The 2021 NFL schedule releases Wednesday evening. As usual, that should make for an interesting event. There is something magical about finally putting dates and an order to all 272 games. For the Pittsburgh Steelers, specifically, they will play nine games at home in 2021, with their other eight being on the road. Within that, it will be interesting to see if they open at home in Week 1 for the first time since 2014. If they do play their Week 1 game at home, I think there’s a decent chance that game will be on Monday night and against the Cleveland Browns.
A Steelers Week 1 home Monday night game against the Browns would make sense for several reasons. For starters, it would be rematch of last year’s AFC Super Wild Card game between the two teams. Who amongst us wouldn’t want to see that right out of the chute? Not only were there 85 total points scored in that Browns’ win over the Steelers at Heinz Field, the two teams combined to produce 943 net yards of offense.
So, why Monday night in Pittsburgh? As I mentioned above, the last time the Steelers opened a regular season at home was in 2014 against the Browns. It’s long overdue that the team plays at home in Week 1. Second, the Pittsburgh Pirates are hosting the Washington Nationals that Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, so if the Steelers are to have a Week 1 home game, one would think the NFL would not want to conflict with that series.
The Steelers and Browns have met each other five times in total in Week 1 contests dating back to 1999, with four of those affairs played in Cleveland. That’s yet another reason why it would make sense for the Steelers to finally host the Browns in Week 1, if indeed the two teams are chosen to play each other to start the 2021 season.
We’ll see if the NFL continues to have two Monday night games once again to open Week 1. If they do, a Steelers versus Browns matchup leading off this year’s expected doubleheader should be a ratings bonanza. After all, who wouldn’t want to tune in to see Steelers rookie running back Najee Harris make his NFL debut against the Browns?
We’ll find out for sure who the Steelers will open their 2021 season against and where on Wednesday. I’m hoping that schedule drop includes the Browns playing in Pittsburgh in Week 1 on Monday night.