Writer Says Steelers 'Screwed' By 2024 Schedule

The Pittsburgh Steelers are facing a massive disadvantage with their 2024 schedule.
Nov 12, 2023; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomloin (left)
Nov 12, 2023; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomloin (left) / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
In this story:

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Steelers will have to grapple with an immensely difficult 2024 schedule that is not just loaded with quality opponents, but their final nine games after the bye week feature all six divisional matchups with a Christmas Day game against the Kansas City Chiefs and a visit to Philadelphia to face the Eagles sprinkled in.

NFL officials have said that it wasn't intentional to give the Steelers such an unfavorable finish to the season and don't believe it puts them at any sort of disadvantage. But one writer from Sports Illustrated, Connor Orr, disagrees.

"I absolutely despise the way the Steelers’ schedule is laid out,” Orr wrote. “Pittsburgh faces no divisional opponents until Nov. 17, and then successively plays the Baltimore Ravens at home, at the Cleveland Browns on Thursday Night Football (short rest), at the Cincinnati Bengals, a second game against the Browns, a one-week break from the division against a very good Philadelphia Eagles team, and then a second Ravens game on the road with short rest on a Saturday."

Orr likened AFC North play to the SEC in college football. Widely considered to be the best and most physically-demanding conference in the sport, the conference play in the SEC plays a massive part in determining who the top teams in the sport are year in and year out. Orr believes the AFC North has a similar profile.

"The AFC North is unique in that it’s akin to SEC divisional play in college football. There is a season, in theory, but the only thing that really matters is the outcome of the most difficult conference in the NFL," Orr added. "Outside of having the third-hardest strength of schedule (most AFC North teams, by virtue of last season and each team’s successes, wound up with skewed SOS rankings), Pittsburgh basically has to shift gears at a time when injury attrition is at its height and battle through the meat of its schedule with one meaningful game after another.

Orr even says the beginning of the season isn't as easy as it seems, with "sneaky" tough road games at Atlanta and Denver to open the season.

Simply put, Orr thinks the Steelers were put at a massive disadvantage heading into the 2024 season. And even though they improved their roster dramatically over the offseason, it might not matter given the gauntlet the Steelers are facing.

“The end of Pittsburgh’s schedule is also ominous,” Orr said. “The Steelers play Baltimore, having had just six days rest, which then bleeds into a game against the Kansas City Chiefs on Christmas on four days of rest. So, that’s a massive chunk of recovery sapped out of the schedule for a team that relies heavily on some veteran defensive players who have struggled to stay healthy. Ravens-Chiefs-Bengals to end the season, completing a stretch of six divisional games in eight weeks, feels ridiculous."

Make sure you bookmark All Steelers for the latest news, exclusive interviews, film breakdowns and so much more!

Subscribe to the All Steelers YouTube Channel

Stephen Thompson


Stephen Thompson graduated with a bachelor's degree in communications and political science from Pitt in April 2022 after spending four years as a sports writer and editor at The Pitt News, the University of Pittsburgh's independent, student-run newspaper. He primarily worked the Pitt men's basketball beat, and filled in on coverage of football, volleyball, softball, gymnastics and lacrosse, in addition to other sports as needed. His work at The Pitt News has won awards from the Pennsylvania News Media Association and Associated College Press. During the spring and summer of 2021, Stephen interned for Pittsburgh Sports Now, covering baseball in western Pennsylvania. Hailing from Washington D.C., family ties have cultivated a love of Boston's professional teams and Pitt athletics, and a fascination with sports in general.