The 2013 season officially came to a close for the Pittsburgh Steelers when Ryan Succop of the Kansas City Chiefs pushed a game winning field goal wide right against the San Diego Chargers. Well, many could argue that the Steelers’ season came to an end after an 0-4 start or a first half run, but the miracle of miracles came to an abrupt close early Sunday evening. Onward to 2014, and the list of opponents for the Steelers was released on Sunday evening. And, in that list contains sweet sweet revenge.
The Steelers finished second in the division thanks to the reigning Super Bowl Champions led by Joe ‘Elite’ Flacco crapping the bed all season long and finishing with an 8-8 record. The Steelers won the tiebreaker and officially beat topped the Ravens for second place. (I wonder if the league will take away a draft pick for that?) That means the team will play a second place schedule next season. As is the same way every season, the team will focus on two divisions outside of their own. Next season the Steelers will face all four teams from the AFC South and NFC South divisions.
Advantage Steelers. Why?
The Steelers do not have to travel out west, where they usually end up on the wrong end of things, at all next season. In fact, the farthest they go is Tennessee – which is still the eastern time zone. That will pay huge dividends considering Mike Tomlin can’t seem to get a grasp on the term ‘jet lag.’ Here’s how the home and away schedules break down for 2014:
Baltimore (8-8), Cincinnati (11-5), Cleveland (4-12),
Houston (2-14), Indianapolis (11-5), New Orleans (10-5),
Tampa Bay (4-11) and Kansas City (11-4).
Baltimore, Cincinnati, Cleveland,
Jacksonville (4-12), Tennessee (7-9), Atlanta (4-12),
Carolina (12-4) and New York Jets (8-8).
So what about that ‘revenge’ part I was speaking of earlier? Did yinz all catch that home schedule?
That’s right, Kansas City is coming to the ‘Burgh. Yes, of course the Steelers are to blame for their own postseason’less January, but won’t it be sweet to see the Kool Aid Man and his rag tag bunch of misfits (including Ryan ‘Suck’ Succop) come in to Heinz Field? I hope it’s early in the season, and I hope the Steelers smell blood in the water when KC hits the field. How sweet it would be to knock around those precious starters that Andy Reid decided to sit in Week 17 of 2013 and make them suffer the rest of the season. Let’s make sure that Steelers special teams blaster Terence Garvin is on the field for every single kick off return while we’re at it. Revenge is already on the horizon.
The rest of the opponents list looks manageable, especially if this team can build off the 6-2 run it had the second half of the season. Jacksonville, Tennessee, Atlanta, and the Jets are all going nowhere fast. Those are winnable road games with Carolina proving to be the tough one in the bunch. The home stance looks like a fun one. Let’s hope the defense can beef up in the draft, get those younger guys developed, and hold off Andrew Luck and Drew Brees when they come to town.