(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
The NFL regular-season schedule was released on May 7 last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The schedule is normally released in mid-April, and according to Ben Fischer of the Sports Business Journal, the 2021 schedule will be released even later this year.
Fischer says the NFL is currently targeting the second week of May for the 2021 schedule release, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, which would make it the latest schedule release in league history.
The Steelers' opponents for 2021 are already known, but to see the order of the games and the number of primetime games the Steelers get is always compelling for fans. It's also the beginning of when fans start to map out their trips for the year to attend games. It's unclear how many fans will be allowed at games this year, it will be a state decision, but it should be more than this past year with more people getting vaccinated.
Including the Steelers' annual two games a year against each AFC North opponent, the Steelers play the AFC West and the NFC North in 2021. The Steelers also will play the Bills and Titans, who like the Steelers, both won their division.
The Steelers will play the Ravens, Browns, Bengals, Broncos, Bears, Lions, Raiders and Titans at home in 2021. On the road, they will play the Ravens, Bengals, Browns, Chiefs, Packers, Vikings, Chargers and Bills.
By winning the AFC North in 2020, the Steelers will play a first-place schedule in 2021, and they'll have tough road games at Kansas City, Buffalo and Green Bay. The Ravens and Browns have both won at least 10 games this past year, and the Bengals are an improving team led by Joe Burrow who will have a high draft pick in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft.
The Steelers have the toughest schedule in the league in 2021 based on their opponents' combined record of 143-111-2 (.563) in 2020. It includes nine games against 2020 playoff teams, counting the Browns and Ravens twice.