It’s meaningless but if you’re looking for some offseason fodder to make you feel a twinge more optimistic, we’re here for you. CBS Sports’ Will Brinson believes the Pittsburgh Steelers will win at least 11 games this season, taking the over in the betting line of 10.5 wins.
In doing so, Brinson reviews the Steelers’ 2017 schedule.
“This is a great schedule for the Steelers. They open up against the Browns on the road before playing the Vikings at home. A road trip against the Bears is in Week 3, followed by a road game against the Ravens and a home game against the Jaguars. That’s an unlikely, but potential, 5-0 start. The Steelers’ bye is in Week 9 — they only have to leave Pittsburgh three times after Halloween.”
I don’t generally focus too much on how “good” a schedule is, it’s pointless in May, but I don’t know if it’s fair to call it a “great schedule.” The beginning portion is easy but the latter half is rougher, consisting of late games, short weeks, or a combination of both. Not to mention the opponents: Green Bay, Cincinnati, Baltimore, and New England all in a row.
Brinson was wholly optimistic about the state of the Steelers’ roster.
“The Steelers enter 2017 with high expectations and there’s good reason: This offense should be loaded again. Ben Roethlisberger didn’t retire and Martavis Bryant will be returning to help out Antonio Brown…The defense added a couple more talented young pieces in T.J. Watt and Cameron Sutton after other young guys like Bud Dupree and Ryan Shazier flashed last season. This is a complete team capable of making a run to the Super Bowl again.”
Pittsburgh will definitely be the AFC North favorites. The Cincinnati Bengals had an overall bad offseason, getting gutted in free agency. While the Baltimore Ravens upgraded in some areas, their offense isn’t nearly as high-octane as the Steelers and their pass rush is more suspect now than recent seasons.
If you’re curious, Brinson has the Ravens under nine wins, the Bengals around nine, and the Browns winning no more than four.