Steelers Release 2011 Schedule, Season Opens at Baltimore

Even though the NFL and its players are still fighting over billions of dollars and are currently in the middle of an increasingly annoying lockout, the 2011 schedule was released on Tuesday evening. The Steelers will open the season on a Sunday afternoon, in Baltimore, and will play their home opener the following week against the Seattle Seahawks.

Three of the first four games are on the road and the Steelers will play in primetime five times: Sunday September 25 at Indianapolis, Sunday November 6 at home against Baltimore, Sunday November 27 at Kansas City, Thursday December 8 at home against Cleveland, and Monday December 19 at San Francisco.

Other notable games include a 4:15 throwdown with New England at Heinz Field on October 30, Christmas Eve (Saturday December 24) against St. Louis at Heinz Field and the regular season finale on New Years Day at Cleveland. The bye week is November 20.

Sunday, Sept. 11 at Baltimore 1 p.m CBS
Sunday, Sept. 18 SEATTLE 1 p.m. FOX
Sunday, Sept. 25 at Indianapolis 8:20 p.m. NBC
Sunday, Oct. 2 at Houston 1 p.m. CBS
Sunday, Oct. 9 TENNESSEE 1 p.m. CBS
Sunday, Oct. 16 JACKSONVILLE 1 p.m. CBS
Sunday, Oct. 23 at Arizona 4:05 p.m. CBS
Sunday, Oct. 30 NEW ENGLAND 4:15 p.m. CBS
Sunday, Nov. 6 BALTIMORE 8:20 p.m. NBC
Sunday, Nov. 13 at Cincinnati 1 p.m. CBS
Sunday, Nov. 20 Bye
Sunday, Nov. 27* at Kansas City 8:20 p.m. NBC
Sunday, Dec. 4* CINCINNATI 1 p.m. CBS
Thursday, Dec. 8 CLEVELAND 8:20 p.m. NFL Network/KDKA
Monday, Dec. 19 at San Francisco 8:30 p.m. ESPN
Saturday, Dec. 24* ST. LOUIS 1 p.m. FOX
Sunday, Jan. 1* at Cleveland 1 p.m. CBS

Schedule via Steelers.com

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  • Ratbirds

    I’m sure the Ravens are already crying about having to play a night game in Pittsburgh. What a bunch of wussbags.

  • Warriorblitz

    this schedule looks favorable for at least 10 wins

    • Anonymous

      4-5 in the division. Three against the AFC South, four against the NFC West, split with NE-KC.

      That’s 12-13. So I can be wrong by two-three and ten is in the bag.

  • JB

    How bout a late-season bye for the first time in forever?

  • Anonymous

    I thought that Pittsburgh was going to be playing at Seattle. I was all exited too since that’s where I live, and Seahawks tickets are actually obtainable.

    • GlennW

      Sorry you were caught by surprise, but the NFL modified the schedule alignment before the 2009 season so that no team would have to make two West Coast trips in the same season. At that time it was announced (albeit quietly) that the Steelers’ Arizona/Seattle games would be flipped starting in 2011. Now, I really don’t see the big difference between traveling to Phoenix versus Seattle/San Fran (or Denver versus Oakland/San Diego in the AFC West), but that’s what they decided…

      http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=4009230

  • EasyLikeSundayMorning

    Things can and do change, but as of now, those look like 5 really easy games to end the year.

    • Ted

      It’s not so bad when you consider both are at home, both are against inferior teams, and Cleveland has the same # of days off before coming to Pittsburgh for a Thursday night game. I love our second half of the schedule. 5-4 after 9 and we are in good shape. 6-3 and we should win the North. Of course, the key will be how healthy we can stay, which is why I love having all the really tough games in the first 9 on the schedule. All of our last five opponents had losing records last year, combining to 27-53. That looks like a sweep to me.

      • EasyLikeSundayMorning

        Ted, I think your comment is a reply to eddie, but it shows up under my comment.

  • eddie

    two freaking short weeks in december sucks.

  • Ted

    I love this schedule. The Steelers have gone 6-2 to open every year under Tomlin. We are a front-starting team that always plays its best (with the exception of 05) in our playoff years at the beginning of the season. We have an old team that wears down and loses key players (Aaron Smith, Troy) as the season progresses. Moreover, any missed training camp for all teams will not hurt the Steelers much due to our continuity with coaches and veteran players.

    In other words, having most of our tough games early is ideal and this schedule fits that bill. Now, I do remember the collapse in 09 against the weakest part of the sked, but that is unlikely to happen again. We could not ask for a better last five games. Cincy at home, followed by Clev coming to Pitts on the short week for a Thursday game. Thursday games are a major advantage for the home team. Then we get a full 10 days to prepare for a cross-country trip to SF for our only Monday night game of the year (it seems they tried to limit the # of times marquee teams will be on Mon night this year but not Sunday). The only negative is getting just 6 days for the Rams, although that is at home as well. Then we get 8 days before going to Cleveland for the regular-season finale.

    A 2-2 start is needed and that will be challenging with the Ravens, Colts and Texans on the road in the first four weeks. If we lose Ike Taylor, chalk up the last two of those as sure-fire losses against pass-happy teams. With Ike back, though, we’d have a chance in all. If we are 5-4 after the second Ravens game (I like having both early in the year), then we are in great shape as I could easily see this team going 6-1 down the stretch if not 7-0.

    One more caveat, although it is unlikely: Let’s say the judge does not lift the lockout and negotiations break down. An agreement is not reached until after games are missed and canceled. While that would suck as a football fan, it would mean we would have any potential FAs we want back for 2011 (e.g., Taylor, Colon, Spaeth, Gay, J. Scott, etc.) and I would not be crying about a 12-game season that includes eliminating games on the road against the Ravens, Colts and Texans.

    • Cols714

      Even if Ike Taylor leaves, the Steelers will not definitely lose to pass happy teams. Why are you so damn pessimistic as a fan? Haven’t you witnessed time and again the Steelers losing someone seemingly irreplaceable and then replacing them? Witness Holmes from last year.

      • Ted

        It is not pessimism, but rather the realism that the notion of a starting CB tandem of McFadden and Gay would be disastrous against several opponents (Colts, Texans, Pats). Let us all pray that never happens. Please pop in the tapes of the Pats and Packers games from last year and watch how opponents exploited any CBs we had other than Taylor. And remember they did this with Taylor usually blanketing their top WR. Who the heck are we going to put on Andre Johnson if Ike leaves? That is a nightmarish thought.

        McFadden and Gay suck. Period. Anyone who says otherwise does not watch much football. I don’t care about any stats from Football Outsiders. Those fail to take into account that those two hacks benefited from having the best front seven in football, the defensive player of the year at SS, and a very good No. 1 CB who covered the other team’s top WR throughout most games (Atlanta excluded), but yet still were exploited. Moreover, LeBeau rarely had those guys alone in man and almost never in press coverage, while Ike was almost always in man and in press. We should have yielded 50 points and more than 500 passing yards to the Packers if their WRs don’t keep dropping balls in the Super Bowl. Spread the field and protect, and we only have one guy who can actually cover WRs, which is why accurate QBs have long been the kryptonite to LeBeau’s defense.

        Get Ike back and we have a chance to win every game on our schedule (although the Pats coming off a bye like last year will be very tough) and we will be among the SB favorites. Lose him and we have the worst pair of starting CBs in the league and as Adam just wrote, do not expect immediate help from a rookie CB picked No. 31. Just go back and look at McFadden’s one year in Arizona, where he did not have great players around him. He was arguably the worst starting CB in the NFL, which is why Arizona shipped him back to Pittsburgh after one year in return for the Steelers sending a 5th-round pick for a 6th-round pick. In other words, the Cardinals threw McFadden into a deal to move up to the late 5th round from the 6th round, and that was their best offer from any team for BMac. He can’t play in any other scheme in the NFL, because he can’t cover man-to-man downfield (See the Bengals game from last year). Gay is actually our second best coverage corner, although he is not as good in zone or as physical against the run as McFadden.

        • Cols714

          Maybe we would have the worst CB duo and maybe not. The point is that the Steelers have historically lost what fans considered to be players that we couldn’t win without. And the Steelers have historically won without them.

          So even if Taylor leaves, I think the Steelers will still be a pretty good team that is in every game they play in and won’t be out of games against pass happy teams.

          Just like losing Holmes last year, the Steelers can withstand the loss of Taylor and make it back to the Super Bowl.

  • EasyLikeSundayMorning

    Seattle was pretty good at home and awful on the road. A cross-country flight to play the Steelers doesn’t seem like a good scenario for them.  My hope for that game is that we win but several egregious calls go against us.

    Are we really playing the Pats at home on Halloween again?  The win in 2004 was great, with Ben thoroughly outplaying Brady.  We DVR-ed the game to take our 1.5-year old son trick-or-treating.  He was wearing a Ben jersey, partly because Ben looked promising and party because we thought 14 letters on the back of a toddler looked amusing.  When we got to people’s doors, they kept saying things to my son like, “Boy, you’re having a great game,” and we had to tell them we were recording it and hadn’t seen it yet.  A repeat of that game result would be pretty sweet.

  • Smheart78

    That’s one of the easier schedules I’ve seen in quite some years!

  • EasyLikeSundayMorning

    The last 5 opponents still seem easy to me.  But the actual schedule for the last 4 weeks is wacky: 3 days off before a Thursday night game, then 10 days off before a Monday night game in San Fran, then 4 days off before a Saturday game on Christmas Eve, then 7 days off before the season finale on New Years Day.