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Predicting the outcome of the Steelers’ 2020 regular season schedule

BTSC breaks down the 2020 Steelers’ schedule as training camp officially gets under way.

Baltimore Ravens v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

Anticipation in Steelers Nation has rebounded and is now at a fever pitch for the 2020 Steelers’ season. If you're like me, you can't wait for the schedule to come out every April and analyze the matchups. In that spirit, BTSC presents each upcoming contest during the new season and predicts the victor. To me, a repeat of last year’s 8-8 record would be a major letdown. On the other hand, there's a growing sentiment that this could be the year after all of the craziness of 2019. Now that it’s 2020, things won’t be nearly as crazy. Errrrrrrrrrr, scratch that. I still think it could shape up to be a great year.

Let's take a look at the projections.


Week 1

at New York Giants

Monday 9/14/2020 7:15 EDT PM (ESPN)

Pittsburgh Steelers v New York Giants Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Notable Additions: CB James Bradberry, TE Levine Toilolo, LB Blake Martinez, S Nate Ebner, EDGE Kyler Fackrell, T Cam Fleming

Key Draft Picks: OT Andrew Thomas, S Xavier McKinney, OT Matt Peart

Significant Departures: QB Eli Manning, EDGE Markus Golden, S Antoine Bethea, LB Alec Ogletree, T Mike Remmers

Everybody seems to be predicting a road slaying in the season opener. Sure, the Giants were not good last year at all, but there is still talent on the offensive side of the ball for Joe Judge’s squad. While I think that the lack of fans will negate the home-field advantage for the Giants, the presence of QB Daniel Jones and a return-to-form for Saquon Barkley could be dangerous should the Steelers take them lightly. But in the end, the Giants front-seven is suspect and gets very little pressure on the pass rush. A healthy dose of James Conner and Ben Roethlisberger with time should be the difference for the Steelers.

Prediction: Steelers (1-0)


Week 2

Denver Broncos

Sunday 9/20/2020 1:00 PM EDT (CBS)

Denver Broncos v Pittsburgh Steelers

Notable Additions: DL Jurrell Casey, CB A.J. Bouye, G Graham Glasgow, RB Melvin Gordon, TE Nick Vannett

Key Draft Picks: WR Jerry Jeudy, WR KJ Hamler, CB Michael Ojemudia, C Lloyd Cushenberry III

Significant Departures: CB Chris Harris Jr., DL Shelby Harris, C Connor McGovern, DL Derek Wolfe, FB Andy Janovich

I think that the Broncos are going to surprise a lot of teams this year. It really comes down to how good Drew Lock actually is. The defense is not nearly as good as it used to be, but Von Miller is still a catastrophe waiting to happen to opposing offenses. With a loaded run game and a nice stable of young receivers, I look for Denver to pull the upset.

Prediction: Denver (1-1)


Week 3

Houston Texans

Sunday 9/27/2020 1:00 PM EDT (CBS)

Divisional Round - Houston Texans v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images

Notable Additions: RB David Johnson, CB Bradley Roby, WR Randall Cobb

Key Draft Picks: DT Ross Blacklock, LB Jonathan Greenard, OT Charlie Heck, CB John Reid

Significant Departures: WR DeAndre Hopkins, DL D.J. Reader, CB Johnathan Joseph, S Tashaun Gipson

Deshaun Watson is an exceptional play maker at quarterback. But the man is on an island. I see this being the Steelers best chance to run away with a game early on. But they can’t lose sight of Watson. The Steelers have more “Watt-age” and this could be a statement win.

Prediction: Steelers (2-1)


Week 4

at Tennessee Titans

Sunday 10/4/2020 1:00 PM EDT (CBS)

Pittsburgh Steelers v Tennessee Titans Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

Notable Additions: CB Johnathan Joseph

Key Draft Picks: OT Isaiah Wilson, CB Kristian Fulton, RB Darrynton Evans

Significant Departures: QB Marcus Mariota, T Jack Conklin, CB Logan Ryan, EDGE Cameron Wake, TE Delanie Walker, RB Dion Lewis, DL Jurrell Casey

Will Ryan Tannehill continue to thrive? Is Derrick Henry all that and the egg on a Primanti’s sandwich? No to the first one. Yes to the second. I hope that Keith Butler thoroughly wore out his film from the playoff game vs. Baltimore. If The Steelers could stifle the Titans quarterback and stack up on Henry, this could be a victory. But I’m going the other way.

Prediction: Titans (2-2)


Week 5

Philadelphia Eagles

Sunday 10/11/2020 1:00 PM EDT (FOX)

NFL: AUG 09 Preseason - Steelers at Eagles Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Notable Additions: DL Javon Hargrave, CB Darius Slay, S Will Parks

Key Draft Picks: WR Jalen Reagor, QB Jalen Hurts, Oklahoma, LB Davion Taylor, S K’Von Wallace, OL Jack Driscoll, WR John Hightower

Significant Departures: T Jason Peters, WR Nelson Agholor, CB Ronald Darby, RB Jordan Howard, EDGE Vinny Curry, T Halapoulivaati Vaitai, S Malcolm Jenkins, LB Nigel Bradham

I’m not sure just who Philadelphia is anymore. But I know this game is not in the City of Brotherly Love where the Steelers haven’t won since 1965. I’ll take that. This will be a tight one, but the circled hypocycloids get the square.

Prediction: Steelers (3-2)


Week 6

Cleveland Browns

Sunday 10/18/2020 1:00 PM EDT (CBS)

Cleveland Browns v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Notable Additions: QB Case Keenum, FB Andy Janovich, T Jack Conklin, TE Austin Hooper, S Karl Joseph, DL Andrew Billings (opted out), CB Kevin Johnson, S Andrew Sendejo, EDGE Adrian Clayborn

Key Draft Picks: T Jedrick Wills Jr, S Grant Delpit, DT Jordan Elliott, TE Harrison Bryant, C Nick Harris

Notable Departures: S Damarious Randall, LB Joe Schobert, CB T.J. Carrie, T Greg Robinson

Myles Garrett may be a complete lunatic, but he is a phenomenal pass rusher and must be absolutely contained. I think this team is pretty good, but it all comes down to pressuring Baker Mayfield. If the Steelers scheme it right, they could win it. I’m hesitant to pick the Steelers here, but I will.

Prediction: Steelers (4-2)


Week 7

at Baltimore Ravens

Sunday 10/25/2020 1:00 PM EDT (CBS)

Pittsburgh Steelers v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Notable Additions: EDGE Calais Campbell, G D.J. Fluker, DL Derek Wolfe

Key Draft Picks: LB Patrick Queen, RB J.K. Dobbins, DL Justin Madubuike, WR Devin Duvernay, LB Malik Harrison

Notable Departures: DL Michael Pierce, S Tony Jefferson, CB Brandon Carr, TE Hayden Hurst, DL Chris Wormley

This game is in Charm City and while that’s not necessarily a death knell for the Men of Steel, I see the Ravens as a scarier team than most, especially in their home. Give one to the bad guys.

Prediction: Baltimore 4-3


Week 8

Bye

Much needed rest after playing four 2020 playoff teams in the first seven weeks.


Week 9

at Dallas Cowboys

Sunday 11/8/2020 4:25 PM EDT (CBS)

Dallas Cowboys v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images

Notable Additions: DL Gerald McCoy (out for season), S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix

Key Draft Picks: WR CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma, CB Trevon Diggs, DL Neville Gallimore, CB Reggie Robinson II, C Tyler Biadasz, DE Bradlee Anae

Notable Departures: CB Byron Jones, EDGE Robert Quinn, WR Randall Cobb, DL Maliek Collins, S Jeff Heath, TE Jason Witten

I don’t see the Steelers going 4-0 against the NFC East and this may be a particularly tough game in Big D. My gut hurts on facing Dak, Zeke and Demarcus on this one. But I’m going with the Men of Steel.

Prediction: Steelers (5-3)


Week 10

Cincinnati Bengals

Sunday 11/15/2020 1:00 PM EDT (CBS)

Cincinnati Bengals v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

Notable Additions: CB Mackensie Alexander, DL D.J. Reader, CB Trae Waynes

Key Draft Picks: QB Joe Burrow, WR, Tee Higgins, LB Logan Wilson, LB Akeem Davis-Gaither, DE Khalid Kareem

Notable Departures: DL Andrew Billings, CB Darqueze Dennard, T Cordy Glenn, LB Nick Vigil, G John Miller, CB B.W. Webb, TE Tyler Eifert, CB Dre Kirkpatrick

The Steelers rebound in a big way at home and welcome Joe Burrow to Pittsburgh in a cruel manner. This team added very little protection for their quarterback and the Steelers defense goes off.

Prediction: Steelers (6-3)


Week 11

at Jacksonville

Sunday 11/22/2020 1:00 PM EDT (CBS)

NFL: NOV 18 Steelers at Jaguars Photo by Roy K. Miller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Notable Additions: LB Joe Schobert

Key Draft Picks: CB CJ Henderson, DE/LB K’Lavon Chaisson, WR Laviska Shenault Jr., DT DaVon Hamilton, OL Ben Bartch, CB Josiah Scott, LB Shaquille Quarterman

Notable Departures: EDGE Calais Campbell (via trade), DL Marcell Dareus, QB Nick Foles, CB A.J. Bouye (via trade)

I’m always reticent for the Steelers to play Jacksonville. This could be a huge letdown game as Mike Tomlin’s charges are apt to have, I am liking to think that they have put those kinds of games behind them. But they lose one of these a year.

Prediction: Jacksonville (6-4)


Week 12

Baltimore Ravens

Thanksgiving 11/26/2020 8:20 PM EDT (CBS)

Baltimore Ravens v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

Notable Additions: EDGE Calais Campbell, G D.J. Fluker, DL Derek Wolfe

Key Draft Picks: LB Patrick Queen, RB J.K. Dobbins, DL Justin Madubuike, WR Devin Duvernay, LB Malik Harrison

Notable Departures: DL Michael Pierce, S Tony Jefferson, CB Brandon Carr, TE Hayden Hurst, DL Chris Wormley

As good and dangerous as I calculate Baltimore to be, I don’t see them sweeping the Steelers. The defense solves Lamar Jackson and Big Ben channels 2014 with a huge game at home.

Prediction: Steelers (7-4)


Week 13

Washington Football Team

Sunday 12/6/2020 1:00 PM EDT (Fox)

Notable Additions: CB Kendall Fuller, LB Kevin Pierre-Louis, LB Thomas Davis, S Sean Davis, RB J.D. McKissic, G Wes Schweitzer

Key Draft Picks: EDGE Chase Young, WR Antonio Gibson, OT Saahdiq Charles, WR Antonio Gandy-Golden

Notable Departures: QB Case Keenum, G Ereck Flowers, CB Josh Norman, CB Quinton Dunbar, OL Trent Wiiliams

I actually think that Ron RIvera is going to rescue the moribund franchise from the ocean floor of the NFL, but I think a foundation needs put down first. This will be a win for the home team Steelers.

Prediction: Steelers (8-4)


Week 14

at Buffalo Bills

Sunday 12/13/2020 8:20 PM EDT (CBS)

Buffalo Bills v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

Notable Additions: WR Stefon Diggs, Edge Mario Addison, DL Vernon Butler, DL Quinton Jefferson, CB Josh Norman, LB A.J. Klein

Key Draft Picks: DE A.J. Epenesa, RB Zack Moss, WR Gabriel Davis, QB Jake Fromm

Notable Departures: Edge Shaq Lawson, Edge Lorenzo Alexander, CB Kevin Johnson, DL Jordan Phillips

There’s some thing I don’t like about this game. Maybe it’s the way the Bills defense handled the Steelers last year. Maybe it’s playing in Buffalo. But this is a loss.

Prediction: Buffalo (8-5)


Week 15

Cincinnati Bengals

Monday 12/21/2020 8:15 PM EDT (ESPN)

Pittsburgh Steelers v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Notable Additions: CB Mackensie Alexander, DL D.J. Reader, CB Trae Waynes

Key Draft Picks: QB Joe Burrow, WR, Tee Higgins, LB Logan Wilson, LB Akeem Davis-Gaither, DE Khalid Kareem

Notable Departures: DL Andrew Billings, CB Darqueze Dennard, T Cordy Glenn, LB Nick Vigil, G John Miller, CB B.W. Webb, TE Tyler Eifert, CB Dre Kirkpatrick

I don’t even think that Joe Burrow will be playing in this game for his second meeting with the Steelers. I expect the Steelers to divide, conquer and sweep.

Prediction: Steelers (9-5)


Week 16

Indianapolis Colts

Monday 12/27/2020 1:00 PM EDT (CBS)

NFL: NOV 03 Colts at Steelers Photo by Jeffrey Brown/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Notable Additions: DL DeForest Buckner, QB Philip Rivers, CB Xavier Rhodes, DL Sheldon Day

Key Draft Picks: WR Michael Pittman, RB Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin, S Julian Blackmon, QB Jacob Eason

Notable Departures: TE Eric Ebron, WR Devin Funchess, EDGE Jabaal Sheard, S Clayton Geathers, CB Quincy Wilson

Sure the Colts will be better in 2020, but I’m looking for Ben Roethlisberger to win the showdown with draftmate Philip Rivers.

Prediction: Steelers (10-5)


Week 17

at Cleveland

Sunday 1/3/2021 1:00 PM EDT (CBS)

Pittsburgh Steelers v Cleveland Browns Photo by: 2019 Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images

Notable Additions: QB Case Keenum, FB Andy Janovich, T Jack Conklin, TE Austin Hooper, S Karl Joseph, DL Andrew Billings (opted out), CB Kevin Johnson, S Andrew Sendejo, EDGE Adrian Clayborn

Key Draft Picks: T Jedrick Wills Jr, S Grant Delpit, DT Jordan Elliott, TE Harrison Bryant, C Nick Harris

Notable Departures: S Damarious Randall, LB Joe Schobert, CB T.J. Carrie, T Greg Robinson

The hope is that this is not a must win and that the Steelers are resting many a starter. But it won’t matter, Mason Rudolph leads the Steelers to a revenge win in Cleveland.

Prediction: Steelers (11-5)


Of course, I might be way off. But we can check back at season's end to see how I did. If I'm “on,” then we should all be relatively happy at 11-5.