Friday, April 15, 2016

Pittsburgh Steelers' schedule features Vontaze Burfict-less Bengals, four prime-time games

Jeremy FowlerESPN Staff Writer 14, 2016

Antonio Brown (image via flickr/ Brook Ward)
Breakdown: This schedule is a lot of fun. It's also a good setup for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Their two toughest opponents are at home, with Kansas City in Week 4 and New England in Week 7, followed by a bye at the season's midway point. They finish the season with home games against Baltimore and Cleveland during a stretch that could be crucial for their playoff chances. Four road games in five outings from Weeks 11-15 isn't ideal, but only one of those four opponents, the Bengals, had a winning record last season. There's nothing on this schedule that should make Steelers fans feel uneasy. Oh, and four prime-time games will deepen the intrigue.
Burfict sacked: The league has Cincinnati traveling to Pittsburgh in Week 2 while linebacker Vontaze Burfict -- whose physical play contributed to injuries to several top Steelers players last season -- serves a three-game suspension. This is a scheduling surprise, as Burfict's presence raises the stakes, and the headaches. But both teams will be salty regardless: They really do hate each other. That's why the NFL scheduled them for prime time on Sunday, Dec. 18, in Paul Brown Stadium with both teams likely eyeing a playoff run.
Give Thanks for Indy: The Steelers will be part of the NFL's Thanksgiving Day lineup for the eighth time in team history when they visit the Colts for an 8:30 p.m. matchup Nov. 24. The Steelers won't mind at all breaking bread with the Colts, who have given up a combined 96 points to Pittsburgh's offense in back-to-back losses. Ben Roethlisberger loves playing Indy. He's got 886 yards, 10 touchdowns and zero interceptions during those two wins.
Strength of schedule: T-23rd, .473.

Steelers Regular-Season Schedule (All times Eastern)

  • Week 1: Monday, Sept. 12, at Washington, 7:10 p.m.
  • Week 2: Sunday, Sept. 18, Cincinnati, 1 p.m.
  • Week 3: Sunday, Sept. 25, at Philadelphia, 4:25 p.m.
  • Week 4: Sunday, Oct. 2, Kansas City, 8:30 p.m.
  • Week 5: Sunday, Oct. 9, NY Jets, 1 p.m.
  • Week 6: Sunday, Oct. 16, at Miami, 1 p.m.
  • Week 7: Sunday, Oct. 23, New England, 4:25 p.m.
  • Week 8: BYE
  • Week 9: Sunday, Nov. 6, at Baltimore, 1 p.m.
  • Week 10: Sunday, Nov. 13, Dallas, 4:25 p.m.
  • Week 11: Sunday, Nov. 20, at Cleveland, 1 p.m.
  • Week 12: Thursday, Nov. 24, at Indianapolis, 8:30 p.m.
  • Week 13: Sunday, Dec. 4, NY Giants, 4:25 p.m.
  • Week 14: Sunday, Dec. 11, at Buffalo, 1 p.m.
  • Week 15: Sunday, Dec. 18, at Cincinnati, 8:30 p.m.
  • Week 16: Sunday, Dec. 25, Baltimore, 4:30 p.m.
  • Week 17: Sunday, Jan. 1, Cleveland, 1 p.m.

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