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NFL Network’s Frelund Projects Steelers to Win over 8 Games in 2022

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Kenny Pickett Matt Canada Steelers 2022 Rookie Minicamp

NFL Network analyst Cynthia Frelund has projected that the Pittsburgh Steelers will win approximately 8.1 games in the 2022, in her first projection since the release of the 2022 NFL schedule last week.

Frelund’s model uses the win probability added of each player on each team’s roster, and then runs through 75,000 simulations of the entire slate of games. 

The Steelers’ forecast this season will be more uncertain than in years past thanks to the changeover at the quarterback position per the retirement of Ben Roethlisberger and the inability to accurately project right now whether it will be free agent signing Mitch Trubisky or first-round rookie Kenny Pickett that will be getting the majority of the playing time at the game’s most important position.

At 8.1 wins, the Steelers are third in the AFC North, narrowly behind predicted first-place finishers Baltimore (9.2 wins) and Cincinnati (9.1 wins), and ahead of the Cleveland Browns (8 wins). Cleveland has an even more uncertain quarterback situation than Pittsburgh, with a likely suspension forthcoming for Deshaun Watson and Baker Mayfield’s status up in the air.

Frelund has just the Ravens and Bengals emerging from the AFC North as a playoff teams, with the Los Angeles Chargers (10.4 wins) and Denver Broncos (9.2 wins) grabbing the other Wild Cards.

The Buffalo Bills (11.6 wins) are projected to land the AFC’s first-round bye, while Kansas City (10.6 wins) and Indianapolis (10 wins) are also projected division winners.

Frelund has the Las Vegas Raiders (9.1 wins), Miami Dolphins (8.9 wins), New England Patriots (8.6 wins) and Tennessee Titans (8.6 wins) also finishing ahead of the Steelers, with Pittsburgh in 12th place in the 16-team AFC. 

The Steelers have not had a losing season since 2004, the year before Roethlisberger was drafted by the team. Head coach Mike Tomlin, who was hired in 2007, has never had a losing season as head coach.

Frelund’s projection is generally more favorable than that of the betting markets. According to odds listed by FanDuel Sportsbook, the Steelers’ win total over/under is 7.5.

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