With nine games remaining on the schedule, let’s look at the road ahead for Pittsburgh and see if the playoffs are in their future.
Week 10: vs. Green Bay Packers
The Packers’ offense has struggled to put up points, scoring just 20 points/game on the year. That said, the 38 points they scored in Week 1 is doing a lot of heavy lifting with that average. This will likely be the typical Steelers game- poor offensive performances from both sides until a fourth quarter score lifts the Steelers to the win.
Final pick: Steelers 17, Packers 10
Week 11: at Cleveland Browns
The Steelers’ defense outscored their offense in the first matchup between these two teams- don’t count on that happening again. The Browns have the best defense in the NFL, leading the league in EPA/play and success rate. Their offense will do just enough to even the season series with the Steelers.
Final pick: Browns 16, Steelers 10
Week 12: at Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals look like an unstoppable freight train. They have beaten the 49ers and Bills in consecutive weeks, and Joe Burrow has thrown five touchdowns and no interceptions over that two game span. The Steelers’ offense can’t keep up with the Bengals. This is going to be another blowout game that odds onto the Steelers negative point differential.
Final pick: Bengals 31, Steelers 7
Week 13: vs. Arizona Cardinals
This will be a frustrating game to watch. The Steelers have a far better roster than the Cardinals, but Arizona has shown a ton of fight, and Jonathan Gannon has done a really good job with that group in terms of not going down without a fight. The game will be closer than it should be (as all Steelers wins in recent memory have been), but they’ll get the win nonetheless.
Final pick: Steelers 20, Cardinals 13
Week 14: vs. New England Patriots
This will be the second Thursday night game of the year for the Steelers, and Al Michaels may end up holding Jeff Bezos hostage if he doesn’t let him out of it. This will be a candidate for worst game of the year. Both quarterbacks rank near the bottom of the league in EPA and success rate, and both offenses are bottom five units in the league. Whatever you do, bet the under.
Final pick: Steelers 13, Patriots 9
Week 15: at Indianapolis Colts
The Colts are going to put up points, as they have all season. They are the seventh-highest scoring team in the league, and Shane Steichen has done a fantastic job with keeping them competitive even without Anthony Richardson. They will be able to outscore Pittsburgh and get a home win.
Final pick: Colts 24, Steelers 18
Week 16: vs. Cincinnati Bengals
The Steelers may put up a better fight in their home finale, but the Bengals are just head-and-shoulders better than Pittsburgh.
Final pick: Bengals 29, Steelers 20
Week 17: at Seattle Seahawks
Fun fact- the Steelers haven’t beaten the Seahawks in Seattle since 1983. Much like the Lions, the Seahawks had a burn the tape game against the Ravens, but are still one of the top teams in the NFC. That said, I think the Steelers’ defense will be able to do just enough to disrupt Geno Smith, who has turned the ball over more frequently than a year ago.
Final pick: Steelers 20, Seahawks 17
Week 18: at Baltimore Ravens
The Steelers are a bad matchup for the Ravens, and Lamar Jackson has yet to have a good game against the Steelers in his career. The one win he has against Pittsburgh came in 2019 against a combination of Mason Rudolph and Duck Hodges. Even then, he threw three interceptions in that game- I don’t see much changing. It will be the typical Steelers-Ravens game where both defenses dominate the day. Ultimately, the Steelers win in an ugly game.
Final pick: Steelers 15, Ravens 13
Final record prediction: 10-7
The Steelers will almost certainly be a playoff team if they get to 10 wins. That said, they’ll be facing one of the AFC’s best teams in the Wildcard round. Having a third matchup with Baltimore would be their best case scenario. If they face any one of Buffalo, Cincinnati, Miami, Kansas City, or Jacksonville, they’ll get embarrassed.