Steelers' 2017 Schedule Analysis: Figure Pittsburgh for 11-5 and AFC North Champions

Doug Upstone

Monday, April 24, 2017 7:50 PM UTC

Monday, Apr. 24, 2017 7:50 PM UTC

The table is set for Pittsburgh to start the season in fine fashion. Beginning in Week 11, it will be like the Steelers made a deal to have reality TV show, because of how often they will be in prime time.

A quick glance at the NFL odds for futures at 5Dimes has Pittsburgh the second-best bet in the AFC at +575 and fifth overall to win the Super Bowl at +1250.

The early part of the schedule, at least before the season starts, sets up to place the Steelers in strong position, facing Cleveland (-8.5 point favorites already), Chicago and Jacksonville in the first five games. In fact, coach Mike Tomlin's squad only faces two teams which had winning record last season in their first eight encounters before the bye week. (Kansas City and Detroit)

Starting Thursday Nov. 16th, Pittsburgh will play four consecutive prime time games (Tennessee, Green Bay, at Cincinnati and Baltimore). Next will be late afternoon showcase showdown with New England and they will be one of four teams to play on Christmas Day.

In terms of strength of schedule, it is somewhat misleading at tied for 27th, because the Browns and Bears really drag it down.

In looking for trouble spots, of course both Baltimore games will be tough and physical. Trips to Kansas City, Detroit and even Indianapolis will test the Steelers mettle. And home games with Green Bay and New England are sandwiched around two division games with the Ravens and Cincinnati, which will say something about Pittsburgh late in the season.

With Ben Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell , Antonio Brown and one of the Top 5 offensive lines in the NFL, if the defense continues to improve, the Steelers win the division and go deep into the playoffs.

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