It’s 74 days until the new NFL season begins but for a football mad guy like me that’s just too long so I’ve taken it upon myself to go over each NFL schedule and try and predict for all of you what may happen once the season rolls around.
We continue our look at the AFC North with the Pittsburgh Steelers who went 12-4 in 2011. Here’s how I think their season will go:
- Week 1 at Denver Broncos – Win
- Week 2 vs New York Jets – Win
- Week 3 at Oakland Raiders – Win
- Week 4 BYE
- Week 5 vs Philadelphia Eagles – Loss
- Week 6 at Tennessee Titans – Win
- Week 7 at Cincinnati Bengals – Loss
- Week 8 vs Washington Redskins – Win
- Week 9 at New York Giants – Loss
- Week 10 vs Kansas City Chiefs – Win
- Week 11 vs Baltimore Ravens – Win
- Week 12 at Cleveland Browns – Win
- Week 13 at Baltimore Ravens – Win
- Week 14 vs San Diego Chargers – Win
- Week 15 at Dallas Cowboys – Loss
- Week 16 vs Cincinnati Bengals – Win
- Week 17 at Cleveland Browns – Win
Overall Record for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2012: 12-4
This Steeler franchise has gone through some tough changes this offseason and had to say goodbye to many of the vets of have helped drive their success of the past several years but it is very encouraging for them to have talented young players such as Mike Wallace, Isaac Redman and rookie guard David DeCastro to step up and take the mantle. As you can see from the predictions above they manage as well without the vets as they did with them achieving the same 12 win record as 2011.
This schedule holds three big stages for Pittsburgh: the short three week run until their extremely early bye week – shared only with the Indianapolis Colts – will put the health of this franchise to the test down the stretch and as such they must win at least 2 out of 3, the run of opponents immediately following the bye from Philly in week 5 through to the Giants in week 9 with the Titans, Bengals and Redskins in between makes for some challenging matchups, finally the home stretch is extremely hazardous and in particular I expect the Cowboys to give the Steelers a lot of trouble through the air in what promises to be a close knit affair.
All up this is a pretty average schedule but one full of nasty little challenges. The most notable feature for the Steelers is that most of the teams they face outside the more celebrated likes of Philadelphia and Dallas are teams that will be tough to predict such as Kansas City, Washington and Denver. Still, 12-4 is good enough for a playoff berth and while this squad is still relatively old this is the year we can expect to see the young talent shine through and make their mark.
The next NFL Schedule Preview comes your way tomorrow when we finish off the AFC North by studying the schedule of the Baltimore Ravens.