If you look at the Steelers schedule and break it down like I have across the board it really sets up well all the way around not just early on but pretty much all season long just in terms of who we play,when we play them,what time of the year,and yes the time of day even as well. We have two stretches where we have 3 of 5 games at home in September early October, followed by a 4 of 5 stretch of games at home from early November to early December.
I really like the Steelers to start off at the very worst 4-1 maybe even 5-0 based on what I see these first five weeks of the season. Cleveland I think will not be a cakewalk by any means but if the Steelers show up and play like they are capable of playing in the end they are a better team then the Browns across the board and that should be enough to make them win that first game down there. We should take care of Buffalo in the home opener based on the fact that it will be the first game at home and Buffalo really isnt that good of a team to begin with. The 49ers will be a tough game I think as well because they are definitely an improved team and could be a big surprise, but I like us to win this one again since we are playing at home, and the game is at 1 o clock here and if you look at games in the past of West Coast teams having to travel across country and play a 1 o clock game in the East they almost never do win. The Arizona game is the game where we could slip just based on the fact that we will be facing Whiz and Grimm and it will be a tough road game and that me might be due to lose a game if we are 3-0. But I still wont rule out the fact that we will not win that game because we definitely can and probably should. The Seattle game will be here and it will be an emotional game based on the Super Bowl rematch from 2 years ago. But like I said above with the Niners game its a West Coast team coming in to play an early 1 o clock game in the East, and Seattle isnt a very good road team to begin with so I think that should be enough to let us win that game as well.
The other stretch I mentioned with the 4 of 5 at home 3 of those 4 are primetime games against the Ravens and Dolphins on Monday night, and the Bengals on Sunday night in early December. The Steelers rarely lose Primetime games at home and with 2 of them being against are biggest division rivals, and the other one being against a warm weather team in Miami coming in here to play the week after Thanksgiving we should be able to win all 3 of those games but they definitely wont be easy. The only stretch that worries me is the last 3 out of 4 on the road at the Pats,Rams,and Ravens, and after the bye week at the end of October playing back to back week on the road in Denver and Cincy. If we can lets say win 3 out of those 5 road games which we can definitely do then we should be in very good shape to not only get into the playoffs, but for sure win this division and compete for a bye week or homefield. Cincy and Baltimore's schedule is definitely tougher especially early on compared to the Steelers schedule. Baltimore plays Cincy Week 1 Monday night so one of them right there already will be 0-1. As I mentioned the fact that we dont play Baltimore or Cincy until October 28th 7 games into the season it should set us up very well to be in first place going into that game in Cincy based on who we play the first 5-6 games. Both Baltimore and Cincy have a lot of tough games early on especially Cincy. And as I mentioned both play each other Week 1 so that will already give one of them a Loss with many more tough games upcoming.
The bottom line is this the Steelers are facing pretty much two MUST win games the first two games of the season at Cleveland and here against the Bills. Both of these teams are very very beatable and are not better then the Steelers when you break it down. The Steelers absolutely cannot lay an egg to one of these 2 teams to start the year. If they do its going to set up a much tougher stretch the next 3 with the Niners,Zona,and Seattle,and plus the two stretches where we play Denver and Cincy on the road back to back weeks, and the 3 out of 4 on the road at the end of the year in December. I really like the Steelers with this schedule as I mentioned when I break it down to win either 11 or 12 games if they can stay healthy under the leadership of Tomlin, and a much better Ben Roethlisberger. And if you can win 11 or 12 games in this division this year especially with the kind of schedule Baltimore and Cincy has all year long it will definitely win you the division. But like I said the Steelers cannot afford to come out of the gate and lose a game to either the Browns or the Bills. Both of these games are really MUST win games.