Steelers

Steelers 2016 Schedule Officially Released

By: Zach Metkler, The Burgh Blog Writer

After much anticipation, the Steelers official 2016 season schedule has been released:

Steelers 2016 Pre-Season Schedule

Date Opponent Time** (TV)
Week 1
Fri. Aug. 12
vs. Detroit Lions 7:30 PM – KDKA-TV
Week 2
Thurs. Aug. 18
vs. Philadelphia Eagles 7:00 PM – KDKA-TV
Week 3
Fri. Aug. 26
at New Orleans Saints 8:00 PM – KDKA-TV
Week 4
Thurs. Sept. 1
at Carolina Panthers 7:30 PM – KDKA-TV

 

Steelers 2016 Regular Season Schedule

Date Opponent Time** (TV)
Week 1
Mon., Sept. 12
at Washington Redskins 7:10 p.m. (ESPN/WTAE-TV)
Week 2
Sun., Sept. 18
vs. Cincinnati Bengals 1:00 p.m. (CBS/KDKA-TV)
Week 3
Sun., Sept. 25
at Philadelphia Eagles 4:25 p.m. (CBS/KDKA-TV)
Week 4
Sun., Oct. 2
vs. Kansas City Chiefs 8:30 p.m. (NBC/WPXI-TV)
Week 5
Sun., Oct. 9
vs. New York Jets* 1:00 p.m. (CBS/KDKA-TV)
Week 6
Sun., Oct. 16
at Miami Dolphins* 1:00 p.m. (CBS/KDKA-TV)
Week 7
Sun., Oct. 23
vs. New England Patriots* 4:25 p.m. (CBS/KDKA-TV)
Week 8
BYE WEEK
—– —–
Week 9
Sun., Nov. 6
at Baltimore Ravens* 1:00 p.m. (CBS/KDKA-TV)
Week 10
Sun., Nov. 13
vs. Dallas Cowboys* 4:25 p.m. (FOX/WPGH-TV)
Week 11
Sun., Nov. 20
at Cleveland Browns* 1:00 p.m. (CBS/KDKA-TV)
Week 12
Thurs., Nov. 24
at Indianapolis Colts 8:30 p.m. (NBC/WPXI-TV)
Week 13
Sun., Dec. 4
vs. New York Giants* 4:25 p.m. (FOX/WPGH-TV)
Week 14
Sun., Dec. 11
at Buffalo Bills* 1:00 p.m. (CBS/KDKA-TV)
Week 15
Sun., Dec. 18
at Cincinnati Bengals* 8:30 p.m. (NBC/WPXI-TV)
Week 16
Sun., Dec. 25
vs. Baltimore Ravens 4:30 p.m. (NFLN)
Week 17
Sun., Jan. 1
vs. Cleveland Browns* 1:00 p.m. (CBS/KDKA-TV)
(Schedule from steelers.com)

When looking at the Steelers schedule as a whole, it’s strength is considerably easier than last season when they boasted the hardest schedule in the NFL. In 2015, the Steelers opponents had a combined winning percentage of .578 during the previous season (2014), which was the highest in the NFL. This season, though, their opponents only have a combined winning percentage of .473, markedly lower than the previous season. Additionally, the team will only play against 4 teams that made the playoffs last season (the Redskins, Chiefs, Bengals, and Patriots). With that being said, their schedule will not necessarily be an easy one to get through. Many of the teams they will face either were close to making the playoffs (the Jets and Colts) or were early season contenders that were plagued with injuries throughout the season (the Ravens, Cowboys, and Colts). Teams like the Jets, Giants, Bills, and Dolphins have made moves in the offseason that should also make them more competitive teams next season.

Realistically, the Steelers schedule could not have been put together any better than it was on Thursday evening. The Steelers will get a bye week on week 8, right in the middle of the season and a week after playing the Patriots in what should figure to be a great game of Super Bowl contenders. This will allow the Steelers to rest up from the first half of the season and prepare for a second half that should have them right in the thick of the AFC North race and the AFC Playoff Picture. The NFL also got it right when scheduling the first Bengals game Week 2 when Vontaze Burfict will still be serving his suspension from last year’s Wild Card game.

Looking at this year’s schedule, there are not as many trap games that the team is so used to struggling against. It is hard to truly gauge some of the teams they will face due to the fact that the draft is still another 13 days away. Regardless, one cannot help but feel excited when looking at the Steelers schedule.

One stat of note before I give my season record prediction: the Steelers have not made the playoffs in 3 or more consecutive seasons since the 1992-1997 season. As it currently stands, the team has now made the playoffs in 2 consecutive seasons. So if history repeats itself, the Steelers will not be favorites to make the playoffs for a 3rd consecutive season. The difference with this team compared to teams from the past, though, is that they are reloaded and primed to dominate once again. With arguably the best offense in the NFL with an on the rise defense, the team will stack up well against most teams in the league. The Steelers lost very little talent from last season and realistically can only get better through the draft. I firmly believe that this season will be the year that the Steelers break their recent trends of not being able to make the playoffs 3 consecutive seasons and will likely see the Patriots in the AFC Championship game in January.

Record Prediction: 12-4

Looking at the Steelers schedule, there really are not many teams that are truly more talented than them. On average, the Steelers split the series with the Bengals and Ravens and that will likely happen again. The Steelers are also fortunate to be playing the Patriots at home this season, which gives them an increased chance of victory. Tricky away games against the Dolphins, Colts, Eagles, and Redskins might spell some trouble but the team should be able to come away victorious from most (if not all) of these games. This years schedule feels very comparable to the 2011 season when the team also went 12-4. If that ends up being the case, let’s just hope that the playoff outcome is much different (2011 was the year that Tim Tebow ended the Steelers season on one overtime throw *cringe*).

I will touch base after the draft after the teams change their roster and improve collectively. As it stands right now, though, it should be another successful and exciting year in the Steel City for the Steelers and fans alike.

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