The 2022 NFL season is officially in the books after the Kansas City Chiefs beat the Philadelphia Eagles 38-35 in an instant classic on the game’s biggest stage. With the Super Bowl now in the rear view mirror, it is time for websites to start pumping out Power Rankings for the 2023 season.
It’s never to early to start looking ahead to next year.
With that said, ESPN staff writers contributed in the latest Power Rankings, and I was intrigued as to where the Steelers fell on these rankings. After all, starting 2-6 in 2022 and finishing 9-8, winning 7 of their last 9 and 4 in a row, is not easy feat. Nonetheless, the Steelers spent the vast majority of last season in the bottom third of the league when referencing these rankings on a weekly basis.
Would they climb? It only seems natural for a team who finished hot to be higher in the rankings than the previous season, and the folks at ESPN followed suit. Take a look at their way-too-early Power Rankings:
1. Kansas City Chiefs
2. Philadelphia Eagles
3. San Francisco 49ers
4. Cincinnati Bengals
5. Buffalo Bills
6. Dallas Cowboys
7. Los Angeles Chargers
8. Miami Dolphins
9. Minnesota Vikings
10. Jacksonville Jaguars
14. Pittsburgh Steelers
“2022 record: 9-8
Offseason in three or fewer words: Build around Pickett
QB Kenny Pickett finished his rookie season on a high note, going 7-2 after the bye and throwing five touchdown passes to one interception in that stretch. Now it’s about taking the next steps — both individually and as an offense. Pickett will continue working with offensive coordinator Matt Canada, back for another year, but now it’s about giving Pickett and the offense the tools to score more points. That means upgrades to the scheme and personnel. At the top of the list, the Steelers have to figure out how to get wide receiver George Pickens more involved, and they should look to add offensive linemen and another offensive skill position player through the draft or free agency.”
For those who care about this kind of thing, here are where the AFC North teams fell on these rankings:
As you can see, ESPN sees the hierarchy of the division to be the same as the way the division fell in 2022. Not surprising.
What might be surprising for some is the Steelers overall ranking. When you see them ranked No. 14, and some of the teams who they had above them, do you think the Steelers should be higher? Is No. 14 too high?
While we know these rankings mean absolutely nothing, they are always good for discussion and debate during the very long NFL offseason. So, let us know your thoughts in the comment section below, and be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they press on throughout the NFL offseason.
Don’t look now, but it’s Power Rankings season, and that’s the topic of the latest Steelers Update podcast. Check out the 5 minute podcast in the player below: