SteelerNation.com

Steelers Season Projection, Pre-Draft

By Matt Papiernik
SteelerNation.com

Now that the full schedule has finally been released for the 2019 season, let’s take a look to see how the Steelers’ final record might look.

Week 1 – @ New England Patriots, Sunday Night

The Steelers have a tough task week one, as they travel to Foxborough to take on the Patriots. The Steelers and Patriots have had several good battles over the years, with the Patriots dominating the win column for a while. However, in the last two match-ups, the Steelers appeared to have figured the Patriots out somewhat. Add in that the Patriots tend to struggle early in the year, leads to a good chance the Steelers can steal a win on the road.

Prediction: Win

Week 2 – vs. Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks are definitely one of those teams that no one really wants to play. They have a play-making defense, as well as a great quarterback in Russell Wilson. However, they do have a couple issues across their roster, which has kept them from advancing much farther than the first round of the playoffs the last two seasons.

Prediction: Win

Week 3 – @ San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers were a team that many expected to be a playoff contender heading into last season. However, their new quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo, suffered a season ending injury which resulted in a lost season for the 49ers. They are a team that is improving, but they are likely a couple years away from truly competing.

Prediction: Win

Week 4 – vs. Cincinnati Bengals, Monday Night

The Cincinnati Bengals look like they are going to be in the cellar of the AFC North next season. They hired a new coaching staff, and have a roster that appears to be headed in the wrong direction. They do still have some talent on offense in A.J. Green and Joe Mixon, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them finishing in the bottom half of the league again next season.

Prediction: Win

Week 5 – vs. Baltimore Ravens

The Steelers and the Ravens always have incredibly tough fought games, and that likely will be the case moving forward. The Ravens lost several members of their defense this off-season, which may have some people questioning them heading into 2019. Right now, I see this as a trap game for the Steelers. They play the Chargers the following week in prime-time, and this is the first time in a while the Ravens aren’t one of the projected playoffs teams in the AFC before the season starts.

Prediction: Loss

Week 6 – @ Los Angeles Chargers, Sunday Night

The Steelers and Chargers had one of the best regular season games in the league last season, as it was a back and forth, high scoring affair. The Chargers won that game off a tipped pass that lead to a touchdown. That game was one that changed the trajectory of the Steelers season, and resulted in them missing the playoffs. The Steelers likely will have something to prove for this game, especially after last season, but the Chargers are a very good team still which I think can give them trouble.

Prediction: Loss

 

Week 7 – BYE

 

Week 8 – vs. Miami Dolphins, Monday Night

Coming off of a bye week, the Steelers should be well rested and ready to get their season back on track. The Dolphins are a team looking to start a rebuild, so they likely won’t be very competitive for the upcoming season.

Prediction: Win

Week 9 – vs. Indianapolis Colts

The Colts came on very strong at the end of last season, and built a ton of momentum coming into this year. Andrew Luck came on strong and appears to be close to 100% from his shoulder injury. The Colts match-up well against the Steelers, and will likely be a tough game for them.

Prediction: Loss

Week 10 – vs. Los Angeles Rams

The Rams made it to the Super Bowl this past season, and nearly came home as the champions. They have a very good offense, and a defense that can really get after the quarterback. I don’t see the Rams having much of a fall off heading into next season, as many of their key players are returning. The Steelers will have their hands full trying to stop all their weapons on defense and their pass rush.

Prediction: Loss

Week 11 – @ Cleveland Browns, Thursday Night

The Browns have a new look team this year, as they are currently the favorites to win the AFC North by many. While they have made significant improvements to the talent on their roster, they still have questions in regards to their leadership and coaching. Also, teams that make a lot of additions in free agency, sometimes take a year or two to figure it out. The Browns will be vastly improved, but the Steelers should still have the upper hand.

Prediction: Win

Week 12 – @ Cincinnati Bengals

See my earlier write-up, not much would change here.

Prediction: Win

Week 13 – vs. Cleveland Browns

See my earlier write-up, not much would change here.

Prediction: Win

Week 14 – @ Arizona Cardinals

The Cardinals appeared they found their franchise quarterback in last year’s draft when they traded up for Josh Rosen. However, now it appears they may start over again by selecting a quarterback first overall this year. After coming off multiple wins, and on the road in Arizona, this seems like a situation where the Steelers tend to take a game off. There is usually one or two of these a year under Tomlin. It may not be this week, but they are likely to loss at least one game they should easily win like every year.

Prediction: Loss

Week 15 – vs. Buffalo Bills

The Buffalo Bills are a strange team. They seem to be stuck in the middle of the pack and haven’t made significant progress. However, they do appear to have their franchise quarterback in Josh Allen. The Bills may be on the right path, but they still seem to be a year or two away.

Prediction: Win

Week 16 – @ New York Jets

The New York Jets, like the Bills, selected what they believe is their franchise quarterback in the draft last year. Also like the Bills, they likely are another year or two away from playoff contention. The Steelers should be able to take care of business.

Prediction: Win

Week 17 – @ Baltimore Ravens

I see the Steelers and Ravens splitting the series this year, and the Steelers will likely be fighting for a better playoff seed at this point and will give it their all.

Prediction: Win

Final Record: 11-5

The Steelers are being counted out by several members of the media. However, their roster has improved on defense, and retained all but Antonio Brown on offense. Yes that is a big loss, but I think their offense is able to hold it’s own, while the defense takes a step forward.

Let us know what you think Pittsburgh’s final record will be in the comments below!

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