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The NFL Decided To Screw The Steelers

It feels like the NFL decided to give the Steelers one of the most demanding schedules in the league every season. This is nothing new to the Steelers, as they already have a tough schedule based on division alone.


As Mike Tomlin says, the kitchen is always hot in the AFC North, especially these days. All four teams can win the division; it might just come down to who stays healthiest. 


The whole AFC is a street fight these days, with many teams that look like playoff teams, but some good squads will get edged out. The number of talented quarterbacks alone in the AFC is alarming when you look at it from the Steelers' perspective, but as Mike Tomlin once said, we do not care. 


Slow To Start

The Steelers' beginning of the season doesn't look too challenging, but that's the problem. We know the Steelers always let teams hang around that have no business playing with them. They won't be home until week three when they welcome Justin Herbert and the Chargers to Acrisure Stadium. 


The Steelers will start the season on the road against the Falcons and the Broncos before coming home for that matchup with the Chargers. Then they will go into Indianapolis in week four to get what should be their first taste of the Anthony Richardson-led Colts, as he was hurt last year when the two teams met. All four teams are good, but there is no reason the Steelers can't beat each. Will they? No, but they should. 

After that, the Steelers will welcome Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys for their first primetime game on Sunday Night Football. They follow that up by going on the road to Vegas to play the Raiders in week six. Then comes a duo of primetime games as the Steelers welcome the Jets and Giants in for Sunday Night Football and Monday Night Football in weeks seven and eight before getting to the bye in week nine. 


That's four more games that the Steelers can win. Sure, Dallas and the Jets will be formidable opponents if healthy, but there is no reason the Steelers can't compete in every one of those games. 


Two Dogs, One Bone 

The Steelers' back half of the schedule gets tough. If they want to give themselves any cushion heading into the end of the year, they will need to have only two to three losses at the bye week. That's doable, considering the first half of the schedule. It probably won't happen, but it could. 


In week 10, the Steelers will head to Washington to take on Jayden Daniels and the Commanders before the madness begins. That's another very winnable game for Pittsburgh.


Here's where it gets tricky. In week 11, the Steelers will finally get their first taste of divisional action when the Ravens come to Pittsburgh. Then, they will hit the Ohio road trip when they go to Cleveland for Thursday Night Football against the Browns in week 12 and the Bengals in week 13.


Once they get home from Ohio, Ohio comes to them in their second matchup of the season against the Browns, this time in Pittsburgh in week 14. All of those games will be tough. Winnable but tough. 

In week 15, they will travel across the state to play the Eagles before heading to Baltimore to meet the Ravens for the second time in the season during week 16. 


Then the Steelers will take on the Chiefs on Christmas day as part of the NFL's Wednesday Doubleheader. Does Taylor Swift have to spend her Christmas in Pittsburgh? Nice. After that, the Steelers get to close the season in week 18 against Joe Burrow and the Bengals. 


Steelers Have Their Work Cut Out For Them 

As Coach Tomlin says, the Steelers don't run away from fires; they run into them—just one of his many great catchphrases that will prove to be very accurate this season specifically. If the Steelers want to sniff the playoffs in the stout AFC, they must handle their business early and often. They will have to provide some cushion going into the back half of that schedule. It won't be easy by any means. 


The Steelers have four primetime games and five stand-alone games if you count Christmas Day against the Chiefs. They don't see a divisional opponent until week 11, giving them the gauntlet down the stretch. The two games late in the year that aren't divisional? They're against the Eagles and Chiefs—some of the NFL's elite teams. But as the old saying goes, you must beat the best if you want to be the best.

Read More NFL News From Stadium Rant Here: NFL News


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