The most anticipated Steelers games on the 2022 schedule

As with any year, there’s excitement as the weeks dwindle down into the days remaining until the 2022 NFL season gets underway.

However, this year’s build up is a bit different for a Pittsburgh Steelers team that will be without quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for the first time in eighteen seasons. That will create some excitement on its own, but there are a few highlights on the schedule for fans to keep an eye on as we get closer and closer to the first game of the season…

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Week 1 at Cincinnati Bengals

The low hanging fruit is that the first game of the year will be one of, if not the most anticipated for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Obviously, waiting to see who the starting quarterback will be this season, and how they fare, puts the opening game on the map.

But there’s also the allure of playing the Bengals, who just appeared in the Super Bowl last year and are a division rival – and playing them on the road at their venue makes this one even spicier, even for both sets of fans!

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Week 2 New England Patriots

Yes, I think I had to add the second game to this list as well. That’s because the Patriots, much like the Steelers, had a changing of the guard with moving on from Tom Brady last season, over to Mac Jones at quarterback.

They still have their old guard head coach, Bill Belichick, and that will be the headline as he faces another long-tenured coach, Mike Tomlin, with both working through replacing legendary passers.

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Week 3 at Cleveland Browns

The Browns were overhyped as Super Bowl contenders in 2021, but failed to make the playoffs. They were swept by the Steelers home and away, so this short week to play at First Energy Stadium on a Thursday night could be a problem for Pittsburgh, as their first two games are already highlights heading into this season.

Of course, Cleveland made a huge move to acquire QB Deshaun Watson, who may not even play this season. They alienated their former top overall pick, Baker Mayfield, so he may not be on the team by this point either.

Bundle all of the above with the ongoing Steelers storylines, and a division rivalry that’s been recently renewed, and you have the makings of another marquee matchup early in the season.

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Week 8 at Philadelphia Eagles

Most people would put Tom Brady’s trip to Pittsburgh on their calendar, but I’m more enthused to see Tom retire at this point. Give me the Eagles, another team who crept into the playoffs, picking up the final NFC spot much like the Steelers sneaking into the AFC’s last position in 2021.

The Steelers haven’t won in Philadelphia since October 24th, 1965!

Granted, they’ve only played there twice this century, but those losses in 2008 (15-6) and 2016 (34-3) are eyesores on a great franchise’s overall record.

Someone, somewhere will note these stats and generate some enthusiasm for this game based on that alone. But my other observation is that this game comes before the Steelers bye week.

Depending on what has already transpired this season, and at the quarterback position, we could be hearing about changing of the guard that hinges on the result of this game. If Mitchell Trubisky is the starter in Week 1 and the Steelers are below .500, that could push the patience of the coaching staff to turn to an alternative, including first round draft pick Kenny Pickett.

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Week 16 Las Vegas Raiders

Christmas Eve at Heinz Field will host a primetime matchup that commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Immaculate Reception.

The NFL has already highlighted this one on the schedule with such billing, so its easily the most anticipated game in the latter part of the Steelers season, before they finish off with two AFC North opponents in Weeks 17 and 18.

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