The NFL schedule was released Wednesday night, and I have some thoughts about it. In fact, there are 15 things I learned...
- The NFL really hates the Steelers. Why? It is forcing them to open up on the road for the seventh-straight season when they travel to Buffalo to take on the Bills on September 12. Yes, apparently, the Jaguars, who have opened up at home four times since 2015, are much nearer and dearer to the NFL’s heart. Totally makes sense.
- The NFL hates the Steelers so much, it is once again forcing the national spotlight on them, and they will have to endure the maximum five primetime dates in 2021. That’s right, while the Jaguars, the NFL’s baby, get the cushy schedule, the Steelers will be paraded out in front of the whole world, where they will be unable to hide their shame.
- If I may be serious for one moment, I’m digging the three-straight 1 p.m. kickoffs to start the season. I realize only two of them are at Heinz Field, but I think this is actually a good way to open up the year. The Steelers have a new offensive coordinator. They also have to find out about a few other things. Obviously, no team is a finished product coming out of training camp and the preseason, so a quieter start to the schedule could be beneficial...before all the national shaming begins in primetime.
- If you don’t think the Steelers will win 12 or 13 games despite the toughest schedule on paper, you’re nothing but a hater.
- I’m not sure what the record is, but I believe the NFL failed to schedule the Steelers bye week exactly right for the 15th year in a row.
- Steelers fans living in places like Topeka, Kansas, are once again totally shocked and dismayed that they won’t be able to watch every single game without buying some expensive TV package, traveling to a bar or making arrangements to see them in person. When will that ever change, NFL?
- Call me crazy, but I think the Steelers have a decent shot to start the year 6-3. What happens after that? I don’t know. But, 6-3, remember I said that.
- If you think the Steelers have any shot of winning more than six games with this schedule, you’re nothing but a sucker.
- Yes, the Steelers schedule is the toughest in the league, but did you know they also had the toughest schedule in 2008? You may not know this, but that season turned out just fine.
- The Steelers will travel to Los Angeles to take on Justin Herbert and the Chargers in a primetime match-up on November 21. I believe this will be the most hostile “road” crowd the young quarterback has had to deal with so far in his brief NFL career. He may have to go to a silent count.
- Steelers fans no longer consider any Browns’ match-up an automatic win.
- With the exception of the Packers, shame on Pittsburgh if it doesn’t clean up in the NFC North.
- With the exception of the Chiefs, I believe one could say the same thing about the AFC West.
- Once again, the NFL did the Steelers dirty by not scheduling the Little Sisters of the Poor either before or after an important match-up with the Ravens.
- This isn’t Steelers-related, but Tom Brady and the Buccaneers will travel to Gillette Stadium to take on Bill Belichick and the Patriots in a Week 4 primetime match-up. In addition to NBC, the game will be carried live by CBS, ESPN and Fox. Also, Anderson Cooper will be the sideline reporter and will be granted a halftime interview with Belichick, who will be totally forthcoming and happy to be there.