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On the road again

The Steelers will be traveling farther in 2023 than they did in 2022 when they hit the road to take on non-AFC North opponents.

What transpires this offseason will go a long way toward determining what they'll find when they get there.

Following is a brief assessment of the teams the Steelers will visit next season in addition to division foes Baltimore, Cincinnati and Cleveland, who were covered in the home opponents story which can be found here --> 2023 Home Opponents.

Houston Texans (3-13-1, fourth, AFC South)
The Texans are looking for a head coach again.

Lovie Smith lasted one season, after David Culley had lasted one season (4-13 in 2021), after Romeo Crennel had lasted part of one season (4-8 after replacing Bill O'Brien in 2020).

There's also been a lot of change at quarterback. Davis Mills (14 starts), Kyle Allen (two) and Jeff Driskel (one) shared the position this season. The three combined to throw 20 touchdown passes and 19 interceptions.

Houston was No. 31 in total offense (31st rushing, 25th passing) and tied for No. 30 in scoring offense (17.0 points per game), and No. 30 in total defense (32nd rushing, 10th passing) and No. 27 in scoring defense (24.7 points per game).

The Texans have the No. 2 and the No. 12 overall picks in the NFL Draft and 10 selections overall.

Indianapolis Colts (4-12-1, third, AFC South)
Head coach Frank Reich was replaced after nine games (3-5-1).

Jeff Saturday won his first game after replacing Reich on an interim basis, then lost seven in a row.

Veteran Matt Ryan opened the season as the starter at quarterback but didn't make it to January (4-7-1, 14 touchdown passes, 13 interceptions in 12 starts).

Ryan followed in the footsteps of Carson Wentz (2021), Philip Rivers (2020) and Jacoby Brissett (2019) who tried to step in following Andrew Luck's unanticipated retirement.

Among the Colts' victories was a 20-17 decision over the Chiefs on Sept. 25 that leveled Indy's record at 1-1-1.

Indianapolis finished No. 27 in total offense (23rd rushing, 23rd passing) and tied for No. 30 in scoring offense (17.0 points per game), and No. 15 in total defense (21st rushing, 11th passing) and tied for No. 28 in scoring defense (25.1 points per game).

The Colts have the fourth overall pick in the draft, one of seven overall selections.

Los Angeles Rams (5-12, third, NFC West)
The Rams became the 17th of 56 defending-Super Bowl champions to miss the playoffs the following season, the first to do so since the 2016 Denver Broncos and the first to post a losing record since the 2003 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-9).

It was also the first losing season in the six-year Rams tenure of head coach Sean McVay. Four of his first five campaigns had ended with double-digit victories.

Quarterback Matthew Stafford was healthy enough to make just nine starts (3-6).

Los Angeles was No. 32 in total offense (tied for 27th rushing, 27th passing) and tied for No. 26 in scoring offense (18.1 points per game), and No. 19 in total defense (13th rushing, 21st passing) and No. 21 in scoring defense (22.6 points per game).

The Rams don't have a first-round pick among their 10 draft selections, the highest of those being 36th overall.

Seattle Seahawks (9-8, second, NFC West)
The Seahawks shattered low expectations in making a return to the playoffs after a disappointing 7-10 finish in 2021.

Safety Ryan Neal characterized the team as "hungry and eager for more" in the aftermath of Seattle's loss to San Francisco on Super Wild Card Weekend.

Geno Smith replaced Russell Wilson at quarterback and set a franchise record for passing yards (4,282).

And the draft yielded great return on the first, second and fifth rounds.

First-round offensive tackle Charles Cross started 17 games, second-round running back Kenneth Walker III led NFL rookies in yards from scrimmage (1,215) and fifth-round cornerback Tariq Woolen tied for first in the NFL with six interceptions.

Seattle finished No. 13 in total offense (18th rushing, tied for 11th passing) and No. 9 in scoring offense (23.9 points per game), and No. 26 in total defense (30th rushing, 13th passing) and No. 25 in scoring defense (23.6 points per game).

The Seahawks have the No. 5 an No. 20 selections in the first round and nine draft picks overall.

Las Vegas Raiders (6-11, third, AFC West)
Great expectations following a return to the playoffs in 2021 turned into frustration in 2022.

To the extent that quarterback Derek Carr, benched for the final two games of the regular season, said 'goodbye' to Raiders Nation on social media.

Wide receiver Hunter Renfrew saw his receptions fall from a career-high 103 in 2021 to a career-low 36 in 2022.

And the Raiders went just 4-9 in one-score games.

Las Vegas' point differential was minus 23.

Running back Josh Jacobs led the NFL with 1,653 rushing yards and is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent.

Las Vegas was No. 12 in total offense (17th in rushing, tied for 11th in passing) and No. 12 in scoring offense (23.2 points per game), and No. 28 in total defense (19th in rushing, 29th in passing) and No. 26 in scoring defense (24.6 points per game).

The Raiders have 11 picks in the draft, including the No. 7 pick in the first round and the 38th and 70th overall selections.