The Pittsburgh Steelers had their fans feeling good this past offseason. The free agent moves made and the 2022 NFL Draft class had the black-and-gold faithful feeling good. Then you throw in the fact the team went 3-0 in the preseason, and you’d believe confidence was brimming with the fan base. But throughout the preseason, several issues popped up with the team in all facets. Nonetheless, the hope was they’d fix it while they won football games.
As you can imagine, Steelers fans weren’t brimming with confidence heading into their Week 1 game vs. the Cincinnati Bengals in Ohio. Nonetheless, the team found a way to upset the Bengals 23-20 in overtime and move their record to 1-0.
Such a crazy game, and victory, you’d think this would create a big bump in fan confidence, right?
Not so much.
What started next was a skid to forget. The Week 2 loss to the New England Patriots, one where the offense essentially failed to show up, caused the Steelers fan base to lose faith, and in a hurry. Following the Steelers Week 3 loss to the Cleveland Browns on Thursday Night Football, confidence in the team remained low.
But, have no fear, hope was on the way! Everyone assumed it would come via a win over the Jets in Week 4, but that didn’t happen. However, hope, as it turns out, was found in the second half of the Steelers loss to the New York Jets. When Kenny Pickett entered the game as the starting quarterback it caused a rise in fan confidence throughout the fan base. Yes, even in a losing effort.
How long did the Pickett surge in confidence last? Well, after the 38-3 shellacking against the Buffalo Bills in Week 5...not very long. However, the roller coaster ride which is Steelers fan confidence continued after the team upset the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 6 at Acrisure Stadium.
What has been the going trend with the team’s up-and-down season, the Steelers followed up the win at home with a dude against the Miami Dolphins in prime time in Week 7. While the team’s loss in Week 8 to the Philadelphia Eagles was disheartening, the fan base received an injection of hope when the team traded Chase Claypool to the Chicago Bears for a 2nd Round 2023 NFL Draft pick.
As a part of SB Nation’s Reacts poll, sponsored by DraftKings Sportsbook, every fan who takes the poll, which equates to a lot of fans, were asked a simple question:
Are you confident in the direction of the team?
How far did it fall after the Week 8 loss? Well, not as drastic as you’d imagein. Take a look at where the confidence was, and where it is now, below:
Preseason Confidence: 91%
Pre-Regular Season Confidence: 81%
Week 1 Confidence: 80%
Week 2 Confidence: 20%
Week 3 Confidence: 21%
Week 4 Confidence: 52%
Week 5 Confidence: 22%
Week 6 Confidence: 54%
Week 7 Confidence: 36%
Week 8 Confidence: 35%
With confidence leveling, it felt obvious to ask a follow-up question. This follow-up question pertained to the aforementioned trade with the Bears for Chase Claypool. It was simple...how do you grade the trade?
Here are the results:
The Steelers are 2-6, and they head into their Week 9 bye week as one of the worst teams in the NFL. In every possible way. But the trade with Chicago has provided something the Steelers fan base hasn’t had a lot of this season — hope. Hope for a future pick which could shorten the rebuilding/retooling era the team finds itself in.
Omar Khan and company will have to get the pick right for it to truly pay off, but as for now the fan base will cling to anything even remotely positive.
A lot can change throughout the course of a regular season, and we’ll be sure to keep you up-to-speed on the fan base’s feelings of the team. But what say you? Do you have confidence in the direction of the team?
Let us know what you think in the comment section below, and be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the New Orleans Satins in Week 10 of the regular season.
Check out DraftKings Sportsbook, the official sportsbook partner of SB Nation.