Steelers news: Pittsburgh falls short of playoffs, Pat Freiermuth injured, and more
Pittsburgh has officially been eliminated from playoff contention with Sunday’s results in Week 18. Here’s why the latest Steelers news is a little disheartening.
Steelers fans were looking for a miracle in Week 18. Just like last week, Pittsburgh would need a number of things to go their way in order to enter the postseason. Mike Tomlin and his team have taken care of business on their end since the bye week, but it was just a little too late.
On Sunday, the Steelers played their 2022 season finale at home against the Cleveland Browns. With an impressive showing on the ground and a remarkable pass rush that got to Deshaun Watson seven times for sacks, Pittsburgh cruised to a 28-14 victory.
Tomlin’s team is now 7-2 since the bye. Despite the very strong finish to the season, the latest Steelers news has us feeling a little discouraged following Week 18.
Heading into Week 17, the Pittsburgh Steelers had just a 3 percent chance to make the playoffs, according to FiveThirtyEight. However, that number jumped all the way up to a 21 percent chance after the results around the league favored Mike Tomlin’s team last week.
Fans were hopeful about Pittsburgh’s chances entering Week 18, but it wasn’t meant to be. The Steelers needed a win as well as losses from the Patriots and Dolphins to make the playoffs. Two of the three things that needed to happen took place, but Joe Flacco and the Jets could not pull through against the Dolphins. Before the final seconds ticked on the Steelers vs Browns game, Pittsburgh was officially eliminated from playoff contention.
More Steelers news
With all the ruckus in Week 18, the injury to Pat Freiermuth has taken somewhat of a backseat in recent Steelers news. However, this should be a big storyline. The second-year tight end went down grasping his left knee against the Browns. He could not leave the field under his own power and was quickly ruled out of the game.
Even though the season has ended, a significant knee injury could prove to be a setback to the otherwise very promising career of Pat Freiermuth. If this injury requires surgery, the young tight end could spend most of the offseason rehabbing instead of training and preparing for an even bigger jump in year three.
The NFL produced some very interesting results around the league in Week 18 and some had an impact on the Pittsburgh Steelers. Many believed the Houston Texans would run away with the first-round pick by having the worst record in the league for the 2022 season. However, at the last second, the Chicago Bears swooped in and claimed the Toilet Bowl crown — finishing with a 3-14 record. The 3-13-1 Texans will now hold the second overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.
With this flip in positioning, the second-round pick the Steelers acquired in the Chase Claypool trade will now be the 32nd overall selection in the draft (as the Dophins forfeited their first-round pick this year due to tampering). While still considered a second-rounder and with no fifth-year option, it’s hard to believe that the trade for Chase Claypool essentially ended up as a late first-round pick. The Bears lost 10 straight to close the season.