The Runner Sports

Steelers 2017 Schedule Preview

The 2017 offseason is nearly in the books, and we are now just about two months away from kicking off another year of NFL football! The team schedules have been released for a while now, but with the season rapidly approaching now is a perfect time to take a deeper look. The teams’ rosters are also pretty much set (pending the results of some training camp battles), so this is also a great time to make some way-too-early predictions about what we can expect from this year’s edition of the Pittsburgh Steelers. So without further ado, let’s jump right in.

 

Week 1: @ Browns

The Steelers open the 2017 season in Cleveland against the still-rebuilding Browns. Whether it’s Cody Kessler, 1st-round draft pick DeShone Kizer, or Brock Osweiler under center, this should be a nice way for the Steelers to start the year.

 

Week 2: vs Vikings

The home opener will be played against the now-Adrian Peterson-less Minnesota Vikings. This backfield will now be led by free-agent pickup Latavius Murray and 2nd-round draft pick Dalvin Cook.

 

Week 3: @ Bears

Markus Wheaton, now a member of the Chicago Bears, will get a crack at his former team in this Week 3 matchup.

 

Week 4: @ Ravens

The Steelers will get the first shot at their division rival Ravens in Week 4. The Ravens have reloaded their offense with offseason acquisitions Jeremy Maclin (WR) and Danny Woodhead (RB). Last year, the teams split their series, with each team winning at home.

 

Week 5: vs Jaguars

The Jaguars were active once again this offseason, and there are several new starters on both sides of the ball. They’ve been in rebuild mode for a while now, but each year they get a little closer to relevance in the AFC. This game should not be taken for granted.

 

Week 6: @ Chiefs

In a rematch of the Divisional Round of the 2016 playoffs (this time in KC), the Steelers will face the Chiefs in Week 6. Pittsburgh triumphed last time in a tight, 18-16 victory.

 

Week 7: vs Bengals

Perhaps the most bitter rivalry in this division (at least in recent years) will see its first installment of 2017 in Week 7. Pittsburgh swept the series last year and have emerged victorious from their last four games against Cincinnati, dating back to the 2015 regular season.

 

Week 8: @ Lions (Sunday night)

The team’s first primetime appearance of the year will take place in the Motor City against the Detroit Lions. Matthew Stafford leads one of the more potent aerial attacks in the league, so this should be a fascinating offensive showdown.

 

Week 9: BYE

The Steelers’ bye week comes at the exact midpoint of the season, which could be perfect timing. Usually, by this point, the injuries have piled up a bit so getting this week to recover will be timely.

 

Week 10: @ Colts

After enjoying a week off, the team will travel to Indianapolis to take on the Colts. Once the premiere team in the AFC South, the Colts have fallen off in recent years due to injuries to their star QB, Andrew Luck, and a porous defense.

 

Week 11: vs Titans (Thursday night)

Their second consecutive AFC South opponent, the Titans have been on the rise ever since they drafted Marcus Mariota 2nd overall in 2015. They have since added the bruising RB duo of DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry, and bolstered their receiving corps by signing Eric Decker and drafting Corey Davis in the 1st round of this year’s draft.

 

Week 12: vs Packers (Sunday night)

By far the Steelers’ most interesting cross-conference contest, the team will play host to the Green Bay Packers in primetime. This game will be a great measuring stick for the young defense against one of the best QBs the league has ever seen. More likely than not, the responsibility will lie with Ben Roethlisberger and the offense to keep this game close, and try to pull out a W.

 

Week 13: @ Bengals (Monday night)

In their third consecutive night game, the Steelers will hopefully be on the verge of another season sweep of the Bengals.

 

Week 14: vs Ravens (Sunday night)

With 13 weeks in the books, teams will begin jockeying for playoff position. The outcome of this game against the Ravens could have huge repercussions for the AFC North.

 

Week 15: vs Patriots

The Steelers’ 2016 season was cut brutally short when they were trounced, 36-17, by the Pats in the AFC Championship game. This year’s rematch will take place in Pittsburgh with just a few weeks remaining before playoff season comes around again.

 

Week 16: @ Texans

Last year, it seemed as though the Texans were just a quarterback away from becoming a serious contender. In April they drafted their potential franchise QB, Deshaun Watson, and by the time the Steelers face him he’ll have nearly a full season under his belt. This is another game with potential playoff implications for both teams.

 

Week 17: vs Browns

The Steelers will close out the 2017 regular season the same way they began it – with a game against the Cleveland Browns. This time around takes place at Heinz Field, and will hopefully just be a tune-up game as everyone looks on to the postseason.

 

One of the side effects of consistently finishing among the best teams in the league is an abundance of primetime appearances. The Steelers will play in five such games this season, with four of them coming in consecutive weeks. The first two of these games will be against playoff contenders, and the final two versus division rivals, so this will be a key stretch of the Steelers’ schedule in 2017.

Outside of the perennial divisional matchups, Pittsburgh will make the rounds through the NFC North and AFC South. The team also faces off against other 2016 AFC division winners, the Chiefs and Patriots. The good news is that perhaps the most intriguing games on the schedule, against the Packers and Patriots, will be played at Heinz Field, where the Steelers went 6-2 a year ago.

As mentioned at the top of the article, we still have a ways to go before players and coaches start taking the field. However based on the schedule and what we already know about these teams, it seems safe to pencil in another 10+ win season. Of course, there is much work to be done before anything is achieved, but on paper, it looks as though this should be another successful year of football in the Steel City.