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Colin Cowherd: Steelers Schedule ‘Toughest I’ve Ever Seen’

Colin Cowherd calls the Steelers’ 2024 schedule the ‘toughest’ he has ever seen after Thanksgiving.

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Steelers HC Mike Tomlin
Steelers HC Mike Tomlin against the Arizona Cardinals, Dec. 3, 2023 - Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

The Pittsburgh Steelers have the third-toughest strength of schedule in 2024. However, based on forecasted win totals, the Steelers have the toughest schedule this upcoming season, according to Warren Sharp of Sharp Football. And that’s not much of a surprise with a brutal back stretch.

Strength of schedule is based on opponents records from 2023. Vegas’ forecasted win totals are probably a better indication, as teams can drastically change from year to year. The boost that head coach DeMeco Ryans and quarterback C.J. Stroud gave to the Houston Texans is a prime example.

The Steelers have a brutal schedule down the stretch, as they have eight straight games against teams expected to have winning records, 6-of-8 expected to win over 10 games. On paper, it’s the hardest final eight games in the NFL, according to Sharp. All six of their AFC North divisional games come in that span, too. In fact, Colin Cowherd believes it’s toughest schedule he’s seen.

“That is the toughest schedule I have ever seen, (from) Thanksgiving on, in league history,” Cowherd said.

Gennaro Filice of NFL.com also thinks the Steelers have the toughest slate of games in 2024.

“The Steelers must spend their first two weeks on the road. In fact, they only have one home game in the opening month. And yet, it’s how the schedule closes that ultimately lands Pittsburgh in the No. 1 spot here,” Flice wrote. “Remember how the AFC North was the best division in football last season, with all four teams posting winning records and three hitting the playoffs? Well, the Steelers don’t even play their first divisional foe until Week 11. Yup, the schedule makers packed all six AFC North bouts into the final eight weeks. The other two games in this BEASTLY back half? A trip across the state to Philadelphia and a short-week Christmas affair with the back-to-back Super Bowl champion Chiefs. Oh, and I haven’t even mentioned a couple of high-profile Sunday nighters, with the Cowboys and Jets storming the Steel City during one 15-day span in October. Pittsburgh significantly revamped the roster this offseason — particularly on offense, with a new coordinator (Arthur Smith), two new quarterbacks (Russell Wilson and Justin Fields) and three potential rookie starters (linemen Troy Fautanu and Zach Frazier, as well as wide receiver Roman Wilson). Can Mike Tomlin’s new-look Steelers survive this gauntlet?”

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.”

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