The National Football League is a money making machine, and they know how to create an event. They have even taken very mundane events, and turned them into something worth watching.
That is exactly what has happened with the regular season schedule release. What once was just a blip on the offseason radar has turned into an hour-long special on the NFL Network.
With the 2021 NFL Draft slated to start on April 30th, the league has announced the schedule will be released Wednesday May 12th. This per Adam Schefter of ESPN:
NFL is now slated to release its full 2021 regular-season schedule on Wednesday, May 12, per sources. It’s the date to get more dates.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 21, 2021
The NFL schedule is complex, but if you know the reasoning behind it, it really is rather simple. The equation to a 17-game schedule is as follows:
Every year each division is paired up with both an AFC and NFC division, which represents 8 games on the schedule. Each team plays everyone in their division twice, add another 6 games. So, where do the other two games come from to round out the schedule? Depending on which place the team finishes, they play the other teams who finished with the same ranking in the other two divisions.
So, who will the Pittsburgh Steelers be playing in 2021? Well, in 2020 the AFC North was paired with the AFC South and NFC East, but in 2021 they are paired up with the AFC West and the NFC North.
Those 8 opponents will be:
The Steelers always play the rest of their division (Cincinnati Bengals, Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns) twice, but what about the other two opponents? They will play the first place team in the AFC East and AFC South divisions. The Buffalo Bills won the AFC East, which means they will be playing the black and gold next season. The Tennessee Titans won the AFC South, so it will be Tennessee coming to Heinz Field in 2021. The new 17th game on the regular season schedule has the AFC North paired with the like ranking team in the NFC West, so a trip to Heinz Field will be on the docket for the Seattle Seahawks.
Below is the location of the known Steelers game next season:
The Steelers’ schedule looks as tough as they come, but what do you think of the 2021 opponents? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, and be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare for the NFL Draft and the upcoming regular season.