At this time last year, the Pittsburgh Steelers faced the most difficult schedule in the league. With road trips to Seattle, Kansas City and New England, it looked like a very difficult road to hoe for a team with a defense facing a number of questions.
One year later, the Steelers were able to negotiate that schedule and despite injuries to numerous key players, they were able to make the postseason. While the official schedule isn’t out and won’t arrive until later this spring, we do know the opponents and we know where we will play them. Here’s a look at some interesting tidbits about the Steelers’ 2016 schedule.
Based on win-loss record of 2015, the Steelers’ opponents for 2016 finished a combined 121-135.
Of the Steelers’ 13 different opponents, four will have new head coaches (Philadelphia, NY Giants, Miami and Cleveland).
Six of the opponents had records under .500 while two (Buffalo and Indianapolis) finished with 8-8 records.
Four of their 2016 opponents made the 2015 postseason (New England, Washington, Cincinnati and Kansas City).
It’s possible that three of the teams (Philadelphia, Buffalo and NY Jets) could have different starting quarterbacks than they did this past year.
Non-Divisional Road Games: The Steelers are 12-20-3 all-time in Washington and have won just once in their last five visits… In Indianapolis, the Steelers are 3-2 and hold a 7-4 lead all-time versus the Colts… In Philly, the Steelers are just 9-26-2 all-time and have lost eight straight there dating back to 1965… In Miami, the Steelers are 6-8 all-time but they’ve four of their last five their… In Buffalo, the Steelers are 5-7 all-time but they’ve won three in a row.
Non-Divisional Home Games. The Steelers lead 9-7 all-time at home against the Dallas Cowboys and have lost three of their last four… Against the NY Giants, the Steelers are 13-22-3. Amazingly, the NYG have only played in Heinz Field one time and only twice in Three Rivers Stadium… The Steelers lead the NY Jets 9-1 all-time in games played at home. The all-time series favors the Steelers 19-5… The Steelers are 15-13 all-time versus New England and hold an 11-8 advantage at home. Dating back to 2002, the Steelers are just 2-4 at home… Against the Chiefs, the Steelers hold a 20-11 advantage all-time and have won 10 of 14 games played in the Steel City. Pittsburgh has won five straight at home in the series.
Divisional Away Games. The Steelers lead the all-time series with the Ravens 24-20. The Ravens hold an 11-9 advantage in Baltimore… In Cincinnati, the Steelers lead the series 28-19 and have won 15 of their last 17 against the Bengals. All-time, the Steelers hold a 58-35 advantage… Against the Browns, the Steelers lead 70-58 all-time but trail 17-26 in Cleveland.
Divisional Home Games. Pittsburgh holds a 15-9 advantage against the Ravens at home. Baltimore has won four of the last six games in Pittsburgh however… The Steelers are 30-16 lifetime at home against the Bengals. They have split the last four games in Heinz Field however… When playing the Browns in Pittsburgh, the Steelers hold a 44-21 advantage and have won 12 straight games dating back to 2003.
While this schedule doesn’t appear to be nearly as daunting as last year’s, tread lightly. These things are always fluid because of free agency, the draft, coaching changes and injuries. Very likely some of these teams will not be what they are right now and that could mean directions which are both positive and negative.