The Pittsburgh Steelers have several pressing questions facing them as they prepare to enter the 2020 season. Will Ben Roethlisberger return to form after missing most of last season following elbow surgery? Will JuJu Smith-Schuster and James Conner rebound from disappointing 2019 campaigns? Will Pittsburgh’s defense, a dominant unit a season ago, take another step towards becoming the NFL’s premier unit? These questions, among others, will ultimately be answered as the 2020 season unfolds.
What we can answer for you is exactly how the Steelers schedule will play out — week by week. Below, we’ll break down the 2020 schedule by week and pinpoint all of the primetime games to keep an eye on. We’ll also dive into the Steelers’ strength of schedule, and more. Without further ado, let’s dive right into it.
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2020 schedule Week 1, Sept. 14: at Giants (Monday Night Football), 8:15 p.m., ESPN Week 2, Sept. 20: vs. Broncos, 1 p.m., CBS Week 3, Sept. 27: vs. Texans, 1 p.m., CBS Week 4, Oct. 4: at Titans, 1 p.m., CBS Week 5, Oct. 11: vs. Eagles, 1 p.m., FOX Week 6, Oct. 18: vs. Browns, 1 p.m., CBS Week 7, Oct. 25: at Ravens, 1 p.m., CBS Week 8: BYE Week 9, Nov. 8: at Cowboys, 4:25 p.m., CBS Week 10, Nov. 15: vs. Bengals, 1 p.m., FOX Week 11, Nov. 22: at Jaguars, 1 p.m., CBS Week 12, Nov. 26: vs. Ravens (Thursday Night Football, Thanksgiving), 8:20 p.m., NBC Week 13, Dec. 6: vs. Redskins, 1 p.m., FOX Week 14, Dec. 13: at Bills (Sunday Night Football), 8:20 p.m., NBC Week 15, Dec. 21: at Bengals (Monday Night Football), 8:15 p.m., ESPN Week 16, Dec. 27: vs Colts, 1 p.m., CBS Week 17, Jan. 3: at Browns, 1 p.m., CBS Home opener
The Steelers will open the home portion of their schedule against the Broncos in Week 2. Pittsburgh is 10-3 home openers under head coach Mike Tomlin but 0-2 in their last two home openers, falling to Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs in 2018 and against Russell Wilson and the Seahawks last season.
Pittsburgh’s Week 3-7 matchups may be their toughest stretch, with four games against 2019 playoff teams and another game against the AFC North rival Browns. Fortunately for the Steelers, three of these games will be at home at Heinz Field. Pittsburgh will also get a well-deserved bye after this stretch before heading to Dallas to face the Cowboys in Week 9.
As noted above in the schedule breakdown, the Steelers will be playing four primetime games in 2020. They will have three on the road and one at home. In 2019, the Steelers played in six primetime games that included four times in their first seven games. A historically good team on primetime, the Steelers went 3-3 in such games last season, defeating the Bengals, Chargers and Dolphins but dropping contests against the Patriots, Browns and Bills.
Strength of schedule
Earlier this offseason, John Breech broke down the 2020 strength of schedule for all 32 NFL teams based on combined opponent winning percentage in 2019. The Steelers will face the second-easiest strength of schedule in 2020. For a complete look at every team’s strength of schedule, check out Breech’s breakdown here.
However, when basing strength of schedule on the over/under win totals for each team’s opponents during the 2020 season at William Hill, the Steelers go from facing the second-easiest schedule in the league to facing the ninth-easiest. For a complete look at every team’s strength of schedule using this methodology, check out Jared Dubin’s full breakdown here.