Steelers 2022 Review

2022 Steelers Review – No Quit, Just Growth

Losing stinks and being the first team out of the playoffs is even worse. When the Steelers had their backs to the wall, they raised hell; from their Bye Week to the close of the regular season. Closing the year at 9-8, and third place in the AFC North. A valiant effort that came up short. A pretty significant bright spot is that Mike Tomlin’s streak of posting a winning record continues, moving to 16 consecutive seasons. 

No quit, and growth. Despite starting the season 2-6 with total ineptitude and embarrassment on the ropes, the Steelers managed to pull it together to finish 7-2 down the stretch. We can credit nothing but great leadership from the top down in the organization; and TJ Watt returning to the lineup after missing seven games. Not only was his extended absence horrific to watch as a fan, but Steelers Nation finally got a taste of what it was like to not have an 18-year vet, future Hall of Famer at the helm.

It was what I could only describe as a roller coaster season. Starting with Mitch Trubisky, then rolling out the red carpet for Kenny Pickett, who earned trust of the coaching staff (along with Steelers Nation), even though we saw the growing pains that comes with it. 

Whenever you see a team just miss the playoffs, you tend to rationalize it by pointing to certain plays that come to memory. Gunner Olszewski dropping the punt leading to the Patriots touchdown in Week 2; Kenny Pickett throwing an interception late in the 4th quarter that sets up the Jets game winning drive; the 2 point loss to the Ravens at home. The list goes on, but that is the slim margin of error in the NFL.

Then again, I respect the fight in this team. It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. Tanking leads to loser mentality and finger pointing. It also does not matter when you pick in the draft when the people who do the picking stink. We maintain trust in the Steelers Front Office, as this season concludes and can only hope the rhythm continues into the 2023 season.

What's Next?

We have a Quarterback who closed the season very strong and got the nod of approval from Ben Roethlisberger himself. What we saw from Kenny Pickett was him solidifying that the Steelers will not be in the hunt for any QB this off season. It is his job and he has earned that. His improvement provided the confidence to the coaching staff, organization and fans that he may be their guy.

The offense improved and finally established an identity. Najee Harris showed us his capabilities and reminded everyone how nasty he could be when healthy. His IT factor, including catching the game-winning touchdown against the Ravens in Week 17, was encouraging to watch. The Offensive Line steadily improved, but they could still look for ways to upgrade. Kenny Pickett got sent away twice for concussions this year, not good.

The offense may have played  TOO well down the stretch. Well enough to give Offensive Coordinator Matt Canada possibly another chance to call the plays next year. Not something many Steeler fans would be happy to hear. Following any Steelers loss this year you could have just searched his name on Twitter for a good laugh. The offense was putrid, and I still stand on the fact that they won DESPITE of him and not because of him. If he does stay, I beg for one thing: Throw the ball to George Pickens! He proved he is an alien and can really be a pain to cover 1-on-1 this early in his career.  

In terms of the defense, don’t you miss a reliable, mean middle line backer? No sacks, no forced fumbles, and no interceptions from the WHOLE GROUP. It’s the final piece for Watt, Minkah Fitzpatrick (who led the NFL in interceptions) and Cam Heyward (who still had plenty of juice in year 12). The Steelers tried to bring in Myles Jack to fill that gap, who was serviceable, but was not the game changer he showed he can be in Jacksonville. We don’t know what the future holds for Devin Bush and Robert Spillane, who are Free Agents. With Mark Robinson showing a little spark down the stretch after Myles Jack got banged up, the 7th round pick is a dark horse to put himself in the mix next season.

Other than that, no surprises from the defense. Minkah was All-Pro, they stunk without Watt and their inconsistency at the MLB position showed with their inability to stop the run during that stretch. Now that this season has concluded, there may be something new to keep an eye on. This is Steelers’ General Manager Omar Khan’s first off season in the big seat since Kevin Colbert announce his retirement after last years draft. Now as fans we get to evaluate the tricks up his sleeve as the top decision maker. If there is one thing we know, he learned from one of the best in Kevin Colbert and we are excited to see where him and Mike Tomlin continue to lead the franchise. 

It was sad to see this team having to stop playing. With the final few weeks having games with 4th quarter game winning drives and rivalry wins, we can only hope that mojo continues into the 2023 season.



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