The Steelers begin life without Ben Roethlisberger in the 2022 NFL season.
Pittsburgh squeaked into the playoffs with a 9-7-1 record in 2021, and will gear up for another run through a hyper-competitive AFC North division. Coach Mike Tomlin enters his 16th season, and there is a three-way quarterback battle among Mitchell Trubisky, Mason Rudolph and rookie Kenny Pickett, who was selected with the No. 20 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.
The 2022 schedule isn’t easy outside of the division. A few old rivals will visit Heinz Field, and Pittsburgh will have an extra road game with the 17-game schedule. The Steelers are currently picked to finish last in the division, according to odds at Sports Interaction.
How will the Steelers respond? Sporting News takes a closer look at their schedule:
Steelers schedule 2022
The Steelers’ schedule will be announced as part of the NFL’s schedule release on Thursday, May 12. Below is a look at the matchups. The table will be updated when those matchups are announced.
- Home: Ravens, Bengals, Browns, Patriots, Jets, Raiders, Saints, Buccaneers
- Away: Ravens, Bengals, Browns, Bills, Dolphins, Colts, Falcons, Panthers, Eagles
Pittsburgh has a second-place schedule after reaching the AFC wild-card round last season. The AFC East and NFC South are on the schedule this year, and the extra game is the in-state battle at Philadelphia. That second-place schedule means games against AFC playoff teams in Las Vegas and Indianapolis.
The Steelers have 10 games against teams that won at least nine games in 2021.
Steelers strength of schedule
The Steelers have the 12th-most difficult schedule in the NFL. Their 2022 opponents finished with a 148-141 record, a winning percentage of .512.
Pittsburgh has four of the other six AFC playoff teams from last season on the schedule. The Steelers get Cincinnati in a home-and-home series, New England and Las Vegas at home and a road game at Buffalo.
Toughest Tests: It’s not just the AFC playoff teams on the schedule. Pittsburgh has to play fringe contenders from last season in Indianapolis and Miami on the road. The Colts will be an improved team with Matt Ryan under center.
Pittsburgh has lost nine straight games at Philadelphia, a streak that dates back to 1965. Tomlin also is 0-3 against the Saints.
Of course, there is also the matchup against Tampa Bay. Tom Brady had a 9-3 career record as a starter against the Steelers during his time with New England.
Biggest Breaks: The Steelers are 6-0 against the Falcons and Panthers under Tomlin, and those road games could have a large contingent of Steelers fans in attendance.
The home schedule isn’t easy, but the Jets are another one the Steelers have to get. New York was 1-6 on the road last season.
Heinz Field was a decisive advantage with Roethlisberger at quarterback. Whoever starts at under center will need to establish that in his first year as a full-time starter.
Bottom Line: Roethlisberger also was dominant within the AFC North. He had a 67-22-1 record as a starter against the Ravens, Browns and Bengals, a .750 winning percentage that won’t be easy to match.
The Steelers did finish 4-2 in the division last year despite getting swept by the Bengals. Joe Burrow, Lamar Jackson and Deshaun Watson have combined for a 4-5 record against Pittsburgh, but that was with Big Ben on the other sideline.
If Pittsburgh wants to stay in the AFC North race, it has to be .500 or better in the division again. Tomlin has a knack for overachieving with his teams, and they’ve never had a losing season under his watch. Will this be the first one? It’s right on the line either way.
Record Prediction: 9-8