The Steelers have struggled on offense in the first four games of the 2023 season, to say the least. Pittsburgh ranks in the bottom half of the NFL in rushing yards, passing yards, and points scored. Yet none of those things determine playoff berths. Records do. And the Steelers are 2-2 a month into the season after Sunday’s 30-6 loss to the Texans in Houston.
How does that mark translate into postseason hopes? Slightly worse than average, but far from hopeless. PennStakes.com continues its Pennsylvania sports betting coverage by digging into recent seasons for teams that split their first four NFL games since 2012, and how they performed in the postseason if they got there.
Season Performance Of NFL Teams Starting 2-2
Using ChampsorChumps.com, Penn Stakes looked at how teams ended up the rest of the NFL season after starting their season with a 2-2 record since 2012. There have been 110 teams that have started 2-2 in the past 10 years. You can track the Pittsburgh Steelers playoff chances all season with PennStakes.
Teams Reach Playoffs 40% Of Time After 2-2 Starts
The Steelers are one of 12 teams that stand 2-2 this season after four games. Recent history shows that making the playoffs after splitting the first four games is less than a 50-50 proposition; in fact, 60% of teams since the 2013 season that did so missed the playoffs.
It gets progressively harder to make a dent in the playoffs for teams that start 2-2, as the chart above shows, largely because those teams often don’t have high seeds and don’t have homefield advantage in the postseason.
The Steelers have Super Bowl odds ranging from +7000 to +9000, as of Tuesday morning, at various operators that offer PA sportsbook promo codes.
Remaining Pittsburgh Steelers 2023 Schedule
The path ahead gets no easier for coach Mike Tomlin’s team, with bitter rival Baltimore coming into Pittsburgh on Sunday for a 1 p.m. Eastern kickoff. The Ravens are 3-1 and lead the AFC North and have already defeated the other two teams in the division, the Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns. After that, the Steelers have their bye week, one that’s probably well-timed considering how physical games against the Ravens usually are.
Sunday’s game is at Acrisure Stadium but the Ravens are the road favorite, with Pennsylvania sports betting apps offering the Steelers as an underdog by 4.5 points.
Then comes a stretch where, at the moment, it’s hard to say how good Pittsburgh’s opponents will be. A matchup Oct. 22 against the Rams in Los Angeles begins a stretch of five consecutive games in which the Steelers face teams that also have started 2-2. That sequence includes three consecutive home games – Oct. 29 against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Nov. 2 against the Tennessee Titans and Nov. 12 against the Green Bay Packers – then a trip to Cleveland to face the Browns on Nov. 19.
Steelers Worst Loss In Nearly A Year
Sunday’s 24-point loss to Houston was one point worse than the Week 1 defeat at the hands of the San Francisco 49ers, and was the biggest margin of defeat for Pittsburgh since a 38-3 rout against the Bills in Buffalo on Oct. 9, 2022. Caesars Pennsylvania Sportsbook installed the Steelers as a 3-point favorite but Houston outgained Pittsburgh 451-225, had twice as many first downs (24-12) and sacked quarterback Kenny Pickett three times while not allowing any sacks of rookie C.J. Stroud.
Pickett was knocked out of the game with a knee injury and his status for Sunday’s game against the Ravens is uncertain.
Steelers History After 2-2 Starts
The Steelers have some experience with splitting their first four games in the past decade. They last did it in the 2015 season and went on to finish 10-6, second in the AFC North. Pittsburgh defeated the Bengals in the first round of the playoffs that year but lost to the Denver Broncos in the Division Round. And in 2014 Pittsburgh also bounced back after a 2-2 start to go to the playoffs at 11-5, first in the division, before losing at home to the Ravens in the Wild Card round.
Where do sportsbooks think the pride of western Pennsylvania will end up in 2023? Check out the Pittsburgh Steelers Super Bowl odds all season to find out.