Having 5 primetime games will help Steelers through schedule in 2021

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (19) Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (19) Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports /

The Pittsburgh Steelers are slated to have the toughest schedule in 2021. 

At the same time, the NFL did the Pittsburgh Steelers a favor by giving them 5 primetime games. It is a smart move, Pittsburgh will have a roster that should make every game we play competitive coming into the season. Things like injuries can affect the team’s play as we saw down the stretch in 2020, but the Steelers will be the real deal again next year.

If you’re wondering what that has to do with prime-time games, it’s simply because Pittsburgh plays tremendously well in primetime. Heading into 2020 the Steelers were 15-2 on Monday night games under Mike Tomlin. After 2020 the Steelers moved to 16-3. To be fair, their Monday night loss to the Bengals was fielding a team dealing with a plethora of injuries. James Conner and Vince Williams also missed the game due to Covid-19.

I’m not trying to make excuses for that loss, but the point still stands. Mike Tomlin’s team usually wins in primetime. The Steelers make a point to fill their roster with players who love to compete against the best night in and night out. The opportunity to do that while being broadcasted across the entire country is only going to energize the team even more.

Primetime games are incredibly important to players across the NFL. There was as much outrage from the team about losing their thanksgiving primetime slot as there was about the Steelers bye week being moved to Week 4. Teams across the league get excited for their games to be broadcasted nationwide and these games are when a lot of stars shine brightest.

I am not going to be naive enough to say the Steelers will win all of their primetime games. However, they should win the majority of them. Few teams in the NFL play, as well as the Steelers, do when everyone is watching.  Their primetime opponents in 2021 are the Seahawks, Bears, Chargers, Vikings, and Browns. These would all be winnable games regardless of time slot, but I give Pittsburgh the advantage in all of them on nationally broadcasted TV.

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Hear me now, while others are complaining about the strength of schedule, keep this thought in the back of your mind. I really believe we will upset a few teams next season. I would be surprised if Pittsburgh doesn’t shock the league a few times in primetime slots as well.