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 Pittsburgh Steelers will improve their AFC North record in 2022.
Why it will happen: Last season the Steelers finished their AFC North play with a 4-2 record. They swept the Baltimore Ravens, who haven’t beaten the Steelers since 2019, and the Cleveland Browns. However, they were swept by the Cincinnati Bengals, who have beaten the Steelers three straight times.
How can they improve upon a 4-2 division record? The answer lies within the Steelers beating Cincinnati. The team who represented the AFC in the Super Bowl will be the cream of the crop of the division once again. If the Steelers can beat the Bengals, fans should be confident they can continue to dominate the Browns and Ravens. 5-1 might be the best they can do, but it is still an improvement on their 2021 record.
Why it won’t happen: The AFC North continues to be a gauntlet for everyone who calls the division home. With Lamar Jackson expected to return, the Bengals expected to be great again and the Browns potentially being improved too, the thought of improving on a 4-2 record seems like a pipe dream.
Throw in the fact there is so much unknown surrounding the Steelers, it seems highly unlikely the team will be able to improve on the 2021 record in 2022.
Prediction: For the first time since starting these scenarios, I don’t see this scenario coming to fruition. The first thing I look at are the division games on the schedule:
Week 1: @ CIN
Week 3: @ CLE
Week 11: vs. CIN
Week 14: vs. BAL
Week 17: @ BAL
Week 18: vs. CLE
The first two games on the division slate certainly are tough to predict considering there is so much uncertainty surrounding the team. Can fans expect the team to come out of the gates red-hot, especially playing three games in eleven days?
If the Steelers stumble out of the gates and lose their first two divisional games, both on the road, this scenario is shot already. Two losses would mean the best they could do is equal their 2021 total.
It is really odd to see the division games so bunched up at the end of the schedule, but this could benefit the Steelers in the long run. If the team continues to improve as the season progresses, they could be playing their best in key games on the schedule. Nonetheless, I don’t see the team improving on the 2021 record. I could see them staying the same at 4-2, or dropping a game to 3-3.
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.