Prepare for potentially an ugly football season in Pittsburgh. The new schedules have been released, and the Steelers don't much room to breath.
Apparently a 10-6 record and first round exit from the playoffs warrant a tough slate the following year. The season opens with a home game against the Texans, but weeks 2 through 9 are all potential losses: at the Browns and Eagles, followed at home against the the Ravens, then at the Jaguars (who beat them in the playoffs last year), at the Bengals, and at home against the Giants (who won the Super Bowl).
After a "break" in Washington against the Redskins, the Steelers are home against the Colts and Chargers. Weeks 13 and 14 are at the Patriots followed by a home game against Dallas. After games at the Ravens and Titans, the season comes to a merciful end against the Browns.
If the Steelers can get through the first eight weeks with four wins, it would be pretty impressive. Another 10-6 record may be the best this team can hope for, if the talent level is similar to last year. The good news is, this team will have film on the best teams in the NFL if they make the playoffs.