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Brian Baldinger Ranks Steelers Fifth-Best in AFC



Russell Wilson Steelers Quarterback

Despite bolstering the quarterback room, Cody Benjamin of CBS doesn’t think the changes will take the Pittsburgh Steelers to the next level. In fact, he has the Steelers as one of his six teams primed to miss the playoffs in 2024 after making it in 2023.

NFL Network analyst Brain Baldinger rejects that notion. He thinks the Steelers are one of the best teams in the AFC with Russell Wilson and Justin Fields now in the mix.

“Just think about this, they were a playoff team a year ago,” Baldinger said on NFL Total Access. “They won 10 games with three quarterbacks that threw a combined 13 touchdown passes. Only the Jets threw fewer. You think Russell Wilson and whatever Justin Fields’ role is, they’re gonna throw more than 13 touchdown passes. They might even double it.”

Baldinger also thinks the Steelers got better on defense this offseason.

“The defense got stronger with Patrick Queen, Donte Jackson at corner,” he said.

The Steelers have been stuck in a state of mediocrity lately with no playoff wins in seven years. It’s the longest playoff win drought since pre-1972 for the franchise. The Steelers haven’t had a losing season since 2003. They are always in the mix, but when they do get to the playoffs, they don’t just lose, but they get blown out. They’ve been out-scored 202-134 in their last five playoff games, all loses.

The Steelers started the official NFL offseason at +7,500 to win Super Bowl LIX in New Orleans next February. Despite the flurry of activity, they’ve moved to just +5,000 to win the Super Bowl, according to DraftKings Sportsbook, leapfrogging only one team in the process.

Pittsburgh has the worst Super Bowl odds of any team in the AFC North, and the sixth-worst of any AFC team. The lone team they’ve passed so far this offseason in Super Bowl odds is in the Indianapolis Colts, who are now behind the Steelers at +6,000.

The Steelers odds of winning the AFC North have shortened, from +1,100 at the start of free agency, to +850 now, but they are still a distant fourth of the four squads in the division. The Baltimore Ravens are the favorites at +115, followed by the Cincinnati Bengals at +165 and the Cleveland Browns at +600.