The Pittsburgh Steelers just missed the playoffs in 2019 after an 8-8 season, but the return of veteran quarterback Ben Roethlisberger should provide a lift in the AFC North in 2020.
Baltimore has won the AFC North the last two seasons with Lamar Jackson, and that is the biggest hurdle for Pittsburgh to climb in order to get back to the postseason. The Steelers haven’t missed the playoffs in three consecutive seasons since 1998-2000. Mike Tomlin will try to get the team back against a schedule that features the NFC East and AFC South.
Here is a complete breakdown of the Pittsburgh Steelers Football’ 2020 schedule, including dates and start times for all 16 games and our early prediction.
Pittsburgh Steelers Schedule
|1||Sept. 14||vs Giants (MNF)||7:15 p.m. ET||ESPN|
|2||Sept. 20||vs Broncos||1 p.m. ET||CBS|
|3||Sept. 27||vs Texans||1 p.m. ET||CBS|
|4||Oct. 4||vs Titans||1 p.m. ET||CBS|
|5||Oct. 11||vs Eagles||1 p.m. ET||Fox|
|6||Oct. 18||vs Browns||1 p.m. ET||CBS|
|7||Oct. 25||vs Ravens||1 p.m. ET||CBS|
|9||Nov. 8||vs Cowboys||4:25 p.m. ET||CBS|
|10||Nov. 15||vs Bengals||1 p.m. ET||Fox|
|11||Nov. 22||vs Jaguars||1 p.m. ET||CBS|
|12||Nov. 26||vs Ravens (Thanksgiving)||8:20 p.m. ET||NBC|
|13||Dec. 6||vs Redskins||1 p.m. ET||Fox|
|14||Dec. 13||vs Bills (SNF)||8:20 p.m. ET||NBC|
|15||Dec. 21||vs Bengals (MNF)||8:15 p.m. ET||ESPN|
|16||Dec. 27||vs Colts||1 p.m. ET||CBS|
|17||Jan. 3||vs Browns||1 p.m. ET||CBS|
The Steelers also are scheduled to open the preseason with the Hall of Fame Game against Dallas in Canton on Aug. 6.
The Ravens are the biggest challenge, but the only other teams on the schedule that won double-digit games in 2019 are Buffalo and Houston.
Pittsburgh should be able to take advantage of the softer schedule in 2020.
Steelers strength of schedule
The Steelers have the second-easiest schedule by record. Their opponents had a combined 117-139 record for a .457 winning percentage last season.
Seven games on Pittsburgh’s schedule are against teams that won six games or less in 2019. That includes the usual four-game stretch against the Bengals and Browns.
Despite the two-year playoff drought, Pittsburgh is still 6-1-1 against Cincinnati and Cleveland.
Toughest tests: The road schedule has just one indoor game at Dallas, and that likely is a nationally-televised game. Baltimore, Tennessee and Buffalo were all playoff teams last season, and those game will carry more weight in the AFC race.
The Bills and Titans, however, were both just .500 teams at home in the regular season last year. Those are games Pittsburgh can steal.
Biggest breaks: Houston and Indianapolis both visit Heinz Field, and those teams combined for a 6-10 record on the road last season. Philadelphia won the NFC East last season, but the Steelers have won three of the last four against the Eagles at home in the rare in-state battle.
The Steelers also avoid Mile High Stadium with the Broncos coming to Pittsburgh.
Bottom line: The games with Baltimore will determine the division, but the Steelers can’t look past the tests with Cleveland and Cincinnati within the division.
Lamar Jackson beat the Steelers twice last season, and it will be interesting to see what Pittsburgh’s response in that rivalry is.
The schedule is set up for Pittsburgh to be re-established as a playoff contender. Keep in mind they would have made it last season if the new seven-team rule were in effect.
Ben Roethlisberger turned 38 in the offseason. If he does not lead Pittsburgh to the postseason, then it will be interesting to see what kind of changes come about.
Record prediction: 9-7