While there might be an NFL Lockout right now that doesn't mean there won't be a 2011 season. Tonight all the NFL schedules were released on a two hour show on the NFL network. Here is what the 2011 Steelers schedule looks like:
Sunday, September 11 (1:00 p.m.): Steelers at Ravens
Sunday, September 18 (1:00 p.m.): Seahawks at Steelers
Sunday, September 25 (8:20 p.m.): Steelers at Colts
Sunday, October 2 (1:00 p.m.): Steelers at Texans
Sunday, October 9 (1:00 p.m.): Titans at Steelers
Sunday, October 16 (1:00 p.m.): Jaguars at Steelers
Sunday, October 23 (4:05 p.m.): Steelers at Cardinals
Sunday, October 30 (4:15 p.m.): Patriots at Steelers
Sunday, November 6 (8:20 p.m.): Ravens at Steelers
Sunday, NOvember 13 (1:00 p.m.): Steelers at Bengals
Sunday, November 20 (Week 11): BYE WEEK
Sunday, November 27 (8:20 p.m.): Steelers at Chiefs
Sunday, December 4 (1:00 p.m.): Bengals at Steelers
Thursday, December 8 (8:20 p.m.): Browns at Steelers
Monday, December 19 (8:30 p.m.): Steelers at 49ers
Saturday, December 24 (1:00 p.m.): Rams at Steelers
Sunday, January 1 (1:00 p.m.): Steelers at Browns
-The first thing you notice that right off the bat the Steelers are going to have to be ready. They start the season off in fine fashion when they travel to Baltimore to play the Ravens. I am not going to lie I was kind of shocked to see that this was going to be a week one game, but whatever. If you can't get up for the start of the season AND a Ravens game then you don't even have a pulse. Bring it.
-We all knew this was going to happen, but the Steelers have to make a few west coast trips this year. Week seven they are going to Arizona and week 15 they are going to travel to San Franciso for a Monday night game. The Steelers typically have problems going west, but who knows. Both games are spaced out so this shouldn't be too big of a deal.
-Most people might look at the start of the season and think it is brutal from playing the Ravens and the Colts in the first three weeks but as I was looking this over the worst part of the schedule is going to be the last four or five weeks of the season. Traditionally the teams the Steelers play then aren't tough teams (Browns, Rams, 49ers, Bengals) but look at what they have to do. Week 13 they play at home against the Bengals, a division game. They then get a short week to play the Browns on Thursday night football, another divisional game. They then get an extended week before their Monday night game with the 49ers before getting another short week playing the Rams. Luckily three of those four games are at home, but in the NFL getting into a routine is huge and to be so scattered with days off between games it will be very interesting to see how the Steelers handle that.
-This year the Steelers get a week 11 bye week. Last year it was week five. I like where this lies in the Steelers schedule. The later the bye week the better. It is pretty well known that the Steelers are an older team and having a bye week as early as last year really doesn't do a lot for them. The bye is past the halfway point of the season and at a time where the older guys are going to need a full week off in preparation for the stretch run. I like this a lot.
-The Steelers play on prime time five times this season. They play on Sunday night football three times (week three at the Colts, week nine hosting the Ravens, week 12 at the Chiefs) on Thursday night football one time (hosting the Browns week 14) and Monday night football one time (traveling to San Fransico week 15).
-There are some really big games on the schedule outside of anything on NBC or ESPN. The Steelers play the Patriots at Heinz during week eight. This is huge game after what they did to the Steelers last season and you know that Heinz Field is already ready for these games. Another underrated game for the Steelers is when they travel to Kansas City after the bye week. I think Arrowhead is one of the toughest places in the NFL to play and the Steelers have to go there for Sunday night football. It is going to be an electric atmosphere.
-What do yinz think abotu the schedule? Let me know in the comments!