Since the 2021 NFL schedules were released, we’ve seen a plethora of predictions, speculations, and wild hot takes. Therefore, I figured it’d be fun to join the party.
We all know the Pittsburgh Steelers’ difficulty of schedule and the mountain they need to climb to make it into the playoffs. We know the Steelers are coming off an ugly Wild Card home game loss to the Cleveland Browns after losing 4 of their last 5 games of the season. I may be biased, but it seems like everything is going against the Steelers to succeed in 2021. But let’s think back to 2008. You can copy every comment and article from the 2008 preseason any apply it to this year; and we all remember what happened on February 1st, 2009 in Tampa Bay, Florida, right? That entire season was filled with tons of doubt in the Steelers, doubt in Head Coach Mike Tomlin, injuries, crucial games, and major victories. So from where we sit today, what are going to be a few regular season games that are going to be the most crucial, extremely competitive, and victorious for the Steelers in 2021? Without further ado, let’s dive in.
(Listed in order of when they play in the season)
Seattle Seahawks at Pittsburgh Steelers, Week 6, October 17th, 2021
8:20 PM EST, NBC
Steelers: 31, Seahawks: 27
This is that “extra” game the league added to the Steelers’ schedule with the 18-week expansion. There is no denying the Seahawks are going to be a good team in 2021. Russell Wilson always comes to play and DK Metcalf is, well, DK Metcalf. This will be the Steelers’ first primetime game, while the Seahawks will be coming off a Thursday night home game. Looking at the schedule, I see this game as one of those “we don’t know how big that game is until week 18” games. After a “tune up” game against the Denver Broncos in Week 5, I see the Steelers coming out hard on Sunday night and go into their Week 7 bye week with a victory.
Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers, Week 13, December 5th, 2021
4:25 PM EST, CBS
Steelers: 23, Ravens: 21
Of course I had to have Ravens week on this list. This matchup will be their first of the season, and it comes in the form of a late, snowy afternoon game at Heinz Field. By the time the Steelers and Ravens meet, both teams would have had their respective bye weeks and are making the turn into the final stretch of the season to secure a playoff spot. Lucky for us, the Ravens lost some key talent, as the Steelers have reloaded. We know these games are always big, but seeing as though this is the first game in December, in an extremely competitive AFC North division, this is clearly a must-win for the Steelers. After seeing December 2020, I think the Steelers will get back to their ways and unleash hell in December 2021; and that starts against the Ravens.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs, Week 16, December 26th, 2021
4:25 PM EST, CBS
Steelers: 27, Chiefs: 24
There is no doubt this is going to be one of the toughest games of the Steelers’ season. Any time the Steelers go into Arrowhead Stadium, especially late in the season, you know it is going to be a battle. The Chiefs are currently favored in almost every game this season and are the favorites to win Super Bowl LVI. As far as the Steelers are concerned, this is a playoff game. The offense will need to ride on the shoulders of Najee Harris to keep Patrick Mahomes on the sideline, and the secondary will need to be ready for a track meet. Analysts see this game as being a blowout in favor of the Chiefs, but I disagree. The Steelers will come into this game hungry and will look to play spoiler in the Chiefs playoff plans. I should also note the Steelers are 8-4 against the Chiefs since 2001 and 4-3 at Arrowhead Stadium in that same stretch. Don’t chalk this game up as a loss just yet.
What do you think the Steelers’ biggest games will be in 2021? Let us know in the comments below!