Steelers labeled the 'quietest best team in football'

  • Two Steelers listed as some of the best young offensive players in football
  • ESPN analyst believes they could 'make a lot of noise' in 2023
Steelers, Kenny Pickett
Steelers, Kenny Pickett / Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

No matter how many times oddsmakers discount the Pittsburgh Steelers, somehow Mike Tomlin's team seems to end up with a better record than expected. This was the case last year, and I made some easy money betting that Pittsburgh would not finish last in the AFC North (that spot, of course, belonged to the 7-10 Cleveland Browns).

The Steelers, meanwhile, climbed back to a 9-8 record and narrowly missed the playoffs after going 7-2 since the bye week. Once again, however, Pittsburgh isn't earning any respect. Early divisional odds from DraftKings Sportsbook have the Steelers at +450 to win the North -- worse than the Bengals, Ravens, and Browns.

These odds come after a tremendous offseason highlighted by some major additions and very few notable losses. Retired NFL veteran and current ESPN host, Dan Orlovsky, is picking up on the lack of respect Tomlin's team is getting. On a recent episode of Get Up on ESPN, Orlovsky calls the Steelers the 'quietest best team in football'. Here's what he had to say.

""There probably the quietest best team in football right now. Two of the best defensive players in football in Minkah Fitzpatrick in T.J. Watt. Then they have two of the better young offensive players in football in both George Pickens and Pat Freiermuth. This is a football team right now that no one's really talking about that because of who their head coach and organization are and some of the talent they have, they could make a lot of noise this football season.""

Dan Orlovsky, via Get Up

It's not hard to figure out how Orlovsky came to this conclusion. In addition to having a head coach who routinely earns more wins than expected, the Steelers are a much better team on paper this year. Cameron Sutton and Chris Wormley were really the only notable losses from last season. Meanwhile, this team added a plethora of talent in both free agency and the NFL Draft.

As a result, most NFL Draft experts and analysts gave Pittsburgh nearly a perfect grade for their impressive offseason. Obviously, this doesn't mean that they are guaranteed to have a better record in 2023. They can be a better team on paper and still underwhelm in the standings.

However, with sizable jumps expected from players like Kenny Pickett and George Pickens on one of the youngest offenses in the NFL -- in addition to the improvements on the offensive line -- one can easily how this could be a sneaky-good team in 2023. Dan Orlovsky might be on to something, and I'm willing to bet others will find out how quietly good the Pittsburgh Steelers are soon enough.