The NFL schedule is complex, but if you know the reasoning behind it, it really is rather simple. The equation to a 16-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 2017? Well, in 2016 the AFC North was paired with the AFC and NFC East, but in 2017 they are paired up with the AFC South 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 West divisions. The New England Patriots won the AFC East, which means they will be playing the black and gold next season, but the AFC West division has yet to be decided, so fans won’t know whether Pittsburgh will be matched up with the Kansas City Chiefs or the Oakland Raiders until after Week 17.
According to FB Schedules, below is the location of the known Steelers game next season:
AFC West Champion
It seems early to be thinking about next year’s opponents, especially with Pittsburgh preparing for another playoff berth, but it is always good to know what is on the horizon for what is hopefully a run at an 8th Lombardi trophy.