just can’t quite mesh through 4 weeks.
18. ATLANTA FALCONS
One Liner: Arthur Smith deserves real Coach of the Year consideration so far with what he’s coaxing out of this Atlanta team, especially on offense.
19. CLEVELAND BROWNS
One Liner: The Browns are good when Jacoby Brissett plays efficient, mistake free football and bad when he doesn’t.
20. ARIZONA CARDINALS
One Liner: The Cards defense is starting to gel a little bit and it’s helping one of the slowest-starting offenses in the league.
21. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
One Liner: The Patriots don’t really do anything great and yet they’re always in the game.
22. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS
One Liner: Geno Smith has proven to be more than capable of leading a rebuilding Seattle team.
23. DETROIT LIONS
If the Lions had ANY semblance of a defense they would be a playoff contender in the NFC.
24. NEW YORK JETS
One Liner: Zach Wilson’s escapability was on display vs. Pittsburgh and may have been the difference in a weird game.
25. PITTSBURGH STEELERS
Kenny Pickett came in and gave the team a spark alright. The rookie was decisive for the most part and showed a confidence we never saw out of Trubisky over the first 3.5 weeks. It’s an almost impossible task this week against the Buffalo Bills, but I think we can safely assume that the moment won’t be too big for Kenny. If he can take advantage of this talented receiving corps in a way we haven’t seen so far in 2022, the Steelers could suddenly have a dangerous offensive attack.
The Defense really let the team down against the Jets, allowing multiple 3rd and 4th down conversions to the Jets on their final two drives that both ended in TDs. The bad news is the secondary is struggling to contain opposing passing attacks on crucial downs and moments. The good news is TJ Watt should be back in the next couple or three weeks, and that totally changes things for a secondary that relies on 4-man pressure to create splash on the back end.
26. LAS VEGAS RAIDERS
One Liner: Davante Adams and Derek Carr finally got some help from their defense in a drubbing of Denver.
27. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS
One Liner: Matt Ryan looks lost and the Colts continue to be a dysfunctional mess on offense.
28. CHICAGO BEARS
One Liner: Justin Fields has not looked like the answer at QB for Chicago, but he’s also not getting any help from his lackluster cast of playmakers.
29. CAROLINA PANTHERS
One Liner: So, Baker Mayfield is not a QB you can build your franchise around after all.
30. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
One Liner: Rookie WR Chris Olave is already the Saints best offensive weapon for a team that looks pretty lost overall.
31. WASHINGTON COMMANDERS
One Liner: The Commanders defense is just not good, despite the high-end draft capital that has been invested
32. HOUSTON TEXANS
One Liner: The Davis Mills experiment is starting to run out of steam, but the Dameon Pierce train is gaining momentum.
Who’s too high? Too low? What did I get right? Let me know about it in the comments section!