Ok, I’m going to be totally honest with you guys. I hate these exercises. Especially in April. But I know they’re fun fodder and people like to debate it. Since the Pittsburgh Steelers’ schedule dropped yesterday, we’re already to the predict-the-record phase of the offseason.
ESPN did this exercise for every team, with each specific beat writer predicting their team. It is well written out, Jeremy Fowler breaks down each game with a paragraph, which makes me wonder if he knew the schedule before we all did. Don’t hold out on us, Jeremy.
He, as the headline tells you, predicts the Steelers to finish 11-5. Props for not picking the fence-riding 10-6 or 9-7 record. Summing up the season, here’s a snippet of what he has to say.
“The toughest non-divisional opponents, New England and Kansas City, come to Pittsburgh this year. There’s little reason to think the Steelers can’t be one game better than they were a year ago, but they still must find capable starters at defensive tackle, cornerback and safety.”
In his game-by-game breakdown, he picks the Steelers to start the year 2-0 before falling to .500 with losses to the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs. They ride a three game hot streak into the bye week, capped off with a win against the New England Patriots.
Pittsburgh wins four of the next five after the bye before losing to the Buffalo Bills in Week 14, giving them a 9-4 mark heading into the final three AFC North Games. The Steelers lose on Christmas day to Baltimore but beat the Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns to give them their 11-5 final record.
Go ahead and click here to read all of Fowler’s rationale and the game-by-game wins and losses. It’s not my cup of tea, and I won’t make a record prediction until Dave Bryan twists my arm right before the season, but Fowler’s reasoning is solid and hey, it’s a fun snack before the NFL Draft kicks off in less than two weeks. Get hype.