Predicting the Steelers record against their divisional foes
By Andrew Falce
The Steelers are in one of the toughest divisions in football, and here is a record prediction for their games against the AFC North.
The AFC North has developed into one of the tougher divisions in recent years. With the Ravens remaining consistent, the Bengals in the Super Bowl, and the Browns seemingly in an arms race, the Steelers have seemingly become the ugly runt of the division.
These games are always notoriously tough though, so don’t expect the Steelers to just roll over when they play a divisional team. Here is a record prediction for the team against AFC North teams.
Steelers vs. Bengals
Games played: Week 1, Week 11
The reigning AFC Champions, the Bengals, did a good job of retooling their team this offseason. They targeted their two biggest needs early and often. Starting with their offensive line, the team was aggressive in free agency and added three significant names there. In the draft, they added to their secondary to address their needs there. They should once again be a top team in the AFC this season.
That said, I think the Steelers can win at least once. Of the two matchups though, Week 1 seems like a daunting task. Unless the Bengals come in seriously underestimating this team, I see almost no path to Pittsburgh coming out on top. There will be a lot of new pieces to this team and they wouldn’t have been able to gel properly. I would say Week 1 is a safe bet to be a loss.
Week 11 is far more interesting. By that time, the Steelers should have their final roster set and some of their kinks worked out. It is also a primetime game against a divisional foe. Realistically, Kenny Pickett should be the guy at that point and will have likely had a few weeks of experience to get him up to speed.
While I think Week 11 will be a great game, I’m still going to give the nod to the Bengals. They will be well-rested after coming off their bye week. As well, their passing game doesn’t match up well with the Steelers. Ja’marr Chase showed off his big-play ability last year, and this secondary still doesn’t have a great option to defend him with. All in all, I think the Bengals will hand the Steelers two losses, albeit I think the second game should be a good one.