The Pittsburgh Steelers 2016 NFL schedule is far less daunting than their 2015 slate of games was, but that doesn't make it an easier to win double-digit games, and make the playoffs, for the third consecutive season. However, what Pittsburgh does have on their side is a ridiculously good offense quarterbacked by Ben Roethlisberger, and an up-and-coming defense looking to improve behind Cameron Heyward and Ryan Shazier.
Looking at the team's upcoming schedule, which games would be considered 'must-watch' contests? You know, those games you don't want to miss -- regardless of which team you follow. We analyzed the schedule, looked at the matchups, and have given you the Steelers top 5 'Must-Watch' games in 2016.
5. Week 4 - Sun., Oct. 2 vs. Kansas City Chiefs - 8:30 p.m.
There were a couple games which could have made the list at No. 5. The Thanksgiving night game against the Indianapolis Colts was tempting, but a Sunday Night game against the Chiefs -- who were a playoff team in 2015 and beat the Ben Roethlisberger-less Steelers in 2015 -- in Week 4 makes the list due to the possible playoff implications which accompany this AFC matchup. When Kansas City visits Heinz Field it normally doesn't end well for them, and the Steelers hope to keep that trend alive and well.
4. Week 10 - Sun., Nov. 13 vs. Dallas Cowboys - 4:25 p.m
Some might scoff at a NFC game being in the Top 5, but when you have the Cowboys and Steelers playing people are going to watch. This is not a prime time game, but a 4:25 kickoff which certainly will be nationally televised, and it doesn't get more classic than Dallas vs. Pittsburgh. Visions of Staubach vs. Bradshaw will resonate in the older generation of Steelers fans, while the younger will remember Deshea Townsend intercepting Tony Romo's pass and running it in for a touchdown in 2009 as the team went on to win Super Bowl 43. Yeah, this should be on the list.
3. Week 16 - Sun., Dec. 25 - vs. Baltimore Ravens - 4:30 p.m.
You can't have a top 5 'Must-Watch' list without the Steelers and Ravens can you? The answer is, no. Of the two games these rivals play, the game on Christmas Day will certainly be the best of the two matchups. Not necessarily from a game perspective, but the fact is is a prime time game on the NFL Network. The Steelers will certainly want revenge after dropping both games to Baltimore in 2015, one of those to Ryan Mallett, and these two going head-to-head on Christmas day might be the best present of all.
2. Week 7 - Sun., Oct. 23 - vs. New England Patriots - 4:25 p.m.
The Steelers hate the Patriots. The Patriots hate the Steelers. Steelers fans hate Patriots fans. Patriots fans can't stand Steelers fans. There shouldn't be anything else to add, but the fact the Patriots come to Heinz Field -- the only place the Steelers seemingly stand a chance against Tom Brady and company -- makes this game the No. 2 selection on our list. Just like the Chiefs game, this could have serious playoff implications, even though it is a Week 7 matchup. The Brady bunch invades Heinz Field, but will the Killer B's be the ones with the last laugh? Time will tell, but it will be fun to watch, hopefully.
1. Week 15 - Sun., Dec. 18 - at Cincinnati Bengals - 8:30 p.m
Some might wonder why the Week 3 game between the Bengals and Steelers isn't on the list. I look at it this way, that game is at Heinz Field and Vontaze Burfict will still be suspended. The two teams will have to wait 13 weeks till they can finally get their hands on one another again, and this time Cincinnati's No. 55 will be ready and waiting. Going back to Cincinnati, the place where one of the most improbable playoff wins in the last 10 years occurred, and Burfict is in the lineup. Throw in the AFC North rivalry and the possible division championship implications and you have yourself the top game on the 2016 'Must-Watch' list.