The Pittsburgh Steelers 2023 offseason has reached the six-week period of no activities leading up to training camp. With extra time to think about things during the “no news is good news” time of the calendar, there have been several moments from the 2022 season which may have fallen out of some of our memories. But if we were to look back at the Steelers season, the first one of the post-Ben Roethlisberger era, what was the best game for the Steelers?
Rather than simply answer the question, we have plenty of time to come to this decision. Instead of throwing out all the nominees and leave one big poll, these games are going to face off in a bracket-style contests to see which one BTSC chooses as the best Steelers game of 2022.
First, I’m specifically using the term best and not defining it in any way for the benefit of everyone involved. Perhaps what is the best for one doesn’t need to be what the best is for another. Maybe one game someone attended in person and appreciates it even more while another game saw a specific great play from a favorite player. Maybe one fan enjoys games that come down to the wire and the Steelers pull it off, while others feel much better when the Steelers have a little bit more of a cushion. Exactly what you feel is best is completely up to you.
To set up how this will work, we are only going to include Steelers victories from the 2022 season. Can we really say that their best game came in a loss? Rather than waste our time throwing those into the mix, we’re going to stick with the nine wins from the Steelers 2022 campaign.
But with nine games comes an uneven bracket. For this reason, there will be one play-in game, featured today, in order to get down to eight contests and a nice even bracket. I seeded the games without putting much thought into it simply to give matchups.
Starting today, BTSC will be deciding a winner to move on each day for the next week until the best game is determined. Make sure you vote in the poll at the bottom of the article to help determine which game moves on to the next round.
The next match up features two road prime time games.
Week 17 at the Baltimore Ravens: 16-13
The Pittsburgh Steelers entered the 2023 calendar year at 7–8 and still alive for the postseason although needing a lot of help. First simply trying to get back to .500, the Steelers traveled to Baltimore to face the 10–5 Ravens who were without their starting quarterback but with the defense who had surrendered more than 14 points in a game only once since Halloween. With the game getting flexed into Sunday Night Football on New Year’s Day, the Steelers were held out of the end zone for 59 minutes only to complete a dramatic come back.
The Steelers won the opening toss and chose to receive the ball and ran almost 8 minutes off the clock before stalling at the Baltimore 2-yard line and settling for the short field goal. The Ravens held the ball for the remainder of the quarter and answered with a 30-yard field goal just into quarter number two.
The teams exchange punts the next two drives before the Steelers moved the ball into Ravens territory only to miss their 48-yard field goal attempt with 3:30 remaining in the half. The Ravens moved the ball across midfield prior to the two minute warning and finished off the touchdown drive with a Tyler Huntley pass to Isaiah Likely from 7 yards out with 0:07 left in the half to take the 10–3 lead.
Looking to score on back-to-back drives without the Steelers possessing the ball due to the halftime break, the Ravens moved the ball into Pittsburgh territory and connected on a 51-yard field goal to take a 13–3 lead. The Steelers answered with their own 51-yard field goal after a key 3rd & 14 completion to George Pickens. The Steelers defense dug in at midfield on the Ravens next drive to force the punt and took over at their own 5-yard line as the third quarter was winding down. The Steelers were able to move the ball to the red zone only to stall again and settle for another three points from Chris Boswell bringing the score to 13–9.
The ensuing kick off saw the Ravens return it to the Steelers 40-yard line only for the Steelers to push them back two yards and force a punt with 8:41 remaining in the game. The Steelers could not get out of the shadow of their own end zone but Pressley Harvin gave the team a timely 51-yard punt to force the Ravens to start in their own territory. Forcing a three and out, the Steelers took over on their own 20-yard line with 4:16 remaining.
Connecting for a 20-yard gain to Pat Freiermuth followed by a 28-yard pass to Steven Sims right before the two minute warning, the Steelers were just outside the red zone trailing by four points. Running the ball and forcing the Ravens to use their timeouts, the Steelers faced a 3rd & 8 on the Ravens 10-yard line with 1:02 left when Kenny Pickett scrambled to his left and hit Najee Harris for a 10-yard touchdown.
Taking over at their own 25-yard line with 0:56 remaining in the game and no timeouts, the Ravens spiked the ball with 0:20 remaining on their own 38-yard line only for the next play to bring an interception by Minkah Fitzpatrick. The Steelers took victory formation and left Baltimore with a .500 record for the first time in the 2022 season since Week 2.
View highlights of the Week 17 victory over the Ravens via the Steelers YouTube channel HERE.
Week 12 at the Indianapolis Colts: 24-17
Entering the Monday night contest at 3–7, the Steelers traveled to Indianapolis to face the 4–6–1 Colts who were 1–1 under new head coach Jeff Saturday with their only loss being by one point the previous week to the 9-1 Philadelphia Eagles. The Steelers entered the game with Jaylen Warren out due to injury and lost Najee Harris just before halftime, so they relied on Benny Snell and Anthony McFarland to complete their comeback victory.
The Steelers opened the game by connecting on a 45-yard field goal by Matthew Wright followed by a James Pierre interception of Matt Ryan on the Colts second offensive play. Set up at the edge of field goal range, the Steelers moved to the Colts 24-yard line but Kenny Pickett took a 12-yard sack on third down which moved the Steelers out of field goal range and forced them to punt.
After forcing the Colts to a three and out, the Steelers connected on a 52-yard field goal on the second play of the second quarter bringing the score to 6–0. After the defense forced yet another three and out, the Steelers flipped the field on a 35-yard catch by George Pickens and the combination of Najee Harris, Benny Snell, and Anthony McFarland set up an eventual Harris 6-yard touchdown run.
The Colts next drive saw their first first down of the game and ended with a 51-yard field goal bringing the score to 13–3. The Steelers answered with a 25-yard field goal with just under a minute left and Isaiahh Loudermilk blocked the Colts 59-yard field goal attempt as the first half came to a close with a 16–3 score.
The Colts returned the opening kickoff of the second half 89 yards and were set up in the Steelers red zone. Four plays later Jonathan Taylor scored on a 2-yard touchdown and the Steelers lead was cut to 16–10. With Najee Harris out of the game due to injury, the Steelers stumbled on their opening drive with a three and out. The Colts answered with an 87-yard drive on 16 plays only to have a botched snap from the 1-yard line which was ultimately recovered by Chris Wormley at the Steelers 7.
Another three and out by the Steelers saw the Colts take over close to midfield and scored six players later with a 6-yard touchdown pass for Matt Ryan to Michael Pittman. With only 0:16 left in the third quarter, the Colts took a 17–16 lead.
The Steelers answered with their own 11-play drive which ended in a Benny Snell touchdown with just less than 10 minutes remaining in the game. The two-point attempt saw Kenny Pickett roll to the right and hit George Pickens for the Steelers to take a 24–17 lead.
The Steelers defense forced the Colts to a three and out only for the Steelers to punt the ball back with four minutes left in the game. The Colts moved from their own 7-yard line to the Steelers 26 before a fourth down stop with 0:30 remaining in the game allowed the Steelers to take victory formation.
View highlights of the Steelers Week 12 victory over the Colts via the Steelers YouTube channel HERE.
So there are the two games highlighted in this first matchup to determine the Steelers best game of the 2022 season. Is there something else that stands out to you from either of these games? Make sure you leave your thoughts in the comments below.
Which game was the better Steelers game in 2022?
This poll is closed
Week 17 at the Baltimore Ravens: 16-13
Week 12 at the Indianapolis Colts: 24-17