It's a day every football fan anxiously awaits. The release of the NFL schedule. And this year the excitement is as strong as ever.
The full NFL schedule will be released and analyzed in a three-hour special on NFL Network at 8 p.m., but we have an early look at the Steelers schedule.
When it comes to Steelers football, playing in primetime has become the norm, and that will be the case again this year as the team's 2020 schedule includes four primetime matchups, including one on Thanksgiving night against the Baltimore Ravens at Heinz Field. And for those who like Sunday afternoon football, there is something for you as well, as 11 games kick off at 1 p.m.
"I haven't seen a schedule I didn't like, particularly this time of year," said Coach Mike Tomlin on NFL Network. "We all are football lovers and we miss competing. It's an exciting day when the schedule comes out."
The NFL is planning on playing the entire 2020 season as scheduled, with increased protocols and safety measures for all at the forefront due to COVID-19.
2020 Preseason Schedule
Aug. 6 vs. Dallas, 8:00 p.m. ET (NBC
Aug. 13-17 vs. Tampa Bay, TBD (KDKA-TV)
Aug. 23 vs. New Orleans, 8:00 p.m. ET (FOX)
Aug. 27-30 at NY Jets, TBD (KDKA-TV)
Sept. 3-4 at Carolina, TBD (KDKA-TV)
2020 Regular Season Schedule
Sept. 14 at NY Giants, 7:15 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Sept. 20 vs. Denver, 1:00 p.m. ET (CBS)
Sept. 27 vs. Houston, 1:00 p.m. ET (CBS)
Oct. 4 at Tennessee, 1:00 p.m. ET (CBS)
Oct. 11 vs. Philadelphia, 1:00 p.m. ET (FOX)
Oct. 18 vs. Cleveland, 1:00 p.m. ET (CBS)
Oct. 25 at Baltimore, 1:00 p.m. ET (CBS)
Nov. 8 at Dallas, 4:25 p.m. ET (CBS)
Nov. 15 vs. Cincinnati, 1:00 p.m. ET (FOX)
Nov. 22 at Jacksonville, 1:00 p.m. ET (CBS)
Nov. 26 vs. Baltimore, 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC)
Dec. 6 vs. Washington, 1:00 p.m. ET (FOX)
Dec. 13 at Buffalo, 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC)
Dec. 21 at Cincinnati, 8:15 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Dec. 27 vs. Indianapolis, 1:00 p.m. ET (CBS)
Jan. 3 at Cleveland, 1:00 p.m. ET (CBS)
The Steelers will open the 2020 season on the road against the New York Giants on Monday Night Football on Sept. 14 at 7:15 p.m. on ESPN, the second year in a row they are opening on primetime television. It will be the sixth time they have opened the season against the New York Giants, but the first time they have done so on the road. The last time they opened the season against the Giants was in 1968, a 34-20 loss at Pitt Stadium in Coach Bill Austin's final season. The Steelers opened the 1933 season against the Giants at Forbes Field, the first-ever game for the black and gold.
It will also mark the return of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who missed the majority of the 2019 season.
"We are extremely confident in his readiness," said Tomlin. "We are enjoying the process he is going through right now. It's not without angst. The guy is coming off a season-ending injury to surgery. We like where we are. He is throwing on a rehab schedule. It's going well. We fully anticipate him being ready to go."
The team will play in the friendly confines of Heinz Field the next two weeks, hosting the Denver Broncos in Week 2 on Sunday, Sept. 20 at 1 p.m. on CBS.
The following week will be a Watt family reunion when Steelers linebacker T.J. Watt and fullback Derek Watt host their brother, Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt and his teammates on Sunday, Sept. 27 at 1 p.m. The Texans will be the first of five 2019 playoff teams they face.
It's back on the road for a Week 4 matchup against the Tennessee Titans on Sunday, Oct. 4 at 1 p.m. The Titans are a team that emerged from the Wild Card Playoff Round to go to the AFC Championship game last year, where they lost to the Kansas City Chiefs, the eventual Super Bowl champs.
A battle of Pennsylvania will be on display in Week 5 when the Philadelphia Eagles visit the Steelers on Sunday, Oct. 11 at 1 p.m. in a game that will be seen on FOX. It will be the first time the Eagles have visited Heinz Field since 2012, a 16-14 win thanks to a 34-yard field goal by Shaun Suisham as time expired.
AFC North football gets into full effect in Week 6 when the Cleveland Browns visit Heinz Field on Sunday, Oct. 18 for a 1 p.m. game. It will be the first time the Steelers will face new Browns' Coach Kevin Stefanski, who was hired in January.
The excitement of AFC North football will continue in Week 7 when the Steelers hit the road to take on the Baltimore Ravens, the defending AFC North champs, on Sunday, Oct. 25 at 1 p.m.
After two AFC North games the bye week comes at a good time in Week 8, giving the team a break before they hit a stretch of nine straight games.
Following the break, the team will take on the Dallas Cowboys in a Week 9 matchup on the road on Sunday, Nov. 8 at 4:25 p.m., the team's only game that is scheduled in that time slot.
In Week 10 the team will host the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, Nov. 15, with kickoff set for 1 p.m. on FOX. The Steelers defeated the Bengals in both matchups last season, a 27-3 win on the road and a 16-10 victory at home. This will be the first time the Steelers will face Joe Burrow, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
The team will travel to Jacksonville in Week 11 to take on the Jaguars on Sunday, Nov. 22, a 1 p.m. kickoff on CBS. The Steelers last played the Jaguars in 2018, a 20-16 win aided by JuJu Smith-Schuster's eight receptions for 104 yards and six sacks by the defense, including two by Watt.
Steelers' fans can have their turkey early and enjoy football late when the team hosts the Ravens at Heinz Field on Nov. 26, Thanksgiving night, with an 8:20 p.m. game on NBC. It will mark the eighth time the Steelers have played on Thanksgiving, but the first time at home. The Steelers first played on Thanksgiving in 1939, losing to the Philadelphia Eagles, 17-14. This is the second time the Steelers will play the Ravens on Thanksgiving, losing the 2013 matchup, 22-20. The Steelers, who have a 2-6 record on the holiday, last played on Thanksgiving in 2016, a 28-7 win over the Indianapolis Colts.
"We just are humbled and honored to entertain our fans on a special day like that," said Tomlin. "We've had an opportunity to be in a number of those games over the years. We don't take them for granted. We will be excited about this one. Take also into account it's an AFC North game against the Baltimore Ravens. It's going to be a special day. It's an honor to entertain our fans on a day like that, on a holiday. We look forward to doing it. It also presents some special challenges from a preparation standpoint. We'll address that appropriately so."
In Week 13 the Washington Redskins will visit Heinz Field on Dec. 6 for a 1 p.m. game on FOX. The Steelers have won the last six games against the Redskins, dating back to 1997, including a 38-16 win in 2016 when Ben Roethlisberger threw for 300 yards and three touchdowns.
The next two weeks the Steelers will be in the primetime spotlight beginning Week 14 when the team heads to Buffalo to take on the Bills on NBC's Sunday Night Football, with kickoff at 8:20 p.m. on Dec. 13. It will be the second-straight year for safety Terrell Edmunds and running back Trey Edmunds to face their brother, Bills linebacker Tremaine Edmunds.
The following week it will be AFC North football that gets the national attention when the Steelers and Bengals meet on ESPN's Monday Night Football on Dec. 21 at Paul Brown Stadium, with kickoff at 8:15 p.m.
The final home game of the regular season will be a Week 16 matchup against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, Dec. 27 at 1 p.m. The Steelers have won the last six games against the Colts, including a 26-24 victory in 2019.
The regular season will close out on January 3, with a Week 17 matchup against the Browns, the 11th straight year the team will face an AFC North rival in the final game. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. on CBS.
In addition to the regular season schedule announcement, the team also announced their preseason schedule. The team will open the preseason playing in the Pro Football Hall of Fame game against the Cowboys on Thursday, Aug. 6 at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio. Kickoff for the game, which will feature the Steelers as the home team, is at 8 p.m. on NBC.
The team will then have two home games and close out the preseason with two games on the road.
The Steelers host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the second-straight year in what is technically considered Week 1 of the preseason. The date and time are still yet to be determined.
They will continue at home in Week 2, hosting the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, Aug. 23 at 8 p.m. on FOX, their second national televised game of the preseason.
The team will be on the road the next two weeks, taking on the New York Jets in Week 3. The team will close out the preseason on the road against the Carolina Panthers. This will be the 18th consecutive year the two teams will meet in the final week of the preseason. Dates and times for both the Jets and Panthers games are still to be determined.
All Steelers preseason and regular season games can be heard on the Steelers Radio Network on WDVE-FM (102.5) and WBGG-AM (970) as well on Steelers.com.
Take a look at photos from our last meeting with each of our 2020 opponents