Well, the NFL is still in lockout mode, but Tuesday night the league still went ahead and got fans excited with the annual release of the schedule. The Steelers are going to be in the prime-time spotlight quite a bit, as they will play five games at night, including three in four weeks starting with a game at the Chiefs on December 4th, and then ending at San Francisco on December 19th.
Here’s a quick rundown the schedule with some notes on the games as well.
Sunday, Sept. 11 at Baltimore – Need we say more to start the year? Always a huge game, and last year it came down to a last second play by Troy Polamalu to strip Joe Flacco and then Issac Redman’s third-down TD won the game. A blood bath that could set the tone for the AFC North early in the year. Started the 1998 season at Baltimore, winning 20-13 in a season that ended 7-9 under Bill Cowher.
Sunday, Sept. 18 SEATTLE – A Super Bowl XL rematch, and the second straight time the Hawks come to Heinz Field since the SB in Detroit back in February of 2006. The last time they played in Pittsburgh, the Steelers beat up the Hawks to the tune of 21-0 on October 7th 2007 in Mike Tomlin’s first season. Seattle won the NFC West a season ago, but won it with a mark of 7-9.
Sunday, Sept. 25 at Indianapolis – The Steelers first prime-time showdown of 2011, an 8:20 Sunday night game on NBC vs Peyton Manning and the Colts. They haven’t played since the Super Bowl season of 2008 when Manning outshined Ben Roethlisberger for a win at Heinz Field. They haven’t played in Indy since that fateful playoff game in 2006 when the Steelers upset them 21-18 enroute to Super Bowl XL. The Steelers have never played in new Lucas Oil Stadium.
Sunday, Oct. 2 at Houston – The Texans are a team that will be hailed as an up and coming squad in 2011, and the Steelers defense will be tested against Matt Schaub, Andre Johnson and Arian Foster. The Steelers opened the 2008 season vs Houston at home pounding them 38-17, and the last time they played in the Lone Star State was in week two of the 2005 season, and again it was all Steelers winning easily 27-7.
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