Steelers Faced Second-Toughest Schedule In 2022 Based On Football Outsiders’ DVOA

Entering the 2022 season, it was well-known that the Pittsburgh Steelers were going to be dealing with a pretty tough schedule overall.

Turns out, it was the second-hardest schedule in the NFL, at least according to Football Outsiders’ average DVOA at the conclusion of the 2022 season.

The fact that the Steelers were 2-6 entering the Week 9 bye week and finished 9-8 on the season and missed out on the playoffs by the narrowest of margins is rather remarkable, especially considering the fact that the team had the second-toughest schedule in football in a transition season.

Of course, the schedule got much lighter in the second half of the season with teams like the Indianapolis Colts, Las Vegas Raiders, Cleveland Browns, Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints, helping the Steelers rack up some wins, but the second half of the schedule also featured teams like the Cincinnati Bengals, Baltimore Ravens (twice), and even a tough, physical Atlanta Falcons team.

Entering the 2022 season, the Steelers had the 12th-hardest schedule based on opponent winning percentage from the 2021 season.’s Nick Shook took it a step further in the offseason, labeling the Steelers’ schedule the hardest in the NFL for 2022, which was supposed to hinder an organization in transition on the field and in the front office.

It certainly looked like the schedule was going to do in the Steelers on the season as Pittsburgh got off to that dreadful 2-6 start and looked completely out of it at the bye. Things changed though in that week off, and the Steelers went on a run, finishing 7-2 down the stretch thanks to a defense that saw the return of T.J. Watt and Damontae Kazee from injuries, and the running back with Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren become a top 10 attack in football.

Strength of schedule is largely a funny stat overall as it’s hard to truly quantify week to week how difficult an opponent will be simply based on record or DVOA, but it is interesting to see that the Steelers had the second-hardest schedule in the NFL based off of Football Outsiders’ average DVOA.

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