Schefter: 2021 NFL Schedule Won’t Be Released Until After Draft

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While we have known who the Pittsburgh Steelers 2021 opponents will be since the 2020 regular season ended, we still don’t know the exact schedule of those 17 regular season contests. According to Adam Schefter of ESPN on Thursday, we won’t know the full 2021 NFL schedule until after the annual draft takes place.

“For the second straight year, the 2021 NFL schedule will be released after the draft, per source,” Schefter tweeted on Thursday. “Not that there was much of a question about it, but it’s now official. Draft, then schedule.”

Last year, the NFL didn’t release the official schedule for the 2020 regular season until May 7, a Thursday. That was exactly two weeks after the 2020 NFL Draft got underway. If the NFL follows the same release plan as last year, the 2021 NFL schedule release date is on May 13.

As already noted multiple times these last several weeks, the Steelers play nine games at home in 2021, and that includes their recently-added 17th extra game against the Seattle Seahawks. Thanks to the NFL’s rotating schedule, we’ve known for a while now that the Steelers will play the NFC North and AFC West divisions in 2021, in addition to their usual six games against the three teams within their own AFC North division: The Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, and Cleveland Browns.

In addition to those 15 games, we’ve known since the 2020 season ended that the Steelers will also play the Buffalo Bills and the Tennessee Titans in 2021, due to where those teams finished in the respective divisions. Like the Bills, the Steelers played the Titans during the 2020 season.

The Steelers’ six home game opponents outside the AFC North in 2021 will be against the Seahawks, Denver Broncos, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Las Vegas Raiders, and the Titans. Pittsburgh’s five road games outside the AFC North division in 2021 will be against the Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, and the Bills.

The Steelers also have the toughest schedule in the league in 2021 based on their opponents’ 2020 combined record of 155-115-2 (.574). It includes 10 games against 2020 playoff teams, when counting the Browns and Ravens twice.

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