Entering the 2023 season, the Pittsburgh Steelers are seemingly an afterthought, not only within the AFC North, but seemingly in the AFC overall as well.
For FanDuel TV’s Kay Adams, the host of the daily morning show “Up & Adams” the underestimation of the Steelers lately is rather dumbfounding. Currently, the Steelers are a +650 to win the AFC North in 2023, behind the Bengals at +125, the Ravens at +240 and the Browns at +350.
That’s a sizable gap between Cleveland and Pittsburgh to win the AFC North, let alone Cincinnati and Pittsburgh.
“You would think that the entire world forgot that the Steelers went 7-2 over the second half of the season. When’s the last time anyone talked about that? Seven and two! …If I’m a Steelers fan, that’s [division title odds] got me feeling some type of way. That is working on me. Have we learned nothing from the past 16 years, people?” Adams said on her show, via the Up & Adams Twitter page. “Last season should be the definitive proof that Mike Tomlin is never going to have a losing season. It’s never going to happen.
“With the way that Kenny Pickett and this young squad played down the stretch, why would anyone think this team is going to fall off the ledge and disappear in 2023? It’s crazy. …The Steelers are going to be relevant. They always are.”
This offseason the Steelers addressed significant holes on the roster in free agency and through the draft, as well as via trade and the roster looks rather solid overall. The experience gained in the second half of the season by a relatively young team cannot be forgotten either.
Adams recalled the mic’d up moment from Tomlin after the Christmas Eve win over the Las Vegas Raiders at Acrisure Stadium in which the veteran head coach said the Steelers grew up that night and highlighted that moment from Tomlin as all anyone wanted to see from Pittsburgh in 2022. That growth and maturity occurred, and the team learned how to win close, tight football games.
Now, they are better on paper entering 2023, have more experience and more overall depth too, and on top of it play a relatively weak schedule compared to last season. Therefore, the underestimation of the Steelers and the overall division title odds are rather puzzling.
They’ve been the model of consistency for more than 20 years. The Steelers are not going to all of a sudden fall off a cliff and forget how to win and win consistently in the NFL.