‘We Could Make Some Splash’ If Steelers Were Able To Make Playoffs in 2022, Zach Gentry Says

With the New York Jets loss to the Miami Dolphins in Week 18, the surging Pittsburgh Steelers, who won their last four games of the season and finished the year 7-2, missed the playoffs. In an interview with Dale Lolley of, tight end Zach Gentry said he believes the Steelers would’ve made some noise if they got in the postseason this year.

“It’s hard not to think about that. I think one of the more disappointing things this entire year is feeling like we’re a team that’s peaking at the right time and then just barely missing out on making the postseason. I think that we’re a team that felt like if we were given an opportunity, that we could make some splash because of the way we were meshing together. So it feels like the future’s bright and it feels like something we should be able to take into next season.”

Gentry’s an upcoming free agent, so there’s a chance he’s not with the team to potentially carry the momentum from the end of this season into 2023. It’s certainly possible Pittsburgh would’ve made noise if they made the postseason, as the Dolphins hung with the No. 2-seeded Buffalo Bills despite starting third-string quarterback Skylar Thompson. Still, the circumstances were different as it was the third matchup of the year between the two teams and that extra familiarity usually makes games closer than they probably should be. The Steelers also lost 35-3 to Buffalo this season, and while the team on the field in Week 17 looked a lot better than the team that played in that game in Week 5, there was still a clear talent gap.

Teams that get hot heading into the postseason can sometimes find themselves staying hot, though. The 2005 Steelers are an example of that, and while it’s idiotic to say that this year’s Steelers team was capable of winning the Super Bowl, it’s not unrealistic to say that they may have been able to win a game or two in the postseason. Getting into and playing in the playoffs also would’ve been good for the development of rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett, although his development throughout the course of the year was still something that was good to see.

Ultimately, the Steelers still ended up surpassing most expectations this year. Usually, just finishing with a winning record isn’t good enough, but in a year where they played a rookie quarterback the majority of the season and had one of the youngest starting offenses in football, it was certainly a positive year. The standard in Pittsburgh is Super Bowls, and going forward just finishing with a winning record won’t be good enough as Pickett and the offense progress and get older and the defense continues to build around Cameron Heyward, Minkah Fitzpatrick and T.J. Watt. But it’s hard to be too upset about year one of the Pickett era.

While it would’ve been nice for the Steelers to get in the playoffs to see what they could do, I really don’t think they would’ve gotten past Buffalo. I’m excited for this team’s future though, and hopefully, they’re able to build off their second-half momentum and get off to a good start in 2023.

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