The Pittsburgh Steelers will play eight road games just like every other team in the NFL. They will just be doing it with the least amount of miles on the odometer than any other team during the 2014 season.
Last season the Steelers accumulated the most miles racked up by an NFL team due to the London game and a West Coast game out in Oakland. This season is a completely different travel song, and the team will have the least miles accumulated according to CBS’ John Breech. Some might view this as trivial, but it could tip the scales for the Steelers as the season wears along.
You’ll remember that many too head coach Mike Tomlin to task for waiting for so long before having the team travel to London. Many felt that jet lag could have played a factor in the Steelers loss (albeit nowhere near the main factor) to a Minnesota Vikings team that arrived in London days before their opponents. Poor coaching more than poor location in my opinion, but if they didn’t have to cross that many time zones in the first place, then having to mess with internal clocks is one less thing to worry about. How many time zones to the Steelers cross in 2014? Just one (and only once), and it’s only as far as the central time zone. As you can see from Pro Football References Travel Map, the Steelers only go as far west as Nashville, Tennessee.
Could less miles mean more wins for the Steelers? They start the season with four of their first six games on the road. Less miles traveled could actually help at a time like that. Teams that travel a ton of miles during the season tend to struggle during stretches of the season. Just ask any West Coast team that has to hit up the East Coast a few times during the season.
One other interesting thing to note is that the Steelers fellow AFC North Division mates are also teams that are traveling less than most of the other teams. The Steelers travel the fewest, the Browns are next least at 31st, the Bengals are 29th, and the Ravens are 25th. The Raiders are the most traveled – going to London from L.A. and back will tend to do that.