The 2022 NFL schedule has now been officially released for a week. On Tuesday’s episode of the Scho Bro Show podcast, Big Bro Scho and I looked at the schedule from the perspective of attending the games. While some Steelers fans have the luxury of attending multiple games each season, there are other parts of the fan base spread across the world who would love to be able to catch the Steelers one time in person in their lifetime. If the 2022 NFL season is your time, we are here to help.
It should be noted this exercise is mainly for those people looking to attend one game this season. If you are someone that attends more than half the games, then they all have their various appeal factors. But if you are only attending one game this year, getting the best experience should be your greatest goal.
Before diving into the regular season, I will say preseason games are a great opportunity for some fans looking for a very specific experience. For me, I find the preseason is a great time to take children to a game if your budget does not allow you to do so during the regular season. Tickets directly from the Steelers are very inexpensive compared to the regular season, and resale tickets are sometimes as low as single-digit dollar amounts. The stadium is not nearly as crowded, especially towards the end of the game. And because the result is not the most important aspect of a preseason game, it is a much more relaxed environment. So, if that is what you were looking for, especially if you’re looking to take a young one to their first game, don’t rule out a preseason game as they are generally before the school year begins.
Getting to the heart of the issue, the regular season, I’ve split the games into two categories. First, the away games and what they could possibly bring as a fan experience. As a reminder, here are the games on the Steelers schedule in which they will be on the road:
Week 1: at Cincinnati Bengals 1 PM
Week 3: at Cleveland Browns Thursday 8:15 PM
Week 5: at Buffalo Bills 1 PM
Week 7: at Miami Dolphins 8:20 PM
Week 8: at Philadelphia Eagles 1 PM
Week 12: at Indianapolis Colts Monday 8:15 PM
Week 13: at Atlanta Falcons 1 PM
Week 15: at Carolina Panthers 1 PM
Week 17: at Baltimore Ravens 1 PM
When it comes to the away schedule, I want to acknowledge many fans who choose to hit the road for the Steelers game are ones who are looking for the experience closer to where they live. Obviously, unless you’re willing to travel to Pittsburgh, fans that live in the south will have a much easier trip to Miami or Atlanta to catch the black and gold.
As for the Week 1 game in Cincinnati, unless you are really set on seeing the Steelers first game of the season, and the first game in the post-Ben Roethlisberger era, I’d rather have the experience at Heinz Field. If you’re someone who has to travel east just to get to Cincinnati, the Indianapolis game is probably a little bit more appealing other than the fact it is on a Monday night. Both Buffalo and Cleveland are also games that are very close to Pittsburgh, so many fans that attend these games aren’t having it be “their only one” for the season and are just trying to catch as many games as possible.
When it comes to the game in Baltimore, I’m fairly biased about this one. Being a person who lives much closer to M&T Bank stadium than Heinz Field, I would much rather make the 3.5 hour drive to the Steel City than to go into that place again. It would take some pretty unique circumstances for me to choose to attend a game there over one in Pittsburgh.
If you are a person looking for the best road experience to see the Steelers in 2022, my top suggestions are in Atlanta or in Charlotte. These are cities the Steelers travel to rarely, and there are various activities in which Steelers fans could enjoy in the cities the team doesn’t visit often. Additionally, being NFC opponents, the fans from these franchises usually don’t have issues with visiting fans like others may. For example, even though Philadelphia is an NFC opponent, I’m not sure I would ever want to catch a game where those fans have the home field advantage.
I’ve spent enough time on the away games, let’s get to the Steelers home schedule:
Week 2: vs New England Patriots 1 PM
Week 4: vs New York Jets 1 PM
Week 6: vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1 PM
Week 10: vs New Orleans Saints 1 PM
Week 11: vs Cincinnati Bengals 8:20 PM
Week 14: vs Baltimore Ravens 1 PM
Week 16: vs Las Vegas Raiders Saturday 8:15 PM
Week 18: vs Cleveland Browns TBD
Each game scheduled for Heinz Field this year brings something different. If you want to see the home opener, a 1 PM start against the Patriots in September would make for a pleasant experience. If you’re a fan looking for the possibility of Kenny Pickett making his Heinz Field debut in black and gold, Week 2 against the Patriots is possible, but Week 4 against the Jets is another one as the Steelers are coming off their “mini bye”. Another place where this is possible is the Steelers playing at home against the New Orleans Saints in November coming off their bye week. While it’s difficult to tell at this time if or when the Steelers would debut their 1st Round draft pick from 2022, these are ones fans may want to keep their eye on.
The hottest ticket in Pittsburgh for the 2022 season is their matchup with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Barring a change in how the NFL handles the schedule, or another change in team, this is likely to be Tom Brady’s final trip to Heinz Field. Whether or not that excites Steelers fans, these tickets appear to be the most expensive at this time.
If you are looking for a prime time experience at Heinz Field, the Sunday night matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals is a good one to catch. Yes, the Steelers also play in prime time against the Raiders on Christmas Eve, but that game will likely have a very specific in-person audience. While for some this fits perfect into their schedule, there are many in which it won’t due to the holiday.
To finish off, the Baltimore Ravens in a 1 PM matchup is great for Steelers fans looking for the rivalry atmosphere in the stadium. As for the Browns game to finish up the season, it’s a very similar situation other than the day and time of the game not being set at this time. Also, the previous 16 games will ultimately determine the importance of the Steelers final home matchup which could make it extra exciting, or meaningless.
So, there is the breakdown of the Steelers 2022 schedule and what might bring the best experience for fans depending on what they are looking to do. So which game would you attend if you could only pick one? Make sure you leave your answer in the comments below.
For the complete breakdown of which games could bring the best fan experience, check out the Scho Bro Show podcast below: