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Christmas Game Crams Brutal Stretch into Steelers 2024 Schedule

Because of their Christmas game against the Kansas City Chiefs, the Pittsburgh Steelers 2024 schedule has three 11-win teams in 11 days.

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Steelers Christmas

The Pittsburgh Steelers will play a Christmas Day game for the first time since 2016, and for the first time ever, the NFL will be adjusting two weeks’ worth of schedules in order to play on Christmas when it falls on a Wednesday.

That means that the Steelers schedule has them playing the Kansas City Chiefs at Acrisure Stadium on Wednesday, Dec. 25, four days after they visit the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on Saturday, Dec. 21.

The four-day turnaround is the minimum the NFL will allow teams to be scheduled, and is commonplace throughout the season when teams play on Thursday Night Football. But the back-to-back short weeks — combined with marquee opponents — has created a late-season gauntlet that will critical to the Steelers’ 2024 season. The Steelers will play three games in 11 days, all against teams that won 11 or more games in 2023.

Week 15: Steelers at Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2024, 4:25 p.m.
Week 16: Steelers at Baltimore Ravens, Saturday, Dec. 21, 2024, 4:30 p.m.
Week 17: Steelers vs. Kansas City Chiefs, Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2024, 1 p.m.

President Art Rooney II said earlier this offseason that teams needed to commit to playing on holidays, because that’s where the fan interest has shown to be. He cited the team’s solid attendance for a Christmas Eve game in 2022 against the Las Vegas Raiders, even with frigid temperatures, as evidence.

“We played at home on Christmas [Eve] two years ago and had a great crowd,” Rooney said to Steelers.com. “Hopefully, that’ll be the case. Obviously, we’re hosting a big-time team. That’ll be a game with a national audience. That’ll be an exciting time.”

While playing in a marquee matchup on national television against the Kansas City Chiefs will certainly be a positive for the franchise, the compacted schedule as a result will also be a challenge.

“If it was early in the season, I wouldn’t even care,” linebacker Elandon Roberts said on the Steelers Afternoon Drive podcast on Wednesday. “But when it’s in the back end, look, football counts after Thanksgiving. A lot of things can change after Thanksgiving. It’s no time for errors. You’ve just got to go with it because those games count. … These are big games. It’s gonna matter. We can’t even be thinking about it. We only have four days to prepare? It is what it is.”

Rooney said that he has faith in veteran head coach Mike Tomlin to have the team ready to deal with the mixed-bag schedule that has the team playing games on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday this year.

“Mike does a good job of getting guys ready,” he said. “There are no excuses in terms of what day of the week you’re playing. He doesn’t allow for that, or the time of the day. You just have to be ready to go when the time comes. … It’s probably not exactly how I would have drawn it up, but we’ve got to do the best we can,”

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