(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
The tough stretch of games begins on Dec 5. against the Ravens, and after that, there's a meeting with the Vikings in Minnesota on a short week on Thursday Night Football. Then the final four games of the season are against teams who all made the playoffs in 2020 -- Titans, at Chiefs, Browns on Monday Night Football, and at Baltimore to finish the regular season against the Ravens.
"It's a tough closing stretch, no question about it," Rooney said, "so we have to be ready to get on a roll at the end of the season. That's one of the challenges you just have to be ready to deal with."
Even Pro Football Focus noticed the tough slate of games the Steelers have down the stretch. The Steelers have the toughest schedule in the league in 2021 based on their opponents' combined record of 155-115-2 (.574) in 2020. It includes 10 games against 2020 playoff teams, counting the Browns and Ravens twice. So, they have a tough schedule regardless, but they'll for sure be tested in December and January.
Steelers defensive tackle Cameron Heyward and cornerback Joe Haden don't mind having the toughest schedule in the league or the brutal stretch to end the season though. Both tweeted last night about the schedule following the release of the Steelers 2021 schedule.
"Let's quit whining about a damn schedule and get the hell to work," Heyward tweeted.
Haden had a similar message.
"If u scared say you scared!!! I don’t give a damn who we play!!! Line it up," Haden tweeted.