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Pittsburgh Steelers 2020 Schedule Analysis

Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh Steelers Football

Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh Steelers Football

The 2020 NFL schedule for the Pittsburgh Steelers was released on Thursday night. Coach Mike Tomlin’s squad aims to rebound after an injury-filled 8-8 campaign last year and push Baltimore atop the AFC North or return the playoffs with a wild-card berth. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is back after missing nearly all of 2019 due to an elbow injury, and the defense is expected to pick up where it left off last year as one of the best in the league.

Pittsburgh is slated to open the 2020 season on Sept. 14 against the Giants on "Monday Night Football." The Steelers will open their home slate with a matchup against the Broncos on Sept. 20. Tomlin’s team is slated to play four of its first six games at home.

Here are a few takeaways from the Steelers’ schedule in 2020:

Primetime Matchups

As expected, Pittsburgh’s schedule features its share of primetime matchups. The Steelers open at the Giants on Sept. 14 and return to Monday night on Dec. 21 at Cincinnati. Pittsburgh will make two appearances on "Sunday Night Football." The first matchup takes place on Nov. 26 on Thanksgiving night for a showdown with the Ravens in the Steel City The Steelers return to Sunday night action on Dec. 13 at Buffalo.

Tough Start

The Steelers will play four playoff teams from 2019 in the first seven games of the season. That stretch includes a home date against Houston and an Oct. 25 road trip to Baltimore.

Playoff Positioning on the Road?

If Pittsburgh is in the mix for a playoff spot, Tomlin’s team will have to earn it on the road. The Steelers play three teams – Bills, Bengals and Browns – away from Heinz Field over their final four contests. Additionally, the only home date in that stretch is a Dec. 27 matchup against Indianapolis – potentially the early favorite in the AFC South.

Myles Garrett’s Return

It’s no secret what transpired between the Steelers and Browns on a Thursday night game in Cleveland last year. Following last season’s scuffle, Browns defensive end Myles Garrett was suspended for the remainder of the 2019 campaign. But he’s slated to return in 2020 and you can bet a hostile crowd in the Steel City will be ready for this showdown between the Browns and Steelers on Oct. 18.

Watt vs. Watt

Brothers T.J. (Steelers) and J.J. (Texans) will meet when these two teams square off on Sept. 27.

Keystone State Showdown

The Eagles and Steelers will resume their battle for in-state bragging rights on Oct. 11. These two teams have not met since 2016 and have played just three times since 2008 in the regular season. The last four meetings have split at two victories apiece.

Easy Schedule?

Injuries, personnel and coaching changes, along with draft picks and player development can significantly alter how a team performs from one year to the next. However, it’s notable the Steelers have one of the easiest schedules in the league. Using 2019 wins and losses, Pittsburgh’s opponents went 117-139 and had a winning percentage of .457 last year.

The complete 2020 Pittsburgh Steelers schedule:

Sept. 14 at New York Giants

Sept. 20 Denver

Sept. 27 Houston

Oct. 4 at Tennessee

Oct. 11 Philadelphia

Oct. 18 Cleveland

Oct. 25 at Baltimore

Nov. 8 at Dallas

Nov. 15 Cincinnati

Nov. 22 at Jacksonville

Nov. 26 Baltimore

Dec. 6 Washington

Dec. 13 at Buffalo

Dec. 21 at Cincinnati

Dec. 27 Indianapolis

Jan. 3 at Cleveland