For a number of weeks now if you were to click on any piece of media from the NFL talking about the Pittsburgh Steelers undefeated start to the season, you would find numerous comments about how ‘easy’ the Steelers schedule has been. Sure, the Steelers haven’t played a murders row of teams, but when you take a step back and look at this NFL season, you might realize that currently there are only about four teams with any sort of championship aspirations. The Steelers didn’t play the Kansas City Chiefs or the NFC South this year so the only time these teams will be able to compare themselves to each other is in those championship games.
Secondly, you would also notice that this is the NFL. The best football players and coaches in the world participate in this league. Each and every game is a grind and winning in the NFL, regardless of the opponent, is difficult.
When you narrow it back down to the Pittsburgh Steelers and people are throwing out the claims of this team not having played anyone, one of the stats to remember is the Steelers have defeated three teams with winning records this year, second most in the NFL. Which in turn makes the claims baseless.
First the NFL takes away our bye week because another team can’t get their Covid situation together, now they take away our Thanksgiving primetime game for the same reason. Smh.
— JuJu Smith-Schuster (@TeamJuJu) November 25, 2020
But getting back to the question at hand, the Pittsburgh Steelers have actually had one of the more difficult schedules in the NFL. This team hasn’t had a week off of football since early August. Not only did the Pittsburgh Steelers lose their original bye week because the Tennessee Titans had an outbreak of Covid-19, but they also lost their mini bye week which was supposed to follow the Steelers Thanksgiving clash with the Ravens, again due to Covid-19. It’s not like this team just received different days off either. In both cases the Steelers completed all of their weekly practices before the games were rescheduled.
One of the silver linings to this brutal schedule is that the Steelers are cruising through the 2020 NFL season and have set themselves up to earn a first round bye in the playoffs. Unfortunately, one of the issues the Baltimore Ravens outbreak might present is the Week 12 game could be rescheduled for Week 18. If this circumstance plays out, the NFL could add an eighth playoff team and eliminate the bye week all together. What further complicates this is if the Steelers and Ravens end up being the only Week 18 game, then every other team in the playoffs will have an extra bye week.
Ravens players were told today by their HC John Harbaugh that, for everyone’s safety, they will not be allowed back in the training facility until Monday at the earliest, sources tell ESPN.
Ravens are scheduled to play Steelers on Sunday, so that game doesn’t seem possible.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 27, 2020
Think of it this way. There is a possibility that an undefeated team is the only playoff bound team to not get a bye week. Furthermore if the Steelers are to advance to the Super Bowl they would have done so having already played 19 games through 21 weeks, plus all of training camp without any byes.
So are you sure you want to say the Steelers season is easy?