Steelers Boast Toughest Schedule In The NFL In 2021, Can They Overcome It To Be Successful?

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Last season, the Pittsburgh Steelers began the year playing teams they should have beaten with relative ease, teams such as the Giants, Texans, Eagles and Cowboys.

They built confidence as the season progressed, and despite all the distractions with games being pushed back and delayed due to the COVID-19 virus, they found themselves at 11-0 on the morning of December 3rd.

Life was good.

But not for long.

The air in the Steelers’ balloon popped quickly, and as fast as they stacked wins earlier in the year, they began stacking losses.

An upset loss at home to the Washington Football Team (though down 14-0, Washington won 23-17), was followed by a primetime loss to the Bills in Buffalo.

The team’s offense had grounded to a halt, and they needed a nearly miraculous comeback in the second half against the Indianapolis Colts to win the Week 16 affair at home and clinch the AFC North with a mark of 12-3.

The postseason was another story. The team found itself down 28-0 with 1:56 to play in the first quarter of the Wild Card game at home against rival Cleveland.

The end result – a 48-37 setback – left a lot more questions than answers.

Now the Steelers want to forget about 2020 and look ahead to 2021 for what they hope will be a successful season.

The problem is, the Steelers’ slate is not very forgiving. Their schedule has a winning percentage of just .574.

In some regard, it could be good for the Steelers to play the best of the best from the start of the season, but that also doesn’t give them a lot of breathing room.

We know that in Week One, the Steelers and Bills will do battle in Buffalo, and then the black and gold come home for a Week Two game against Jon Gruden and the Las Vegas Raiders.

We will see whether the Steelers refuse to be intimidated by what they have to face and whether they can still be a force in the AFC North with the Browns and Ravens.

Written by Matt Loede

Matt has been a part of the Cleveland Sports landscape working in the media since 1994 when he graduated from broadcasting school. His coverage beats include the Cleveland Indians, Cleveland Browns and Cleveland Cavaliers. He's written three books, and won the "2020 AP Sports Stringer Lifetime Service Award."

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