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Pittsburgh Steelers 2022-23 season preview: Watt should we think of Pittsburgh?


One of the most storied franchises in the NFL is going through one of their biggest transition periods after the retirement of Ben Roethlisberger, how will it affect them?

Strength
With large thanks to a guy named TJ Watt, the Steelers led the NFL in sacks last season and disrupted opposing quarterbacks better than anyone else. Apart from Watt, they have Cameron Heyward who has been a star for a long time and Alex Highsmith who is coming into his third season and a bigger role. Despite the changes, I can’t imagine the Steelers’ pass-rush changing.

Weakness
Najee Harris was a first-round pick in 2021 and the consensus best running back in the draft. Despite this, the Steelers’ running game was tragic last season, with a combination of bad offensive line play and lack of depth. They ranked 29th for yards, 28th for touchdowns and 29th for yards per attempt. Despite not getting any depth behind Harris, they did improve the offensive line which they will hope helps.

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Player to watch
Myles Jack was consistently the Jaguars’ best defensive player but was squeezed out and signed a cheap deal with Pittsburgh. Despite off-ball line-backers maybe not being viewed as a valuable position, Jack can come in and be a genuine difference maker in this defence. He just feels like a Steeler

Who’s under pressure?
We are not sure who is going to win the quarterback job yet, however, whoever does is going to feel the pressure straight away. At this stage, I would predict Mitch Trubisky wins the job, however we know how that finished last time he was a starter. His likely back-up is the rookie Kenny Pickett, who the Steelers love, but didn’t convince me throughout the scouting process. With Big (Ben) shoes to fill, pressure is on!

Projection
The Steelers have never had a losing record under coach Mike Tomlin, so it isn’t a wise choice to rule them out, but I am doing it. In an absolutely stacked AFC and AFC North, the lack of star power at QB and struggles in the running game will find the Steelers out. Their defence is going to keep them in a lot of games, but to win in the AFC you are going to have to put up points and I can’t trust Trubisky or Pickett to do that.

Win-loss: 6-11



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