Cam Heyward Excited To Finally Have A Week One Home Game

Cam Heyward isn’t the biggest fan of the NFL’s yearly schedule release. Don’t tell him your game-by-game win/loss predictions. But he’s excited about one aspect of the Steelers’ 2023 slate. Pittsburgh’s Week One home drought is finally broken, and for the first time in almost a decade, the Steelers won’t be travelling to begin their season.

Heyward gave an overview of Pittsburgh’s schedule on the latest episode of his Not Just Football podcast.

“It’s been a decade since we’ve had our first home game to open a season,” Heyward shared on the NFL on ESPN YouTube channel. “I’m looking forward to it.”

The last time Pittsburgh kicked off a season at home came back in 2014. That day, they held on to beat the Cleveland Browns 30-27, blowing a 27-3 lead and needing Shaun Suisham to hit a 41-yard field goal as time expired to win. Heyward reflected on that game and how Pittsburgh’s defense tired out by the offense’s first-half surge.

“The thing I hated about that game was, we were scoring so freaking fast, that the defense got worn out” he said. “It’s cool when your offense is scoring but you want them to have long drives. I felt like, Le’Veon was scoring a bunch, AB was scoring a bunch…whew, it’s gonna be one of those days.”

The trio of QB Brian Hoyer, RB Terrance West, and WR Andrew Hawkins nearly did enough to complete the comeback but Pittsburgh did enough to hang on. For Heyward and the Steelers, that drought is broken by the team’s Week One home matchup against the San Francisco 49ers this September. A tough opponent but Heyward is happy to play in front of the home crowd to start his year.

“Ten years with no opening game at home is kinda crazy.”

Pittsburgh will start its season with two straight home games, the first time that’s happened since 1997 and only the fourth time since 1970. The other two seasons came in the 70s, 1973 and 1977.

The Steelers’ nine-season streak was one of the longest since the merger. Thankfully, they didn’t come close to the record, held by the Arizona Cardinals, who started an incredible 17 straight seasons on the road from 1988 to 2005. They’ll be starting 2023 on the East Coast, at Washington for the first game of the year.

Catch the full episode of Heyward’s podcast below.

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