The Pittsburgh Steelers have dropped three straight games after starting the season with a thrilling win in the final moments against the Cincinnati Bengals. Many viewed Pittsburgh’s last game against the New York Jets as a game they should be favored to win, only to give up a ten-point lead in the fourth quarter and allow the Jets to take the lead with only seconds remaining.
With Pittsburgh preparing to travel to Buffalo this week as massive underdogs against the AFC-favorite Buffalo Bills, things look bleak for the Steelers as far as their playoff hopes go should they drop to 1-4.
Pro Football Focus recently published their remaining strength of schedule power rankings entering Week 5 of the 2022 season and didn’t give Steelers’ fans any reason to be optimistic about the team’s prospects heading forward, ranking them #1 with the hardest remaining schedule in the league given PFF’s ranking system.
Pittsburgh faces the Bills in Week 5, followed by the Buccaneers, Dolphins, and Eagles before reaching their bye week in Week 9. That is a brutal four-game stretch against all playoff-contending teams where Pittsburgh will struggle to be favored in any one of those matchups. It Pittsburgh manages to scrape out a win in those four games and enter the bye at 2-6, they will come into Week 10 facing the Saints at home, followed by the Bengals, Colts, Falcons, Ravens, Panthers, Raiders, Ravens, and Browns in that order to close out the 2022 regular season.
While things lighten up a little after the bye week with Pittsburgh facing the underperforming teams in the NFC South and the Raiders who also currently sit at 1-3, they have shown that no game should be considered a walk in the park victory after dropping last week’s home matchup against the Jets. The Browns will have QB Deshaun Watson on the field for their second matchup of the season, and two late season matchups against the Ravens will always be a slugfest like it has been the last decade-plus.
Granted, Pittsburgh will get some relief once T.J. Watt returns to the starting lineup, but this team does appear to be in dire straits after starting off the season on a low note with a daunting lineup of opponents on the horizon.