A year after having one if the easiest calendars across the league, the Pittsburgh Steelers face a brutal schedule in 2021. Of course winning your division comes with a division champions list of opponents, but the league rotating schedule lined up a litany of tough competition.
First and foremost, the six games against AFC North opponents are always the most important and can always end up being won by any team. It’s the nature of the division and the pure rivalries from within it. The Ravens, Browns, and Bengals are all teams on the rise and will be gunning for the Steelers division crown. If the scheduling gods are kind to the Steelers they will have their bye week sandwiched between two divisional opponents.
A look at our 2021 opponents.— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) January 17, 2021
Next, the NFC North will feature as the Steelers out of conference opponents. Going to Green Bay and Minnesota are tall tasks and we can only hope will be played well before the temperature dips below sub-zero. The Detroit Lions appear to be in a full on tear down mode, but Dan Campbell coached teams can always be described as tenacious. This leaves the Chicago Bears whom the Pittsburgh Steelers are typically terrible against. For whatever reason, the Steelers just can't seem to knock off the Bears and haven't done so since 2005. The Bears hold a 19-7-1 advantage all time over the Steelers.
The Steelers are also lined up to play against the AFC West. Going to powerhouse Kansas City as well as a trip to the coast to take on the LA Chargers, the Steelers tend to struggle following a cross-country trip so this one scares me. Leaving the Broncos and Raiders at home which are much like the Steelers walking an offseason path with a ton of question marks.
Finally that leaves us with the Tennessee Titans and Buffalo Bills as the remaining division winners. The Bills have had the Steelers number as of late but the same can be said about the Steelers when they take on the Titans. There is no easy sledding here.
If you thought it was bad, it could potentially get worse. With a 17th game likely being added to the 2021 schedule the Steelers will likely play another division winner this time in the NFC. The most likely opponent would be from the NFC divionsal champion from two rotations prior. Meaning the Steelers would clash with the Seattle Seahawks. The Steelers haven't won in Seattle since 1983, so the hope here would be that tilt coming within Heinz Field or a neutral site of some kind.
As a Steelers fan, I don't think I would want a schedule any other way. The Pittsburgh Steelers can rise to the occasion and prove themselves worthy of a playoff spot, and set themselves up for future success. This is the way you want it to be.
But what do you think? Are you at all worried about the Steelers strength of schedule in 2021? Let us know your thoughts down in the comments below.