ESPN has looked into their crystal ball and predicts the Pittsburgh Steelers will make it back to the playoffs this season. But it’ll be a short stay once they get there.
The Worldwide Leader simmed the entire 2019 season, week-by-week. They predict the Steelers will finish the season 12-4, second in the AFC North, before getting upset by the Houston Texans on Wildcard Weekend.
Clink the above link for the game-by-game scores and analysis around the league. We’ll touch on a couple of the highlights.
In Week 1, the Steelers blow out the Giants 41-17. Should simulation become reality, it’d be the first time Pittsburgh put up a 40 burger in an opener since 1999 when they blew out the relaunched Browns 43-0.
In fact, ESPN’s sim predicts the Steelers to start 6-0 before suffering their first loss Week 8, an ugly 30-10 defeat to the Baltimore Ravens.
After the first 12 weeks, Pittsburgh sits 9-2 but both losses have come from the Ravens. That comes back to bite the Steelers as they stumble the rest of the way, dropping two of their final three games, including a Week 17 loss to the Browns. Baltimore gets hot, both teams finish 12-4, and the Ravens own the tiebreaker.
Pittsburgh faces Houston in the Wild Card game and get upset, falling to the Texans 31-24. It would be another early exit for a team whose struggled to get over the hump the past five years.
In Super Bowl LV, the Kansas City Chiefs blow out the Dallas Cowboys 42-17, repeating as back-to-back champs.
Unfortunately, the ESPN sim doesn’t offer much in the way of Steelers’ specific stats. There’s a clear focus on the bigger storylines, almost every blurb dedicated to Tom Brady, Patrick Mahomes, or what’s going on in the NFC East. But based off their record, it seems like the Steelers – Ben Roethlisberger included – had a terrific regular season only to be subdued in the playoffs. So basically 2017 all over again.