What is the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2021 NFL schedule, how many times will we see them in primetime games, and who are the toughest and easiest opponents on their schedule?
Pittsburgh Steelers Preseason Games
All times listed below are Eastern Time.
Hall of Fame Game: vs Cowboys | TNF | 8 PM
PS1: at Eagles | 7:30 PM
PS2: vs Lions | 7:30 PM
PS3: at Panthers | TBD
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Pittsburgh Steelers 2021 Schedule
All days are Sunday unless otherwise noted. All times listed below are Eastern Time.
Week 1: at Bills | 1 PM | CBS
Week 2: vs. Raiders | 1 PM | CBS
Week 3: vs. Bengals | 1 PM | CBS
Week 4: at Packers | 4:25 PM | CBS
Week 5: vs. Broncos | 1 PM | CBS
Week 6: vs. Seahawks | 8:20 PM | NBC
Week 7: Bye
Week 8: at Browns | 1 PM | CBS
Week 9: vs. Bears | MNF | 8:15 PM | ESPN
Week 10: vs. Lions | 1 PM | FOX
Week 11: at Chargers | 8:20 PM | NBC
Week 12: at Bengals | 1 PM | CBS
Week 13: vs Ravens | 4:25 PM | CBS
Week 14: at Vikings | TNF | 8:20 PM | FOX/NFLN/Amazon
Week 15: vs Titans | 1 PM | CBS
Week 16: at Chiefs | 4:25 PM | CBS
Week 17: vs Browns | MNF | 8:15 PM | ESPN
Week 18: at Ravens | 1 PM | CBS
How many primetime games do the Steelers play in 2021?
The Pittsburgh Steelers have five primetime games in 2021. They play the Seahawks in Week 6, the Bears in Week 9, the Chargers in Week 11, the Vikings in Week 14, and the Browns in Week 17.
When is the Steelers’ bye week?
The Steelers’ bye is in Week 7.
Steelers’ strength of schedule and win/loss prediction
When it comes to the 2021 strength of schedule rankings, the Steelers have a really tough draw. Their schedule ranks as the second-toughest in the NFL next season. That is in large part thanks to a brutal road schedule that ranks as the hardest in the league. It is balanced out a little by a home calendar that is tied for the seventh easiest. However, in what is really an all-or-nothing campaign for the Steelers, having one of the hardest projected schedules, according to Vegas win totals, is less than ideal.
Pittsburgh will face a total of five games against teams projected to win 10 or more games next season. Where the Steelers 2021 schedule is somewhat cruel is that four of those come on the road. Pittsburgh will face the Baltimore Ravens twice, as well as the Kansas City Chiefs, Green Bay Packers, and Buffalo Bills.
The Steelers will head into the games against the Ravens with a bit of confidence, having swept Baltimore last season. In the past few years, neither team has really been able to dominate this rivalry consistently, so the Steelers should be wary of a strong comeback from the Ravens in 2021. The Steelers faced the Bills in each of the past two seasons. Still, the Bills broke a six-game losing streak in 2019, and have now won the last two bouts against Pittsburgh in consecutive seasons.
Pittsburgh and Kansas City have not matched up since 2018. In that game, they entertained the NFL world with a 42-37 victory for the Chiefs. That matchup saw Patrick Mahomes throw 6 touchdowns, which is something the Steelers will be desperate to stop this time around. The final game of this group — against the Packers — is an enigma given the current situation surrounding Aaron Rodgers. If Rodgers is on the field for the Packers, they are a considerable threat. Yet, if he is absent, this game suddenly looks a lot less difficult.
The Steelers’ 2021 schedule will see them play four contests against teams anticipated to win seven games or fewer. Three of them come at home against the Cincinnati Bengals, Chicago Bears, and Detroit Lions. They will also face the Bengals on the road, as usual, this season. Prior to Week 15 of the 2020 season, the Steelers held the Bengals number. Pittsburgh was carrying an 11-game win streak, dating back to 2015. However, the Bengals got the better of the Steelers, despite being without Joe Burrow.
The two games against the Bears and Lions are fascinating. Both will be starting new quarterbacks in 2021, and Chicago could even have a rookie in Justin Fields under center. These games should be winnable for the Steelers, but neither will be easy as both teams fight for relevancy in the NFC North.
2021 season prediction
The combination of the Steelers schedule in 2021 and the fading ability of Ben Roethlisberger has warning lights flashing on the dashboard for Pittsburgh. The 2021 season has the potential to be a complete disaster, especially if they stumble in the “easier” games. Pittsburgh’s 17th game against the Seattle Seahawks is also extremely difficult. Winning your division and not converting it into a playoff victory can lead to a tough situation the following year.
This could easily be the final season for Roethlisberger and it has the potential to end in a whimper. The Steelers schedule is not a friendly one, and Pittsburgh will need both sides of the ball to be clicking. Unfortunately for them, I cannot see it happening. It may be a long cold winter in Pittsburgh.
Projected 2021 record: 7-10
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