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Analyst Predicts Steelers to Win AFC North in 2024

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Following the 2024 NFL Draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers still had the worst odds to win the AFC North at +700, according to BetOnline.ag. The Baltimore Ravens are the favorites at +125, followed by the Cincinnati Bengals (+175) and Cleveland Browns (+500).

Despite the low odds, Bleacher Report’s Gary Davenport made a bold prediction in a recent article that the Steelers will win the AFC North in 2024.

“The Steelers were a 10-win team last year with woeful quarterback play,” Davenport wrote. “Whether it’s Wilson turning back the clock or Fields taking the next step, they will be at least two wins better in 2024. And that will be enough to win the league’s toughest division.”

The Steelers haven’t won the AFC North since 2020. Cincinnati won the division in 2021 and 2022, while Baltimore won it last year. Davenport thinks the Steelers are due for a division crown.

“The Pittsburgh Steelers haven’t had a losing season since George W. Bush’s first term. But it has also been a little while since the Steelers have captured a division title. Pittsburgh last won the AFC North back in 2020, and they have just two division titles since 2017,” he wrote.

“Pittsburgh limped into the playoffs last year despite a passing offense that ranked 25th in the NFL. The Steelers made a pair of splash moves in an effort to address that deficiency in the offseason, signing veteran quarterback Russell Wilson and trading for quarterback Justin Fields.

“Frankly, it doesn’t matter if the team rolls with Wilson’s experience or Fields’ explosiveness—both are a sizable improvement on the likes of Kenny ‘Wormburner’ Pickett and Mason ‘JUST a bit outside’ Rudolph.”

Kenny Pickett, Mitch Trubisky and Mason Rudolph combined for 13 touchdown passes last season, so Davenport has a valid point that Russell Wilson and Justin Fields are major improvements, at least on paper.

The AFC North has been the best division in the NFL since 2020, based on win % in non-division games 62.6% (106-63), according to Warren Sharp of Sharp Football.

The AFC North win percentage is by far superior than the other divisions — 54.7% (94-78) – NFC West, 52.9% (91-81) – AFC West, 51.5% (88-83) – AFC East, 49.1% (84-87) – NFC East, 48.5% (83-88) – NFC North, 43.0% (74-98) – NFC South, 37.8% (65-107) – AFC South.

“If you double the sample, from the last 4 years to the last 8, the Steelers track record within the AFC North is even more impressive: 71.9% (34-13-1) – Steelers 54.2% (26-22) – Ravens.38.5% (18-29-1) – Browns, 35.4% (17-31) – Bengals,” Sharp wrote.

“Insanely, the Steelers have virtually the same record vs each team the last 8 years: 12-4 vs Bengals, 11-4-1 vs Browns, 11-5 vs Ravens.”

All four AFC North teams finished above . 500 in 2023, becoming the first division since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970 to have all four of its teams finish with a winning record.

The 2024 NFL schedule is slotted to be released this Wednesday but the opponents for all 32 clubs are already known. In addition to their AFC North opponents, the Steelers will face the AFC West and NFC East in 2024. They’ll also play the Indianapolis Colts, New York Jets and Atlanta Falcons. The Steelers schedule is one of the toughest in the NFL, according to strength of schedule.

On paper, the Steelers toughest game in 2024 is against the back-to-back Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs. Overall, they’ll have the third-toughest strength of schedule in 2024, with their opponents holding a combined win percentage of .533. Only the Browns and Ravens have a tougher strength of schedule. That’s a steep price to pay for finishing third in arguably the toughest division in football.

The Steelers will face five playoff teams from last year in the Chiefs, Ravens, Browns, Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys. Every team in the AFC North last year had a winning, record so that explains why the top three teams with the toughest strength of schedule are from said division. The Steelers schedule is thus, quite brutal.

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Edward Carmichael
Edward Carmichael
May 13, 2024 1:31 pm

as a true Steelers fan, this is one of the few times that all the sports media groups and Steelers haters with their rat poison are saying that the Steelers can win the A.F.C. North and the Steelers always sweep the Baltimore Ravens every season