The Pittsburgh Steelers will open the final quarter of their 2019 NFL regular season on the road against the Arizona Cardinals. They'll also play their final two games on the road against the New York Jets and Baltimore Ravens. 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 14: Steelers at Cardinals
Like most of their games against the NFC West, the Steelers haven't faced the Cardinals since the 2015 regular season. Pittsburgh hosted Arizona on October 18 and won, 25-13, with Landry Jones and Michael Vick as the signal-callers. The Steelers defense held the Cardinals to just 55 net yards rushing. With so much time having passed, these two teams will look very different from the squads that took the field that day. The Steelers lead the series, 34-23-3 (including records while the Cardinals were in Phoenix, St. Louis, and Chicago). The two teams met in Super Bowl XLIII, which was also won by Pittsburgh (2009).
The Cardinals may have Patrick Peterson back from a suspension after he was found to have used performance-enhancing substances if the veteran cornerback doesn't get traded, released, or face further suspension, and a familiar face in Marcus Gilbert will be wearing the red and white in 2019. Arizona signed former Ravens tight end Maxx Williams to a one-year contract. The Josh Rosen era is over after his rookie season (2018) as the Cardinals grabbed Kyler Murray in the 2019 NFL Draft and traded their former first-round quarterback to the Miami Dolphins. Still, the Cardinals do not look like a complete team as we preview the upcoming season.
Through the Draft, the Cardinals went receiver-heavy, looking for playmakers to compliment Larry Fitzgerald and give their number one overall pick targets by grabbing potential big-play receiver Hakeem Butler. Arizona also added some depth to their offensive line and spent the remainder of their picks focused on improved defense - especially along the line with Zach Allen.
- No. 1: Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma
- No. 33: Byron Murphy, CB, Washington
- No. 62: Andy Isabella, WR, UMass
- No. 65: Zach Allen, DE, Boston College
- No. 103: Hakeem Butler, WR, Iowa State
- No. 139: Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama
- No. 174: KeeSean Johnson, WR, Fresno State
- No. 179: Lamont Gaillard, OL, Georgia
- No. 248: Joshua Miles, OL, Morgan State
- No. 249: Michael Dogbe, DE, Temple
- No. 254: Caleb Wilson, TE, UCLA
The Cardinals finished last in their division in 2018 with a 3-13 record. Whether they can crawl out of the hole they've dug with Murray at the helm remains to be seen. They have veteran Brett Hundley that could come in, but by all appearances, Kliff Kingsbury is banking on Murray having a stellar year.
Week 15: Bills at Steelers
When Pittsburgh and Buffalo squared-off against each other the last time, it was bitterly cold and snowing heavily (Dec. 11) during the 2016 NFL regular season. Ben Roethlisberger had a terrible outing, throwing three interceptions; Tyrod Taylor threw one pick to his two touchdown passes. Both teams turned to rushing the ball due to slippery conditions, although Pittsburgh did it much more effectively with three touchdowns on the ground from Le'Veon Bell. The Steelers won by seven points (27-20). The Steelers have won their last six games with the Bills as their opponents, including one overtime win, and lead the series, 16-9-0.
With 28 new additions to their team, including draft picks, the Bills aren't highly favored to do much better than they did in 2018 (3rd in the AFC East). A rebuild of their offensive line was a key objective and adding Ty Nsekhe during free agency to pair with second-rounder Cody Ford may help the Bills be more competitive up front. Second-year quarterback Josh Allen won't have Derek Anderson to help, as Anderson informed the Bills he has retired from the NFL, leaving them with Matt Barkley and Tyree Jackson. Devin Singletary is an infusion of youth to a running back corps that includes LeSean McCoy and Frank Gore. Their biggest move was holding their position and grabbing Ed Oliver instead of considering trade offers from other teams wanting to move up in the draft.
- No. 9: Ed Oliver, DT, Houston
- No. 38: Cody Fort, OT, Oklahoma
- No. 74: Devin Singletary, RB, Florida Atlantic
- No. 96: Dawson Knox, TE, Mississippi
- No. 147: Vosean Joseph, LB, Florida
- No. 181: Jaquan Johnson, S, Miami (Fla)
- No. 225: Darryl Johnson, DE, North Carolina A&T
- No. 228: Tommy Sweeney, TE, Boston College
Because the Bills are not a familiar or frequent foe, the Steelers will have to do their homework late in the season. Some experts feel that the Bills could sneak into real contention while others have them completely falling apart. As the end of the season rolls around, Pittsburgh won't want to give up a game by overlooking Buffalo, however.
Week 16: Steelers at Jets
Like the Bills, the Steelers and Jets last met during the 2016 NFL regular season. Playing host, the Steelers were able to come away as victors by a score of 31-13. Roethlisberger had a four-touchdown passing day and finished with a 124.4 quarterback rating. His top target was Sammie Coates. Vince Williams led the defense with nine total tackles and a sack. Anthony Chickillo forced one fumble. Pittsburgh leads the series, 20-5-0.
The Jets have had one of the most turbulent offseasons of any team in the NFL. The latest issue is the firing of general manager Mike Maccagnan after an alleged rift with first-year coach Adam Gase. Rumors that Gase was against the signing of Le'Veon Bell, who held-out on the Steelers in 2018, began and Bell missing voluntary workouts and an unveiling of new uniforms seemed to add to the drama. Gase, elevated to interim GM, traded linebacker Darron Lee (a former first-round pick) to the Chiefs for a 2020 sixth-round pick. This after Maccagnan spent $125 million during free agency. Sam Darnold looks to be their go-to guy at quarterback, but New York (surprisingly) did not go after receivers in the draft; they could have gotten Josh Allen but went for Quinnen Williams instead to pair with Leonard Williams and C.J. Mosley in the middle of their defense. Chuma Edoga played with Darnold in college, so the pick made sense.
- No. 3: Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama
- No. 68: Jachai Polite, OLB, Florida
- No. 92: Chuma Edoga, OT, USC
- No. 121: Trevon Wesco, TE, West Virginia
- No. 157: Blake Cashman, ILB, Minnesota
- No. 196: Blessuan Austin, CB, Rutgers
The Jets very well may be imploding. Still, the Steelers would love to see if they can stop Bell defensively. Why not, right? A lot of experts predicted this game to be a bit of a grudge match, but with all the rumors about Gase being unhappy Bell was signed --- will he even be in New York when this game kicks off? We'll have to wait and see.
Week 17: Steelers at Ravens
In our preview of the second quarter of the Steelers' 2019 regular season, we looked at what the Ravens did during the Draft and what changes they've made.
Week 17 will be a battle, no doubt. Whether or not the game will decide the AFC North Champion remains to be seen, but it will undoubtedly have an impact of playoff potential for the Steelers. A divisional win is always a plus, and the Steelers would love nothing more than to keep the Ravens from earning back-to-back divisional championships. This will be a game to watch no matter what the win-loss record of these two teams ends up being when they face each other in the final week of the regular season.
Predicted Steelers Win-Loss Record
There are a lot of things that can go right, and a lot that can go wrong in any given NFL season. Looking at the entirety of their 2019 schedule, and the new spirit of camaraderie that seems to be spreading if social media posts by members of the team are any indication, the Steelers could realistically finish the season 11-5. It won't be easy, but the potential is there for them to do well if they kick things off with a win over New England and reign over the AFC North.
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|