Steelers 2022 schedule release: Pittsburgh has a brutal task early in the season

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) evades Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Cameron Heyward (97).Pittsburgh Steelers At Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) evades Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Cameron Heyward (97).Pittsburgh Steelers At Cincinnati Bengals /

The full 2022 NFL schedules have officially been released. Here’s why the Pittsburgh Steelers drew the short straw to begin the season. 

We’ve known the opponents the Pittsburgh Steelers were going to face for a while now. We even knew which games were going to be home and away. What we didn’t know prior to Thursday evening, however, is the order in which things would shake out.

For those who view schedule release day like the NFL Draft, that wait is finally over. But if you were hoping relaxing, cookie-cutter start to the season, you’re in for a bumpy ride.

According to opponents’ records in 2021, the Steelers have the 12th-hardest strength of schedule in the NFL this year. This is something that is obviously subject to change. While we can be encouraged that it’s not any worse than that, it won’t be easy to start the season. Here’s a look at the full schedule release:

This schedule looks pretty tough across the board on paper, but the early stretch of games has me a bit worried. As we have seen in the past, a rough start can be hard to recover from.

Steelers 2022 schedule is brutal early on

Despite not hosting a home game to start the season since 2014, the Steelers will once again kick off their season on the road… and do they ever have a daunting task ahead of them. Pittsburgh will be traveling to Cincinnati to face Joe Burrow and the defending AFC champions in Week 1.

Last year, Pittsburgh was not only swept by the Bengals in the regular season, but they also embarrassed on the road against Cincinnati in a 41-10 blowout loss.

I like the Steelers chances better in Week 2, but they are far from guaranteed a win. After playing the Bengals on the road, Mike Tomlin’s team will host Bill Belichick’s New England Patriots. New England finished the 2021 season with a record of 10-7 — just ahead of the 9-7-1 Steelers.

In Week 3, the Steelers will once again be on the road — this time against the Cleveland Browns. It’s unknown whether or not QB Deshaun Watson will be available for this game, but if he is, this could be a very difficult task.

With one of the youngest offenses in the NFL void of almost any notable veteran presence, pulling off some of these tough games early in the season could be a challenge. Pittsburgh could be facing three very competent quarterbacks early in the season, yet we don’t even know who our starter will be at this point.

If Pittsburgh can weather the storm and get past that rough stretch early, they might fare pretty well this year. However, a 1-2 or even 0-3 start could prove to be catastrophic to this team.

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The Steelers are at the start of a new post-Ben Roethlisberger era in Pittsburgh, and we know that there are going to be some growing pains. After the 2022 NFL schedule release, we know this team is going to have to hit the ground running.