The Pittsburgh Steelers are preparing for the 2022 regular season, but before the real games begin, the team has to head to training camp back at St. Vincent College in order to fine tune their skills. As we here at BTSC prepare you for the start of camp, we give you a series called “30 Scenarios in 30 Days” which gives you a Steelers scenario every day leading up to the start of camp.
It is simple how it works. We provide you the scenario, reasons why it will or won’t happen, and then our prediction for what we think will take place.
Let’s get to the scenario...
Scenario: The Steelers will play a meaningful game in Week 18 of the 2022 season
Why it will happen: First, I wanted to clarify but when I said the Steelers will play a meaningful game in Week 18 of 2022,I mean it will be meaningful to the Steelers. This brings about two different scenarios as the game could be meaningless because the Steelers have been eliminated from the postseason, or they have secured their best possible position for the playoffs. Since Ben Roethlisberger was drafted by the Steelers in 2004, he only played in two NFL games in which the Steelers were eliminated from the postseason. So the Steelers being out of the running while playing is not something they’re accustomed to, even in 2019 when Roethlisberger missed almost the entire season. As for having their playoff position completely locked up, this is not nearly as common now if there is an extra team in the postseason and only one bye is available. With both of these things considered, the Steelers will be playing an important game the last week of the season for one reason or another.
Why it won’t happen: With the Steelers entering their first season under head coach Mike Tomlin without Ben Roethlisberger assumed to be the starter, there are so many unknowns. There is a reason odds makers have set the Steelers win total at 7.5 for the season. The Steelers could hit the over at 8-9 and still be out of the postseason discussion following Week 17. Steelers fans don’t even know which quarterback they’ll have to begin the season, let alone finish the year to know if they’ll be in playoff contention. It’s a lot to ask in the first season without Ben Roethlisberger. And none of this even considers if the Steelers get bit hard by the injury bug.
Prediction: For this one, I’m going to agree with the scenario. First of all, the fact that the Ravens and Bengals will be facing off in Week 18 could have meaning as well and could present a different scenario involving the Steelers. More importantly, assuming players can stay relatively healthy, the Steelers defense should be keeping them around and in a lot of games. In 2019, even when the Steelers offense was very inept, the defense still had them on the verge of the playoffs. Add in a better running attack with Najee Harris and hopefully more creativity in the play-calling department and the Steelers are going to stay relevant for a while throughout the season. The longer they stick around, the more likely the Steelers will still be in the picture the final week of the regular season.
Check out yesterday’s ‘30 Scenarios in 30 Days’ prediction:
Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare for the 2022 regular season.