Saturday, April 20, 2013
thoughts on the Steelers 2013 schedule
So the NFL just released the 2013 Steelers regular season schedule.
2013 schedule (All times ET)
Sept. 8 TENNESSEE TITANS, 1 p.m.
Sept. 16 at Cincinnati Bengals, 8:40 p.m.
Sept. 22 CHICAGO BEARS, 8:30 p.m.
Sept. 29 at Minnesota Vikings (Wembley Stadium, London), 1 p.m.
Oct. 6 BYE
Oct. 13 at New York Jets, 1 p.m.
Oct. 20 BALTIMORE RAVENS, 4:25 p.m.
Oct. 27 at Oakland Raiders, 4:05 p.m.
Nov. 3 at New England Patriots, 4:25 p.m.
Nov. 10 BUFFALO BILLS, 1 p.m.
Nov. 17 DETROIT LIONS, 1 p.m.
Nov. 24 at Cleveland Browns, 1 p.m.
Nov. 28 at Baltimore Ravens, 8:30 p.m.
Dec. 8 MIAMI DOLPHINS, 1 p.m.
Dec. 15 CINCINNATI BENGALS, 8:30 p.m.
Dec. 22 at Green Bay Packers, 4:25 p.m.
Dec. 29 CLEVELAND BROWNS, 1 p.m.
First and foremost, on opening day we have a home game against the Titans. From a potential stampede perspective, this does not bode well. There are a total of 10 1 o'clock games on that particular Sunday. Usually, there are 9. The final day of the season has the most (12), but that weekend often suffers form weak attendance. Since I'm the only person on the planet who's concerned about artificially generated stampedes, I won't harp on it. I'll be there regardless.
Gigi and I will be out "cruising the Northwest" for the big nationally televised night game against Da Bears. That one jumped out at me as a must-see, but I'll cope... somehow.
Our bye comes a little early in the season. But that's always the case when you get a London game at the end of September. They usually do inter-conference AFC/NFC match-ups across the pond. Wise decision. I don't mind playing the Vikes. I'd rather see the Green Bay game played in Wisconsin and the domed Lions have to venture to Heinz Field for a relatively cold weather game.
At least we didn't get screwed on the London trip. By that, I mean we still have 8 home games. So you really can't bitch too much. By the time we finally get back to Europe, there's a good possibility the United States may have fallen as a "great civilization/empire." We'll likely have bigger problems to contend with.
Cool that we open the preseason with a home game against the NY Giants. Only I would find something like this to be of substantive interest.
I like the fact that Miami has to come the Burgh for a late season cold weather game.
They just announced that the Bengals signed James Harrison. Fucking Fantastic. What better a way to celebrate than our only prime time Monday Night game in the second week slot. My prediction - he'll make one big hit or sack early on and then be rendered meaningless. It's absolutely hysterical that the Bungles signed him to a 2 year deal. How fitting. I rarely complain about the players we sign or drop. However, I can't believe we matched the offer on WR Emmanuel Sanders. I do question that move. Maybe Belichick was purposely bating us. I suspect he'll under-perform this year. Just a hunch.
Gotta love the Thanksgiving night showdown against the Ravens on the road. Although who can forget the 1998 coin toss in Detroit. Though I'm hardly what you call superstitious. Should be a good knock down, drag out. It always is. Roger Goodell got this one right. Congrats.
The balance of our schedule seems strong. 8 - 1 o'clocks. 4 - 4 o'clocks and 4 night games. Not bad for an East coast team that went 8-8 and missed the playoffs last year. Just ask the Browns who have 13 games at 1 pm and a sole crappy night game against Buffalo. Sounds about right. Can you tell who the NFL likes from a ratings perspective?
Looks like we'll find out "what's what" during the 4 game stretch following the bye week. 3 high profile away games (Jets, Raiders and Patriots) with a Ravens home game sandwiched in there. There is a West Coast trip to Oakland, but it's almost an entire month after the London journey. Shouldn't be a factor. If we can go 2-2 in those 4 games, we should be good as we segue into back-to-back home games against perennial teams of squalor... Buffalo and Detroit.
We usually close the season on the road in Cleveland. This year we get the Browns at home. This game is almost always irrelevant. I suspect 2013 will be no different. And Cleveland's new owner, Jimmy Haslam, is under federal indictment. It's related to his "Flying J" truck stops. Maybe the FBI doesn't care for the public marijuana legalization insinuation/endorsement. They probably think it sullies the stellar reputation of the league. Just what the Browns needed. If they weren't such a downtrodden, defeated laughingstock, it wouldn't be as nearly amusing. Talk about kicking a team when they're down. Over the years, it's grown increasingly difficult... maintaining that level of seething acrimony toward the Browns. In today's world, you almost want to stick up for the team that gets bullied all the time. Almost. I think they've officially replaced the AZ Cardinals as the "victims of NFL bullying." The Browns are offensive... because they have no offense. Quite the conundrum.
Our "power" or strength of schedule ranking came in at #22. This sounds about right. It looks relatively soft. Our "oddball" AFC match-ups are Tennessee and Oakland. I can live with that. Though personally, I will miss Jeff Fisher's mustache. Whenever the score is 28-7 and they show him wandering the sideline. Then, they zoom in for a closeup of his face on the jumbo-tron, I get these bizarre, titillating, homoerotic goose bumps.
All in all, if you openly bitch and complain about this schedule (from virtually any perspective), I'd have to say you're not too savvy. I think this could be Roethlisberger's last chance for glory. He's just been too banged up over the years. His ability to shake off tackles and make those last second heroic plays... well, last year was pretty telling. And I'm not sure Bruce Gradkowski is the answer either.
It's always too early, but I think we're playoff bound. Here's how I think the AFC North shapes up.
Baltimore 12-4 (the 2012 Ravens were hardly a fluke)