When it comes to the Steelers and the NFL, everyone has a prediction on the record each team will have and where it will finish.
If you're reading this site, you probably don't care too much about those other 31 teams, which is why I wanted to share my official prediction for the 2017 Pittsburgh Steelers.
If you care about such things (and I know YOU might), Vegas' over/under, win/loss total for Pittsburgh is set at 10.5, a forecast which represents pretty rarefied air, with only the mighty Patriots sitting higher at 12.5.
That's a decent indication of what the sports world thinks of the Steelers' chances of making some major noise in 2017.
Other fairly accurate predictors of a team's success are power rankings, where the Steelers have continuously shown up in the top-5 on most of your standard sites this summer.
Also, if you ask many experts, media-types and fans, the Steelers might actually have the most-talented roster in the entire NFL — and this is especially the case after the signing of former Browns cornerback Joe Haden last week.
With all that in mind, it seems a little strange that so many people are predicting 10 or 11 wins for the Steelers. Don't get me wrong, just as many are forecasting 12, 13 or 14 wins, and even the ones going with lower totals are also anticipating great things once December turns into January.
But if you have no doubt the Steelers may actually still be playing meaningful games in late-January (and maybe even THAT game in February), how can you seriously think they will lose five or even six games during the regular season?
It's like those predictions for playoff games, when the expert says he or she has no doubt a certain team will win and then predicts a final score of 17-16.
Seems like there would be considerable doubt in that game.
Anyway, if the Steelers were playing in the usually tough AFC North this year, I could see 10 or 11 wins, even given their ultra-talented roster.
But Pittsburgh isn't playing in that division this year. If you go by most of the power rankings, where the second team in the division doesn't appear until 15th or 16th, the Steelers are competing in a sub-par AFC North in 2017.
That’s why I think it would be a major disappointment if Pittsburgh doesn't win at least five games within its division.
Moving on to the NFC North, Pittsburgh's out-of-conference partner this regular season, according to the power rankings and much like the AFC North, you have one Super Bowl contender (the Packers) and then a bunch of mediocrity.
So it probably goes without saying you'd be disappointed with anything less than a 3-1 out-of-conference record.
Some formidable opponents, for sure, but certainly not an intimidating group, overall.
Maybe the Steelers drop their first game at Kansas City in Week 6. Could you see a hiccup at home against the upstart Titans on November 16? And, obviously, nobody would be shocked if New England comes to Heinz in Week 15 and takes care of business as only it can.
But overall, I think anything less than a 4-2 record against those foes would have Colin Cowerd again questioning Mike Tomlin's record against inferior opponents.
This brings me to my prediction for 2017:
Will that be enough to secure a bye in the playoffs? That depends on many factors that are clearly unpredictable at the moment.
But 12 wins for this team?
That's a no-brainer.