Steelers early 2021 regular-season preview: Weeks 17-18

Throughout the last few weeks, we’ve looked at the upcoming Pittsburgh Steelers 2021 NFL regular season by previewing their opponents, looking at additions those teams made during free agency and the 2021 NFL Draft, as well as other key factors that could play a part in how the games may play out. Things are now ramping up to training camp. In Week 17 and 18, the Steelers will finalize their regular season play against two AFC North rivals in the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens.

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Week 17: Steelers vs Browns

Week 17 will be a key game for the Steelers. We already spoke about what the Browns did in the offseason and 2021 NFL Draft in an earlier preview. If the Browns prove, for the second season in a row, that they can stack wins, this game may help decide who ultimately wears the AFC North crown for the 2021-22 NFL season. This game, like Week 18, will also help determine playoff seeding and implications.

The Browns have been talked about quite a bit as real contenders this upcoming season. There is a lot of moving parts that have yet to see the field together, however, especially on the Browns defense. By Week 17, the Steelers will know exactly what they’re up against.

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Week 18: Steelers at Ravens

The final regular-season game for the Steelers will be on the road in Baltimore. Neither team is going to write that match off, no matter how the remainder of the season has gone to that point. It will still be a big-time rivalry game. We covered the Ravens, what they did in the offseason, and NFL Draft, in another earlier preview but it’s worth talking about the potential changes Baltimore might make in the final game.

Both the Ravens and the Steelers could potentially rest ‘starters’ in Week 18 if one or the other has already won the AFC North and playoff spots have been determined. Regardless, both teams will field players they feel can still get the job done and try to win, even if it’s to put a final stamp on the rivalry for the season.

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