Steelers ranked 26th on ESPN Football Power Index, 1 in 5 chance of reaching the postseason

How good are the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2022? Of course, that’s the question fans worry about — the anxiety always mounted whenever they introduced a rookie quarterback to form. If you stick to Seth Walder’s Football Power Index – whatever that is exactly – then you might as well wrap it up now and wait for 2023.

As the ESPN sports analytics writer explains, the Football Power Index is a predictive model with a score that “roughly how much better or worse – in points – this team is predicted to be compared to an average NFL team on a neutral field“. If you’re really interested in understanding the depth of the nuances that go into this fictional system, you can read more details here.

The Steelers are about 7.5 points behind an average NFL team on a neutral field this year. And they play more road games than home games, so apparently that’s even worse. While the Carolina Panthers are also rated -7.5, they rank 25th overall and the Steelers 26th.

Their great success comes on offense. They have a whopping -8.7 Offensive Power Index, which presumably means their offense at neutral is worth 8.7 points less than the average NFL offense at neutral. The only offenses rated lower are the New York Jets, Chicago Bears, and Atlanta Falcons.

On the other hand, they have one of the top rated defenses, but apparently defenses don’t move the needle very much. Their defense is rated 1.3 points better, fifth-best behind the Los Angeles Rams, Buffalo Bills, Indianapolis Colts and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Additionally, the Steelers are predicted to go around 7-10 or more likely 6.5-10.3 based on their data. They have just a 19.9 percent chance of making the postseason and an 8.6 percent chance of winning the AFC North. You have a 1 percent chance of winning the Super Bowl.

This model ranks the Cleveland Browns as the best odds of winning the division, actually a 35.2 percent chance, with a projected record of about 10-7. The Baltimore Ravens have a 31.8 percent chance with a predicted record of 9-8 when rounded. The Cincinnati Bengals record ultimately rounds to the same value but on the wrong side of nine wins before rounding. They have a 24.4 percent chance of winning the division.

What does it all mean? Exactly what you naturally thought: nothing. There just isn’t enough information to really predict how well or poorly the Steelers will do this year. You haven’t seen that much change in practically a generation.

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