Sunday, May 26, 2024

2022 NFL schedule release: Steelers opponents, previews, full list of teams on regular-season schedule

The big waves of free agency are over. The draft is complete. Now, all eyes are on the upcoming NFL season. Not many teams had a busier offseason than the Steelers, who acquired Mitchell Trubisky during free agency, then used the 20th overall pick in the draft to select Kenny Pickett. Both players will compete with Mason Rudolph to be Ben Roethlisberger’s successor. 

Pittsburgh’s roster is comprised of some of the league’s best players. Defensively, Pittsburgh is led by reigning Defensive Player T.J. Watt, All-Pro defensive tackle Cam Heyward and two-time All-Pro safety Minkah Fitzpatrick. The Steelers’ offense is led by running back Najee Harris, receivers Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool, and tight end Pat Freiermuth. Led by coach Mike Tomlin, the Steelers will vie to win the franchise’s seventh Vince Lombardi Trophy this season and first since the 2008 campaign. 

First, they’ll have to make it through their 2022 opponents. Below, find a complete look at the teams set to square off with Pittsburgh this year, as well as a rundown of their 18-week regular-season schedule (once announced):

2022 opponents

Baltimore Ravens: Pittsburgh has won four straight games against its arch rival. Besieged by injuries, the Ravens started 8-3 last season before losing their final six games. The Ravens made waves during the draft after trading receiver Marquise Brown to the Cardinals. The move was a surprise for Lamar Jackson, who is 1-2 against Pittsburgh as Baltimore’s starting quarterback. 

Cincinnati Bengals: The Steelers were swept by the reigning AFC champions last season. Pittsburgh has lost three straight games to Cincinnati after previously winning 10 straight games against their divisional foe. The Steelers specifically had issues last season against Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow, who completed nearly 81% of his passes in Cincinnati’s two wins over Pittsburgh. 

Cleveland Browns: Pittsburgh avenged their 2020 playoff loss to Cleveland by sweeping their longtime division rival in 2021. The Steelers’ second win over the Browns was the final home game for Roethlisberger, who tallied a 26-3-1 lifetime record against Cleveland. The Browns, who acquired Deshaun Watson this offseason, are looking to rebound following a disappointing 8-9 season. 

New England Patriots: This matchup will mark Pittsburgh’s first against the Patriots without Tom Brady under center since 2008. That’s good news for the Steelers, who went 12-3 against Pittsburgh during his 20-year Patriots career. Brady’s replacement, second-year quarterback Mac Jones, helped the Patriots clinch a playoff berth during his first season in Foxborough. 

New Orleans Saints: New Orleans is a vastly different team than the one the Steelers lost to late in the 2018 season. Dennis Allen has succeeded Sean Payton as the team’s head coach. Jameis Winston has replaced Drew Brees as New Orleans’ starting quarterback. The Saints do still have running back Alvin Kamara, receiver Michael Thomas, and defensive end Cameron Jordan. New Orleans missed the playoffs in 2021 despite posting a 9-8 record. 

New York Jets: The Jets have undergone massive personnel changes this offseason. New York is expected to start several members of their highly-touted rookie class that includes receiver Garrett Wilson, cornerback Ahmad Gardner, defensive end Jermaine Johnson II, and running back Breece Hall. New York’s roster also includes several former Bengals in defensive end Carl Lawson and tight end C.J. Uzomah

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The Steelers will face Brady for the first time since he signed with Tampa Bay in 2020. While Brady has mostly had his way with the Steelers, the seven-time Super Bowl champion was on the short end of a 17-10 score the last time he came to Pittsburgh. The Steelers last defeated the Buccaneers back in 2018, when Vance McDonald’s dramatic stiff-arm propelled Pittsburgh to a win in front of a “Monday Night Football” audience. 

Las Vegas Raiders: The Raiders have had the Steelers’ number in recent years. Las Vegas has won four of its five games against Pittsburgh that includes last year’s 26-17 win at Heinz Field in Week 2. Derek Carr had a field day, as he went 28 of 37 for 382 yards with a pair of touchdown passes. The Steelers did receive a big day from Johnson, who pulled down nine passes for 105 yards that included a 41-yard reception. 

Atlanta Falcons: Similar to the Steelers, the Falcons acquired veteran and rookie quarterbacks this offseason. Atlanta signed former Titans starter Marcus Mariota, then used a third-round pick to select former Cincinnati quarterback Desmond Ridder. The Falcons used their first-round pick to select Drake London, a 6-foot-5 receiver who the Steelers will undoubtedly focus on when the two teams face off this season. 

Buffalo Bills: Pittsburgh kicked off the 2021 season by upsetting the Bills in Buffalo. They did so by holding Buffalo to three field goals in the red zone while containing Josh Allen, who completed less than 60% of his throws. The Bills’ offensive line had no answer for Watt, who recorded the first two of his NFL record-tying 22.5 sacks. 

Carolina Panthers: Many thought the Panthers would use the No. 6 overall pick to select Pickett, who ultimately landed in Pittsburgh. Carolina instead used a third-round pick to select former Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral. For now, the Panthers’ starting quarterback is Sam Darnold, who defeated the Steelers in his first start against Pittsburgh in Week 16 of the 2019 season. 

Indianapolis Colts: Pittsburgh has a 26-6 lifetime record against the Colts, whose Week 17 upset loss to the Jaguars last season enabled the Steelers to clinch the AFC’s final playoff berth. The Colts’ offense has a new quarterback in former Falcon and league MVP Matt Ryan, who went 0-3 against Pittsburgh during his time in Atlanta. The Colts’ offense is led by Jonathan Taylor, who led the NFL with 1,811 rushing yards and 18 touchdown runs in 2021. 

Miami Dolphins: This game will certainly mean something for Brian Flores, who was hired by the Steelers after being let go by the Dolphins despite posting back-to-back winning seasons as Miami’s head coach. It will also be a big game for Fitzpatrick, who was traded to Pittsburgh from Miami in 2019 in exchange for the Steelers’ first round pick in the 2020 Draft. Fitzpatrick and the rest of the Steelers’ defense will look to contain a Dolphins offense that will feature the receiving duo of Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle

Philadelphia Eagles: The City of Brotherly Love has been anything but kind to the Steelers over the year. Pittsburgh hasn’t won in Philadelphia since 1965 and are 0-2 in such matchups under Tomlin. This will be the Steelers’ first matchup against Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts, who posted a winning record as the Eagles’ starter during his rookie campaign. The game will be a reunion for Eagles Pro Bowl defensive tackle Javon Hargrave, who spent his first four NFL seasons with the Steelers.  

Full 2022 schedule





































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