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2020 Steelers Games Ranked by Level of Intrigue

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The NFL schedule is out, now comes the intrigue and analysis.

While the Steelers‘ opponents have been known for some time, their place on the schedule very much influences the level of interest the game has.

Of note, the Steelers have four only four primetime games this season. Two will be on Monday night, one on Sunday night and their premier matchup will be against the Baltimore Ravens on Thanksgiving night.

Here are the intrigue levels of each game on the Steelers schedule, ranked from 16-1.

16. Week 13 vs. Washington Redskins

The Redskins were one of the worst teams in the NFL last season and don’t figure to be much better in 2020. The Skins had the worst offense in the league and the 27th ranked defense. Look for Case Keenum or Kyle Allen to be leading the charge when they come into Heinz Field on December 12th. If the Steelers drop this one it likely means their season is a lost cause.

15. Week 11 at Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jags were a big old mess last season going 6-10. The exodus of stars continues as Leonard Fournette may or may not be on his way out of town. He would join Jalen Ramsay, Malik Jackson, Telvin Smith, A.J. Bouye, and possibly Yannick Ngakoue, who also wants to be traded, as former key members of a team that was one quarter away from a Super Bowl a few years ago. Gardner Minshew is at least pretty exciting, but this game holds little interest beyond it being a “should” win for the Steelers. Now, if the Steelers had traded for Fournette, this would be marginally more exciting, but they didn’t.

14. Week 16 vs. Indianapolis Colts

The penultimate game of 2020, on paper this looks like a relatively uninteresting matchup. The Colts finished 7-9 last year and were a very unexciting team without Andrew Luck. The Steelers were able to sneak out of Indy with a 26-26-24 win last year, but there are few clamoring for a rematch.

13. Week 15 at Cincinnati Bengals

Are you ready for some football? The second of the two regular season meetings with the Bengals and one of two Steelers Monday Night Football appearances. Other than it being a divisional game, there doesn’t seem to be anything that makes this one stand out, unless you’re really interested in seeing Joe Burrow’s in-season development.

12. Week 2 vs. Denver Broncos

The Broncos had a bad offense in 2019, ranking 28th in the league and the 10th ranked scoring defense. They finished 7-9. Drew Lock is their quarterback. There is almost nothing interesting to say about the Broncos except that they should have a good defense again and have some speed at wide receiver so it will be a good test of the Steelers secondary.

11. Week 10 vs. Cincinnati Bengals

The Tiger King makes his way to Pittsburgh. First overall NFL pick Joe Burrow will get his first shot at the Steelers in week 10 as the Bengals will visit Heinz Field. The Steelers are usually pretty good against rookie quarterbacks, but Burrow has a ton of weapons at his disposal with A.J. Green, Tyler Boyd, Tee Higgins and Joe Mixon. But Cincinnati hasn’t beaten the Steelers since week 8 of 2015, so why start now?

10. Week 5 vs. Philadelphia Eagles

The Steelers cross-state rivals come in for an early showdown. You’d think there would be more enmity between teams from the same state. It is Philadelphia after all, which Mike Asti touched on when he went through the schedule on a show, but Steelers-Eagles isn’t quite the same as Pens-Flyers. The hate just isn’t there. Last season’s NFC East champions won four straight to enter the playoffs before losing to Seattle 17-9. They should be in contention again this season.

9. Week 1 at New York Giants, the Season Opener.

It’s the season opener, which makes this compelling. Will there even be fans in attendance? The Giants weren’t good last year, but Daniel Jones should be improved and he has a host of weapons around him. A good season opening test for the defense.

8. Week 9 at Dallas Cowboys

It’s the Cowboys, so of course it’s the 4:25 NFL Game of the Week. The furthest travel the Steelers will be doing during the 2020 regular season. It’s hard to predict if the Cowboys will be good or not. On paper, yes. But as we saw last year when they missed the playoffs completely, that doesn’t mean much. Still, it’s a road showdown against a “premier” NFL franchise, which should make for a good game.

7. Week 4 at Tennessee Titans

A looming early season showdown with the AFC runners-up. It remains to be seen if the Titans can recapture that magic, but any team that can dispatch the Patriots and Ravens in short order has to be considered dangerous. The Titans were the team that got into the playoffs instead of the Steelers, so this will be a good early indicator of the AFC pecking order.

6. Week 14 at Buffalo Bills

We’ll be waitin’ all day for Sunday Night. The Steelers travel north to take on the new kings of the AFC East. With Brady out of the division, the Bills are the presumptive favorites. This should be a fierce battle between two of the best defenses in the NFL. Its proximity to the end of the season means there should be playoff seeding implications.

5. Week 3 vs. Houston Texans, AKA Watt Bowl I

The first time all three Watt brothers will be participating in the same game (barring injury). The big question, who will the parents be rooting for? Other than that, it should be a good game between the Steelers and one of the top teams in the AFC last season.

4. Week 6 vs. Cleveland Browns

The first divisional game of the season will find the Steelers welcoming the Browns to Heinz Field for the teams’ first matchup since the whole Myles Garrett vs. Mason Rudolph fiasco/racial slur allegation. Probably won’t be any bad blood between the teams left over, right?

3. Week 7 at Baltimore Ravens

We’ll know a lot about both of these teams by week seven, which could make this a very compelling marquee midseason matchup.

2. Week 17 at Cleveland Browns

The regular season finale could have huge implications for both teams. Of course, it could also be meaningless, but the Steelers have been in the hunt for the playoffs in week 17 both of the last two seasons. A lot is riding on whether or not the Browns can right the ship and make a legitimate challenge for the AFC North crown.

1. Week 12 vs. Baltimore Ravens

Steelers, Ravens, Thanksgiving. Should be an absolute blood bath.

*You can also watch Mike Asti preview the entire schedule on Pittsburgh Sports Live.*

Steelers

Steelers Own NFL’s Top Scoring Defense after Week 11

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The Pittsburgh Steelers have the No. 1 scoring defense in the NFL after the games of Week 11 have all been completed.

After giving up just three points in Sunday’s dominant performance against the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Steelers’ defense has allowed 174 points in 10 games, for a league-best 17.4 points per game. 

The Los Angeles Rams have the league’s second-best unit and saw their points per game figure rise to 19.2 points per game after giving up 24 to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday Night Football.

The Steelers’ Week 12 matchup on Thursday will be a battle of top defenses, as division rival Baltimore is ranked third in the league with 19.5 points per game allowed.

From a yardage standpoint, the Steelers are fifth, having allowed 306.9 yards per game. They’re this in passing yards against per game (203.5) and seventh in rushing yards against per game (103.4).

Here are the top 10 scoring defenses after Week 11:

Pittsburgh Steelers 17.4
Los Angeles Rams 19.2
Baltimore Ravnes 19.5
Miami Dolphins 20.2
Indianapolis Colts 20.8
Chicago Bears 20.9
Kansas City Chiefs 21.4
New Orleans Saints 22.2
Washington Football Team 22.7
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 23.0

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Steelers

How Have Previous 10-0 Teams Fared?

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The Steelers are 10-0 after Sunday’s victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, extending their best start in team history and accomplishing a feat that’s been done just 17 times in NFL history.

The first 10-0 team was the 1972 Miami Dolphins, who went on to win all 14 regular season games and the Super Bowl, a season that still stands alone in NFL history as the lone unblemished campaign.

The 2007 New England Patriots also went on to finish an unbeaten regular season, going 16-0 before losing to the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII.

What has happened to the other 16 squads that started out with wins in their first 10 games?

All 16 made the postseason and did so as a division winner.

Twelve won an 11th game and kept the winning streak alive, with just four falling to 10-1.

Ten advanced all the way to the Super Bowl, and six have won it.

In 1990 and 2009, there were multiple 10-0 teams, with one eliminating the other in the playoffs. At least the Steelers don’t have to worry about that this year.

Here’s a breakdown of how all the 10-0 teams finished their seasons:

1972 Miami Dolphins
Game 11: 31-10 win over St. Louis Cardinals
Finished regular season 14-0
Won Super Bowl VII

1975 Minnesota Vikings
Game 11: 30-31 loss at Washington Redskins
Finished regular season 12-2
Lost in Divisional Playoffs

1984 Miami Dolphins
Game 11: 28-34 loss at San Diego Chargers
Finished regular season: 14-2
Lost in Super Bowl XIX

1985 Chicago Bears
Game 11: 44-0 win at Dallas Cowboys
Finished regular season: 15-1
Won Super Bowl XX

1990 New York Giants
Game 11: 20-0 win over Detroit Lions
Finished regular season: 13-3
Won Super Bowl XXV

1990 San Francisco 49ers
Game 11: 17-28 loss to Los Angeles Rams
Finished regular season: 14-2
Lost in NFC Championship Game

1991 Washington Redskins
Game 11: 56-17 win over Atlanta Falcons
Finished regular season: 14-2
Won Super Bowl XXVI

1998 Denver Broncos
Game 11: 40-14 win at Kansas City Chiefs
Finished regular season: 14-2
Won Super Bowl XXXIII

2005 Indianapolis Colts
Game 11: 26-18 win at Jacksonville Jaguars
Finished regular season: 14-2
Lost in Divisional Playoff to Pittsburgh Steelers

2007 New England Patriots
Game 11: 31-28 win over Philadelphia Eagles
Finished regular season: 16-0
Lost Super Bowl XLII

2008 Tennessee Titans
Game 11: 24-14 win at Jacksonville Jaguars
Finished regular season: 13-3
Lost in Divisional Playoff

2009 Indianapolis Colts
Game 11: 35-27 win at Houston Texans
Finished regular season: 14-2
Lost Super Bowl XLIV

2009 New Orleans Saints
Game 11: 38-17 win over New England Patriots
Finished regular season: 14-2
Won Super Bowl XLIV

2011 Green Bay Packers
Game 11: 27-15 win at Detroit Lions
Finished regular season: 15-1
Lost in Divisional Playoff

2015 Carolina Panthers
Game 11: 33-14 win at Dallas Cowboys
Finished regular season: 15-1
Lost in Super Bowl 50

2015 New England Patriots
Game 11: 24-30 overtime loss at Denver Broncos
Finished regular season: 12-4
Lost in AFC Championship

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Steelers

Steelers to Wear Color Rush Uniforms vs. Ravens

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The Steelers will wear their all-black Color Rush uniforms on Thursday night against the Baltimore Ravens, the team announced on Monday night.

The team made the decision after getting input from the players and the fanbase. It will be the first time the team has worn the uniforms this season.

“I love them. I really love them,” cornerback Joe Haden said to Steelers.com. “They look sick. And we play well in them. You look good, you feel good, and you play good. I just really love them and am excited we get to wear them.”

“I like those. I think it’s a good change,” added James Conner. “When we have one style of game pants, everyone is so used to seeing us in black and gold at home. When it goes all black, I think it looks solid. It’s like the Dark Knight.”

The Steelers are 5-1 all-time in the uniforms, which were introduced in 2016 in a Christmas Day win over the Baltimore Ravens. This will be the second time they’ve worn the uniform against the Ravens.

The team wore the uniforms twice in 2019, a win over the Miami Dolphins and a loss to the Buffalo Bills.

Compared to the Steelers’ usual uniform, the Color Rush getups swap white, italic uniform numbers for block, gold digits and the white, intermediary stripes in the team’s five-striped sleeve design also swap white for gold.

The team’s usual gold pants with a thick black stripe are exchanged for the inverse, black pants with a gold side stripe. The team keeps its usual all-black socks for a head-to-toe black-and-gold look.

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