The Pittsburgh Steelers will open the third quarter - or second half - of the 2019 NFL regular season by hosting the Los Angeles Rams Heinz Field. They'll also see the Cleveland Browns twice during this period, making a run for the AFC North title highly important. In this preview, we'll look at the teams the Steelers will face, additions those teams made via the 2019 NFL Draft, and other factors that could play a part in how successful Pittsburgh finishes their upcoming season.
Week Ten: Rams at Steelers
The last time the Steelers played the Rams, it was in St. Louis. A lot has changed since Sept. 27, 2015. In that low-scoring game, kicker Josh Scobee was Pittsburgh's hero; he kicked two field goals. Ben Roethlisberger was able to hand the ball off to Le'Veon Bell for a touchdown, but the two-point attempt was no good. Michael Vick would enter the game due to an injury to Roethlisberger and the Steelers escaped with a 12-6 win over the Nick Foles-led Rams.
On May 14, the Rams announced they had reached their 90-player roster by adding several undrafted free agents: WR Alex Buchman, Wake Forest; WR Jalen Greene, Utah State; WR Johnathan Lloyd, Duke; WR Justin Sumpter, Kennesaw State; WR Nsimba Webster, Eastern Washington; TE Kendall Blanton, Missouri; TE Romello Brooker, Houston; TE Keenan Brown, Texas State; RB Matt Colburn, Wake Forest; OT Chandler Brewer, Middle Tennessee; OT Brandon Hitner, Villanova; OT Justice Powers, UAB; C Vitas Hrynkiewicz; DT Marquise Copeland, Cincinnati; DT Bryant Jones, Mississippi Valley State; DT Boogie Roberts, San Jose State; DT Tyrell Thompson, Tarleton State; DE Landis Durham, Texas A&M; LB Natrez Patrick, Georgia; LB Troy Reeder, Delaware; DB Jake Gervase, Iowa.
An already dangerous team, the Rams spent their picks in the 2019 NFL Draft working on depth. To assist Eric Weddle and John Johnson III in the defensive backfield, the Rams added Tyler Rapp, David Long, and Nick Scott.
- No. 61: Tyler Rapp, DB, Washington
- No. 70: Darrell Henderson, RB, Memphis
- No. 79: David Long, CB, Michigan
- No. 97: Bobby Evans, OT, Oklahoma
- No. 134: Greg Gaines, DL, Washington
- No 169: David Edwards, OT, Wisconsin
- No. 243: Nick Scott, S, Penn State
- No. 251: Dakota Allen, LB, Texas Tech
It's too early to determine what the outcome will be, but this will be a challenging game for the Steelers. The Rams were loaded with talent in 2018 and were the NFC West champs. At the top of many lists in predictions as a potential Super Bowl contender this year, this game will likely be a must-win situation if Pittsburgh hopes to get into the post-season. A win in Week Ten would also set the tempo for the final half of the 2019 regular season on a high note.
Weeks 11 & 13: Steelers and Browns
In 2018, Pittsburgh opened their season with Cleveland by finishing in a tie, 21-21. It was a disappointing start for the Steelers and really did little to get them up and running early in the season. The Steelers were able to handle the Browns in their second meeting at Heinz Field in October, winning by a score of 33-18.
The Browns were busy before the 2019 NFL Draft. They terminated the contract of Jamie Collins, Sr., Darren Fells; waived David Bright, Darrin Hall, Daniel Williams, Tanner Vallejo, Ricardo Louis, Derrick Kindred, Howard Wilson; signed Odell Beckham, Jr., Jaelen Strong, Kareem Hunt, Bryan Witzmann, Kendall Lamm, Sheldon Richardson, Demetrius Hart, Adarius Tayor, Eric Kush, Morgan Burnett, Garrett Gilbert, Damon Sheehy-Guiseppi, Orson Charles, Trevon Coley, Rashard Higgins, Juston Burris, Jermaine Whitehead; re-signed Greg Robinson, Phillip Gaines, Carl Davis; and Cleveland traded Emmanuel Ogbah (to Kansas City) for Eric Murray. That allowed Cleveland to focus primarily on defense during the draft.
- No. 46: Greedy Williams, CB, LSU
- No. 80: Sione Takitaki, OLB, BYU
- No. 119: Sheldrick Redwine, S, Miami (Fla.)
- No. 155: Mack Wilson, LB, Alabama
- No. 170: Austin Seibert, K, Oklahoma
- No. 189: Drew Forbes, OL, Southeast Missouri State
- No. 221: Donnie Lewis, Jr., CB, Tulane
Despite the Browns having some abysmal seasons, they played the Steelers close in their last five-of-six meetings. With a draft that many experts feel will give Cleveland an advantage in the AFC North in 2019, things between the Steelers and Browns could get very interesting in these two games down the stretch.
Week 12: Steelers at Bengals
In our analysis of the first quarter of the Steelers' 2019 regular season schedule, we outlined what the Bengals did in the offseason and during the draft. There isn't much point in rehashing it here. What happens in Week 12, however, will be a determining factor in whether the Steelers lay claim to the AFC North title and make a post-season run. The Bengals have played spoiler in the past and this will be one of those physical battles with the Steelers being on the road with the typically loud and provocative Cincinnati crowd in full force.
PITTSBURGH STEELERS 2019 REGULAR SEASON SCHEDULE
|1||New England Patriots||Foxborough, Mass|
|2||Seattle Seahawks||Pittsburgh, PA|
|3||San Francisco 49ers||Santa Clara, CA|
|4||Cincinnati Bengals||Pittsburgh, PA|
|5||Baltimore Ravens||Pittsburgh, PA|
|6||Los Angeles Chargers||Carson, CA|
|8||Miami Dolphins||Pittsburgh, PA|
|9||Indianapolis Colts||Pittsburgh, PA|
|10||Los Angeles Rams||Pittsburgh, PA|
|11||Cleveland Browns||Cleveland, OH|
|12||Cincinnati Bengals||Cincinnati, OH|
|13||Cleveland Browns||Pittsburgh, PA|
|14||Arizona Cardinals||Glendale, AZ|
|15||Buffalo Bills||Pittsburgh, PA|
|16||New York Jets||East Rutherford, NJ|
|17||Baltimore Ravens||Baltimore, MD|