On NFL Network’s Good Morning Football, the panel each named one team that has “The Look Of The Eagles.” After the Eagles lost in the wildcard game in 2021, they went all the way to the Super Bowl in 2022. With Pittsburgh going 9-8 and missing the playoffs by one game, Jamie Erdahl believes the Steelers are the non-playoff team from last year that is most reminiscent of last year’s Eagles.
“This team is good. The division is challenging. But that doesn’t mean if you can’t clip off the Bengals once or twice, the Ravens once or twice, and the Browns that you wouldn’t find yourself back in the playoffs like you rightfully so deserve to be,” Erdahl said.
The Steelers really didn’t lose a lot from last year’s team, and with Kenny Pickett poised to make a leap in Year 2, it’s realistic to expect they should be a playoff team. While unlike the Eagles I don’t think they’ll be a No. 1 seed, the Steelers have a good defense and an evolving offense that should be better this year than it was last year.
The offensive line once again could feature two new starters, with Isaac Seumalo sliding in at left guard to replace Kevin Dotson. Left tackle will be a competition between first-round pick Broderick Jones and the incumbent Dan Moore Jr., and that position will be stronger regardless because the loser of the starting competition will fill the swing tackle spot that Trent Scott occupied last season. The rebuilt line will not only help Pickett, but it will make Pittsburgh’s run game that much stronger, especially when factoring in the addition of tight end Darnell Washington, who’s an elite blocker. When you consider the fact that the Eagles scheme last year was reliant on a top-tier offensive line and their running game, the way the Steelers play this year will be similar. In that sense, the 2023 Steelers should be very similar to the 2022 Eagles.
That isn’t really much of a surprise when you consider that Andy Weidl, who had a big part in helping build those Eagles is now in Pittsburgh as the team’s assistant general manager. Weidl’s influence has been felt in a big way this offseason, and you can see it in the way Pittsburgh is building its roster and focusing on the trenches.
While the run game might be the primary focus, the Steelers have more than enough weapons in the pass game to help out Pickett. Pat Freiermuth, Diontae Johnson, George Pickens, Allen Robinson II and Calvin Austin should all make their mark as receivers this season, and the addition of Robinson gives the Steelers a reliable option in the slot, which is something they lacked during the second half of last season. There aren’t a whole lot of major flaws on this Steelers team, with their biggest holes looking like slot corner and depth at outside linebacker.
But this is a team that’s talented enough to win 10 games, and they should be back in the postseason in 2023. It would be awesome if they were able to make a Super Bowl run like the Eagles last year, but right now they need to focus on getting back to the playoffs. Once they’re in, anything can happen.