NFL missed an easy chance to have Steelers open up the 2024 NFL season

It's hard to argue with this AFC matchup as the 2024 season opener, but the NFL missed a chance to make the Steelers relevant again.
Denver Broncos v Pittsburgh Steelers
Denver Broncos v Pittsburgh Steelers / Joe Sargent/GettyImages

Two days ahead of the 2024 NFL schedule release, football fans were informed of the game that will officially kick off the 2024 season. On May 13th, ESPN Insider Adam Schefter confirmed that the first contest of the regular season will be the Baltimore Ravens against the Kansas City Chiefs.

This game will take place in Kansas City and will be a rematch of arguably the best teams in the AFC from the 2023 season. The Ravens finished at the No. 1 seed with the lone first-round bye in the AFC playoffs, but the Chiefs (No. 3 seed) had the last laugh as they won their second consecutive Super Bowl.

While this is a highly-anticipated matchup, I can't help but feel that the NFL missed an opportunity by not showcasing the new-look Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 1.

NFL missed a chance to make the Steelers relevant again

Pittsburgh has mostly been an irrelevant team since the final years of Ben Roethlisberger, but the league could have painted this high-market franchise in a new light. With an abundance of storylines to choose from, the biggest is the battle at quarterback between a former Super Bowl champion (Russell Wilson) and the polarizing talent with rare physical gifts (Justin Fields). This is something that the NFL could feed on.

The perfect season-opener would have been the Steelers on the road against the Denver Broncos. While Denver doesn't offer the most appealing roster, they have a prominent head coach Sean Payton and a rookie QB in Bo Nix to look forward to. Meanwhile, playing this Russell Wilson 'revenge' game early ensures that Wilson will still be Pittsburgh's starter. That could change quickly with an injury or unspectacular performance by the veteran QB.

Another game that every football fan would have loved to see is the Pittsburgh Steelers hosting the Dallas Cowboys for the Thursday night 2024 season-opener. These two historic franchises get to play each other just once every four years (barring end-of-the-year standings) and they have the two best records in the league since the NFL merger.

While 'America's Team' (the Cowboys) are always in the spotlight, the NFL had a chance to put the national spotlight on Pittsburgh and make the Steelers relevant again with their new-look roster. Now that they have moved on from OC Matt Canada and QB Kenny Pickett, it's not hard to imagine why they will be a more exciting team in 2024.

Football fans are still going to be soaking up the action when the Chiefs host the Ravens in the season opener, but we all would have loved to see the Pittsburgh Steelers kick off the 2024 season.

For those planning to watch the Chiefs vs. Ravens opener in Week 1, the game will take place on Thursday, September 5th at 8:20 p.m. Eastern Time and air on NBC and Peacock.