As many fans continue to pour over the 2017 Pittsburgh Steelers regular season schedule, it is never too early to break down the games week-by-week. No, you won’t see any predictions (yet), but just a general outlook of the games, their importance and just how the NFL might be putting the screws to the black and gold.
Let the over analysis begin...
Week 1: September 10 - 1:00 p.m. EDT at Cleveland Browns
When the Steelers opponents were finalized, you probably couldn’t have hand picked a better team to start the season with. The Browns might be a heck of a lot better in 2017 than 2016, they certainly have enough draft picks, but that improvement will likely take time...not in Week 1. Also, starting on the road in Cleveland with much more favorable weather will be a nice change.
Week 2: September 17 - 1:00 p.m. EDT vs. Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings are a tough nut to crack. Without Teddy Bridgewater, and now without Adrian Peterson, not too sure what to think of this matchup, but it is games like these which the Steelers can’t afford to lose, as they have in the past.
Week 3: September 24 - 1:00 p.m. EDT at Chicago Bears
Speaking of games the Steelers can’t afford to lose, the Week 3 game in the windy city certainly is one of them. Whoever is Chicago’s quarterback by kickoff will be interesting to watch, but playing in Chicago in September is a favor for schedule makers.
Week 4: October 1 - 1:00 p.m. EDT at Baltimore Ravens
Another year and the Steelers have two divisional games in the first quarter of the regular season. Pittsburgh hasn’t won in Baltimore since 2010. Talk about demons to exorcise at M&T Bank Stadium.
Week 5: October 8 - 1:00 p.m. EDT vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars were huge players in free agency. Will it matter? Thankfully, this game is at Heinz Field.
Week 6: October 15 - 4:25 p.m. EDT at Kansas City Chiefs
A rematch of the AFC Divisional round game at Arrowhead Stadium. After that crazy finish, there will be some bad blood between these two teams. This contest could have major AFC Playoff implications, even in Week 6.
Week 7: October 22 - 1:00 p.m. EDT vs. Cincinnati Bengals
To complete one of two rounds in the AFC North before the bye, the Bengals, and Vontaze Burfict, will head to Heinz Field for the first of two matchups.
Week 8: October 29 - 8:30 p.m. EDT at Detroit Lions
The Steelers make a rare trip to Detroit the week before their bye week, and with Matthew Stafford going against Ben Roethlisberger, this game could have fireworks written all over it.
Week 9: BYE WEEK
For the second straight year, the bye week comes near the middle of the season. Can’t complain about that.
Week 10: November 12 - 1:00 p.m. EDT at Indianapolis Colts
The Steelers have had the Colts’ number the past few seasons, although they haven’t faced Andrew Luck in two years. Nonetheless, they head back to Indianapolis where they shellacked the Colts on Thanksgiving in 2016.
Week 11: November 16 - 8:25 p.m. EDT vs. Tennessee Titans (Thurs. Night)
While many fans will look at this game and pencil a ‘W’ next to it on their schedule, you might want to remember if Marcus Marriota hadn’t broken his leg in 2016 the Titans would have been in the playoff race until the end.
Week 12: November 26 - 8:30 p.m. EDT vs Green Bay Packers
The last time the Packers were at Heinz Field, a shoot out ensued which turned into one of the greatest finishes in the history of Heinz Field. Mike Wallace in the corner of the endzone for the touchdown, the win and with no time left on the clock. Steelers faithful hope the black and gold can repeat that success.
Week 13: December 4 - 8:30 p.m. EDT at Cincinnati Bengals
The third of four straight prime time night games, the Bengals will host the Steelers, and it should be noted how good the Steelers are at Paul Brown Stadium. Get the esca-loser warmed up early.
Week 14: December 10 - 8:30 p.m. EDT vs. Baltimore Ravens
It wouldn’t be December without a game at Heinz Field with the Ravens. Last year it was Christmas Day with those awesome color rush uniforms. This year it won’t be on Christmas, but this game could have huge implications in the division, and the playoff race.
Week 15: December 17 - 4:25 p.m. EDT vs. New England Patriots
The Patriots will have to come to Heinz Field for the second straight year, in the regular season, but let’s be honest, the Patriots could have locked up the AFC East by Week 15 already. However, the hope is something significant, like home field advantage, will be on the line for this contest.
Week 16: December 25 - 4:30 p.m. EDT at Houston Texans
Yes, another Christmas Day game for the Steelers, but this time on the road. The Steelers will be in Houston against the 2016 top-ranked defense in another holiday prime time affair.
Week 17: December 31 - 1:00 p.m. EDT vs. Cleveland Browns
In what has become the Steelers’ version of Mr. Irrelevant, a regular season finale against whichever quarterback is under center of the Cleveland Browns.