Steelers to start 2021 on the road for 7th-straight season; 9 of last 11
Steelers fans woke up this morning to some leaked, official news from the team and the National Football League. Franchises started to officially tease the NFL’s full 2021 regular season schedule release, which occurs later this evening at 8:00 p.m. Eastern, by announcing their Week 1 opponents, dates and times.
For Pittsburgh, they have drawn yet another short straw, as the league will once again have the Steelers playing away for their opening game of a season. Steelers fans may have been hoping for a game in good, September weather – which they’ll still have – but they’ll need to travel to Buffalo in order to enjoy it. (And that’s considering Buffalo is actually nice come early September!)
For the seventh-straight season the Steelers will find themselves somewhere other than Pittsburgh for the first week of the season. You have to go all the way back to the 2014 season for the last time the Steelers started their year at Heinz Field.
That game hosted the Cleveland Browns, who had drafted Johnny Manziel in the first round of the NFL Draft months earlier – but didn’t play him, instead opting for Brian Hoyer as their Week 1 signal caller. The Steelers shot out to a 27-3 halftime lead but had to stave off the Browns with a Shaun Suisham 41-yard field goal as time expired, for a 30-27 victory.
The 2014 game signified back-to-back Week 1 home games for the Steelers, with their 2013 loss to the Titans to open the season at Heinz Field resulted in a disastrous loss of several players for the year, including Maurkice Pouncey and Larry Foote.
The 2013 and 2014 games are the only two times the Steelers have played in Pittsburgh to begin a season over their last eleven opening weeks.
The previous opener was in 2010, their third-straight home opener in Week 1, which was an overtime snoozer against the Atlanta Falcons (resulting in a 15-9 win).
Since 2011 the Steelers have played on the road twice, home twice, and then were subjected to the Super Bowl banner raising in New England no once, but twice, facing the Patriots in Foxboro in 2015 and again in 2019.
The Steelers also had to face an AFC North rival on the road three times during this span, heading to Baltimore in 2011 and then back-to-back trips to Cleveland in 2017 and 2018.
This season the Steelers face a pseudo rival in a short road trip up to Buffalo, facing the Bills for the third-straight season.
After losing the last two matchups, Pittsburgh will hope to return the favor this time around.
Here is a full list of the Steelers Week 1 matchups since the 2011 season.