The 2022 NFL regular season schedule will be released Thursday at 8 p.m. ET, and while everyone will be looking at the important aspects of the schedule, bye week, divisional games, prime time games, there is another facet of the schedule which is extremely important.
We all know the importance of quarterbacks in today’s NFL, and you can argue how who you will face at the position every week could indicate your overall success. When you take away a team’s starting quarterback, for whatever reason, it can severely impact the outcome of the game.
Take the Week 6 game vs. the Seattle Seahawks at Heinz Field last season for example. Russell Wilson was the man at the helm until he injured his finger. Suddenly, it is Geno Smith, not Wilson, coming into Pittsburgh for a Sunday Night Football game. Completely different feel to the game once that happened.
So, while these names could change, looking at the projected starters of each opponent the Steelers will play is a valuable exercise.
Let’s take a look at the Steelers’ 2022 opponents, and where they will play...
Baltimore Ravens — QB: Lamar Jackson
Things aren’t “fine” in the Charm City between Jackson and the Ravens, but he’ll play under his 5th year option on 2022.
Cincinnati Bengals — QB: Joe Burrow
Nothing else to see here...moving on.
Cleveland Browns — QB: Deshaun Watson (??)
Cleveland is excited to start their new chapter with Watson at the helm, but those 22 cases hang over their head like a cloud. Will Watson be suspended? If so, for how long? This could change things dramatically for the Browns. Jacoby Brissett and/or Joshua Dobbs are next in line. I guess Baker Mayfield could stay too...this situation could be interesting.
New England Patriots — QB: Mac Jones
Jones is the guy in New England.
New York Jets — QB: Zach Wilson
The second year gun slinger from BYU will be at the helm after an injury-plagued rookie season.
New Orleans Saints — QB: Jameis Winston
Everyone thought the Saints would be in the running for Kenny Pickett, but New Orleans ignored the position throughout the entire draft.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers — QB: Tom Brady
Just when you thought his retirement meant he would never play in Pittsburgh again, he’s back. Barf.
Las Vegas Raiders — QB: Derek Carr
The Raiders paid Carr handsomely this offseason. Remember when everyone thought they’d trade him? Yeah, not anymore.
Baltimore Ravens — See Above
Cincinnati Bengals — See Above
Cleveland Browns — See Above
Atlanta Falcons — QB: Marcus Mariota (??)
After the Steelers picked up Mitchell Trubisky in free agency, Mariota eventually signed with the Falcons after they traded away Matt Ryan. On top of that, the organization drafted Desmond Ridder in the 3rd Round. Mariota will be the starter, but will he be there for the entire season? That has yet to be determined.
Carolina Panthers — QB: Sam Darnold (??)
The former first round draft pick was replaced by an aging Cam Newton last season, and after the team drafted Matt Corral in the 2022 NFL Draft you have to wonder if Darnold’s leash is short. Needless to say, who the Steelers face in this game will depend on when they play Carolina.
Buffalo Bills — QB: Josh Allen
Nothing to see here. Moving on.
Miami Dolphins — QB: Tua Tagovailoa
Tua is the guy in south beach, and the organization certainly put the pieces in place for him to succeed. One has to think if Tua struggles this year, he might be out of time in Miami.
Indianapolis Colts — QB: Matt Ryan
In: Matt Ryan. Out: Carson Wentz. Talk about an upgrade for Indianapolis. Even though Ryan is in the waning years of his career, he should be a stabilizing force for the Colts’ offense.
Philadelphia Eagles — QB: Jalen Hurts
Talk to any Philly fan and they’ll tell you Hurts is on a one-year trial basis. If he plays well in 2022, he could be viewed as the guy. But as of right now many are considering him still in the “try-out” phase of his career.
The Steelers’ 2022 regular season schedule might not be the most difficult, based on 2021 opponent winning percentage, but the quarterbacks they will face certainly bring another dimension to the schedule. Will they end up facing all of these quarterbacks, or will other factors, like injuries, prevent some of these matchups from happening?
Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below, and be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news on the schedule release tonight at 8 p.m. ET.