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Charlie Batch says there's 'no way' the Steelers can afford to be .500 or below by Week 11

(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

We already knew that the Steelers had the toughest schedule in the league in 2021 based on their opponents' combined record of 155-115-2 (.574) in 2020, but after seeing how the schedule is laid out when it was released Wednesday night, it sure does look daunting, especially in December and January.

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.

With the Steelers going through a gauntlet at the end of the season, former Steelers quarterback Charlie Batch said on the NFL Network today that they need to get off to a fast start in 2021.

"Yeah, from Week 11 on that's a tough challenge for them," Batch said about the Steelers 2021 schedule. "So, it's very important for this Steelers team to get off to a fast start. They start off with a tough road game against Buffalo, but they do have the Raiders in Week 2. Those first six games are going to be critical for the Steelers because there's no way that they can afford to be .500 or below when they get into the thick of their schedule. So, they have to figure out a way to get off to a fast start in the first six weeks of the season."

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk mentioned as well that the Steelers need to get off to a fast start and have a good September. Luckily for the Steelers, four of their first six games are at Heinz Field. On the flip side, however, five of their last eight games are on the road.

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