The Pittsburgh Steelers list of 2021 opponents has been known since the 2020 season ended and If you subscribe to the NFL strength of schedule principle based on previous year records, the team will have the toughest of them all in 2021 based on 16 games and their slated opponents.
In total, the Steelers are currently set to play seven different teams in 2021 that made the playoffs in 2020. Those seven teams are the Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns, Chicago Bears, Tennessee Titans, Buffalo Bills Green Bay Packers and Kansas City Chiefs. Additionally, and obviously, the Steelers will play the Ravens and Browns twice in 2021 says that’s a total of nine games against teams that made the 2020 playoffs.
It’s also been highly speculated and reported that if the NFL goes to a 17-game schedule in 2021 that the result of that could be the Steelers playing the Seattle Seahawks as their extra game. The Seahawks also made the playoffs in 2020 after registering a regular season record of 12-4.
With the Steelers being an AFC North team, it’s no wonder that the Ravens, Browns and Cinninciniti Bengals all rank in the top-nine of strength of schedule in 2021. The four teams will play most of the same opponents in 2021 other than games each has against AFC East and AFC South teams, which are determined by order of finish within respective divisions in 2020.
If it’s of any consolation, the Steelers faced the toughest strength of schedule in 2008 as well and that team went on to win the Super Bowl that season after recording a regular season record of 12-4.
While we know the teams the Steelers will face in 2021, the overall schedule and order in which they will play those 16 or 17 contests will not be known until the league makes their annual announcement in either late April or early May. The Steelers have opened on the road the last six seasons. The last time they opened a regular season at home was in 2014 against the Browns.