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Like the oddsmakers, longtime NFL writer Peter King doesn't have high expectations for the Steelers in 2022. In fact, King thinks the Steelers might be in the 5-12 range. The last time the Steelers won five games was in 1988.
King has the Steelers ranked at No. 23 in his NFL power rankings. However, King mentioned that he thinks Mike Tomlin can save the Steelers from their first losing season since 2003, as Tomlin has 15 non-losing seasons as the head man in Pittsburgh and stringed together an 8-8 season with the likes of Devlin "Duck" Hodges and Mason Rudolph at quarterback in 2019.
"If the coach was anyone but Mike Tomlin, I’d think of the 2022 Steelers in the 5-12 range," King said in his weekly Football in America column. "They still might be in that neighborhood, because for the first time since training camp 2004, there’s no Ben Roethlisberger, and significant questions about whether Mitchell Trubisky or Kenny Pickett can be a good NFL passer. The offense should run through Najee Harris. His 307 carries as a rookie in 2021 could easily graduate to 330 in 2022. For the Steelers to be close to good, the defense will have to be better than 24th in the league in yards allowed. The talent is too good for that, and new coordinator Teryl Austin will be under pressure to make sure it’s a better unit."
Mark Kaboly of The Athletic, Jim Wexell of Steel City Insider and Maurice Moton of Bleacher Report all have the Steelers at eight wins. Kaboly has the Steelers at 8-8-1, which would keep alive Tomlin's non-losing season record streak, but Wexell and Moton have the Steelers at 8-9. The oddsmakers have the Steelers over/under win total at 7.5, so eight wins seems about right. As King mentioned, the significant question is whether Mitch Trubisky or Kenny Pickett will rise to the occasion. The AFC North is also as tough as ever at the quarterback position with Joe Burrow in Cincinnati, Lamar Jackson in Baltimore and Deshaun Watson in Cleveland.