the schedule could favor a Super Bowl matchup of the Steelers and the Bucs, with the Packers also knocking on the door. Why the Steelers? Their strength-of-schedule is the second easiest at 110-130 behind the Texans at 113-143. Only five times do they face teams with winning records in 2001, so the key is getting through early games against the Patriots and Raiders.
Naturally, there is no guarantee that teams that were bad last year would be bad this year. And vice versa. But assuming teams don’t improve dramatically, the Steelers have an edge. The Ravens are two of those games against winning teams, and the salary cap forced them to break up their roster. The Bucs are the only other team with a winning record that the Steelers face.