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ESPN FPI Bearish on Steelers, Predicts Last-Place Finish in 2022

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Steelers OLB T.J. Watt

ESPN has released its Football Power Index or FPI for the 2022 season and the results are not particularly favorable toward the Pittsburgh Steelers.

FPI gives the Steelers a -7.5 rating, which means that it is predicting that the Steelers will be more than a touchdown worse than an average team on a neutral field. That rating ties the Steelers with the Carolina Panthers for the 25th-ranked FPI in the league. 

The Steelers defense is rated as the league’s fifth-bet at 1.3 points, but the team’s offense is projected to be the fourth-worst at -8.7. That’s a big change from the end of the 2021 season, when the Steelers were -1.5 overall, -3.8 on offense and 2.3 on defense.

The rating projects the Steelers will go approximately 7-10 this season, with the club averaging 6.5 wins and 10.3 losses in simulations. FPI gives the Steelers a 20% chance of making the playoffs, a 9% chance of winning the AFC North and a 1% chance of winning Super Bowl LVIII.

FPI has the Steelers finishing last un the AFC North, with Cleveland (3.5), Baltimore (3.3) and Cincinnati (1.1) all finishing on the positive side of the ledger.

The betting market is a bit more forgiving than the ESPN model toward the Steelers chances. The team is just a 6-point underdog for its Week 1 are on the road at Cincinnati, which FPI has pegged as a fairly average team.

The team’s current +8000 Super Bowl odds at FanDuel Sportsbook suggest a 1.2% chance of winning the big game.

At the top, FPI considers the Buffalo Bills (9.4) to be the NFL’s best team, followed by the Green Bay Packers (8.8), Los Angeles Rams (7.8), Kansas City Chiefs (7.6) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7.4). The Steelers will play two of the top five teams, visiting Buffalo and hosting the Bucs.

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