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7-Wins 8-Losses
NFL teams don't normally grow up right before our eyes but it looks like that's what the 2022-2023 Steelers did in their last two games of the season.
They fought their way to a gritty road win over division rival Baltimore and disposed of the still inept Browns in the final game of the season when the pressure was on to stay in the hunt for the AFC's final playoff spot. Though Miami got their last spot, the 28-14 win over Cleveland made it official that once again, Mike Tomlin would not have a losing season.
For a team that started the season at 2-6, the Steelers would not have been a welcome opponent in the postseason. It didn't happen but the future has been ignited. With spark plugs like Najee Harris, Jaylen Warren, Pat Friermuth, the improving offensive line and a staunch defense led by Fitzpatrick, Cam Heyward and T.J. Watt this team is closer to being back at the top of their division more that anyone expected. Especially so soon after the emergence of the Cincinnati Bengals in the wake of Ben Roethlisberger's retirement.
The 2022 season is over and with the draft around the corner in April, 2023 is just a few months away.
The Bengals reward for being the AFC North Champs is a home playoff game against Baltimore. Despite winning their last eight, it can all be derailed in one week if Lamar Jackson returns ands shows out after missing six weeks. But don't bet on it, Cincinnati will at least make it back to the AFC Championship Game.  
It's safe to say that Lamar Jackson has the Baltimore Ravens organization over a barrel. He's injured and on the mend, but they need him if they are to make a serious run in the postseason. But what about that new contract that was never done?  At this point, why risk playing when you will soon be a free agent and know that there are quarterback needy teams like Washington and the New York Jets who will ante up what the Ravens have not.
The Browns closed out their 2022 season with a dominating win in Washington before folding the tent in Pittsburgh against a rival still in playoff contention. From these eyes, the Browns are on the way up if they get a dependable speedy receiver to pair with Amari Cooper.  What needs to change is their defense. It's imperative that they improve and the attempt to do that started after the Steelers game when they fired defensive coordinator Joe Woods.
For more on the Steelers on this site go to our Steel Talkin' page with Ty Miller 2.0 and Joel Edwards.

Championship Chase air weekly  on: 
WPGH FOX 53 and WPNT 22 The Point
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