‘Pittsburgh Is Sneaky Good:’ Colin Cowherd Has Steelers As Ninth-Best Team In AFC

The Pittsburgh Steelers have been active in free agency and are coming off a draft that many experts say was one of the best in the NFL. With the main portion of free agency and the NFL Draft over, some in the media are now ranking teams. One of those is Fox Sports’ Colin Cowherd, who yesterday ranked his top 10 teams in the AFC.

Cowherd has been known to be critical of the Steelers, but despite this they cracked his top 10, landing as the ninth-best team in the AFC. On his YouTube channel, The Herd with Colin Cowherd, he explained why he has Pittsburgh at nine.

“I thought they had the best draft, they had three needs, they nailed all of them,” Cowherd said. “I think their first five picks will all play a lot. Also, at the end of the year Kenny Pickett played pretty well, five TDs and one pick over his last seven games. I don’t know if he’s a star, but getting Broderick Jones, going out upgrading the offensive line, Joey Porter, Darnell Washington, a blocking tight end, Mike Tomlin doesn’t have losing seasons. Pittsburgh is sneaky good, I have them at nine.”

Like most in the media, Cowherd was very impressed with the Steelers draft, with him thinking most of their picks will provide value immediately. Even if they don’t but the picks turn out well the team will be set up very nicely for the future.

What seems the biggest thing holding Pittsburgh back in Cowherd’s eyes is Pickett. While he praised Pickett’s play towards the end of the season, Cowherd seems to believe his ceiling is not that high. For the Steelers though, they are building their team so that Pickett does not need to carry them. The team is looking to play smashmouth football and run it down teams’ throats while letting Pickett complement the run game, something he showed he was more than capable of doing down the stretch in 2022.

While I am a believer in Pickett, I do think Cowherd’s points are somewhat fair. We don’t know how good he will end up being and penciling him in as an All-Pro next year or in the near future is setting unfair expectations. Despite this, I still think he will be good, and if he can play off the run game I think he will do a really good job in helping the Steelers get back to the playoffs. He has already shown that if the game is close he can pull out a victory.

However, the AFC is loaded with talent, especially at quarterback. If you are paying attention, as the ninth-best team in the AFC the Steelers would not make the playoffs. It will be difficult for them too, but with head coach Mike Tomlin and a great defense the Steelers should be able to as long as they don’t shoot themselves in the foot.

Based on pure talent, I understand having the Steelers at nine, but I truly believe the Steelers can challenge for the division title this year by playing their style. It is completely different than the way most of the league is playing and I think it can catch teams off guard.

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