3 best-case scenarios (and one worst-case scenario) for the Steelers 2023 season

Steelers, Pittsburgh Steelers
Steelers, Pittsburgh Steelers / Justin Berl/GettyImages
1 of 4

Preseason football continues to bring excitement to NFL fans. It gives franchises across the league an opportunity to assess their unit's strengths and weaknesses. Innovations help teams create new identities. It also allows struggling groups to experience a fresh start in the new campaign. The Pittsburgh Steelers hope to make the most out of the new beginning.

An impressive resurgence at the end of the 2022 season helped Mike Tomlin continue an impressive NFL record. His hard work within the franchise has resulted in 15 consecutive seasons with a winning record. Inconsistencies from Matt Canada's offense jeopardized one of football's longest streaks. Tomlin's squad persevered, providing hope for a fruitful 2023 season.

With so much weighing on the upcoming campaign, what scenarios can we expect to see in 2023?

Best Case Scenario #1: Steelers make an AFC Championship appearance

A playoff appearance may seem farfetched for analysts doubting Pittsburgh's strength this season. They showed resilience when it mattered the most in 2022, but can we attribute that to the unit's skillset? I believe they can.

It took a few weeks, but Matt Canada finally gave Kenny Pickett the keys to his offense. When he did, the rookie began his career like many before him. The difference was how fast Pickett improved. He finished the 22' season ranked 18th in Pro Football Focus Pass Ratings (77.5) and was one of three rookie quarterbacks within the Top 20 in the category. His big-time throw percentage (4.3) was higher than Jalen Hurts (4.1) - showing glimpses of a promising future.

Additions on defense will help the Steelers reach their post-season goals. Joey Porter Jr., Kwon Alexander, and Nick Herbig earned valuable reps during the preseason. Patrick Peterson was also a great addition to a questionable secondary and will play a role this season. The Steelers' new additions will mesh well with X-factors on Teryl Austin's depth chart. Stout performances will buy the offense a few weeks to work out kinks. It will also keep the potent offenses off of the scoreboard.