The long wait is nearly over. Following one of the more tumultuous off-seasons in recent memory, the Pittsburgh Steelers are a month away from kicking off the 2019 campaign. With training camps wrapping up and preseason kicking off, Last Word on Pro Football is analyzing the schedules of all 32 NFL teams. Each team’s 16-game slate will be split into its most difficult (1-8) and easiest games (9-16). This article will focus on the easiest games on the 2019 Pittsburgh Steelers schedule.
2019 Pittsburgh Steelers Easiest Games
9. Week Five: vs Baltimore Ravens
The first matchup between the Ravens and the Steelers will take place in Pittsburgh in 2019. With Ben Roethlisberger under center, the Steelers are 9-3 against the Ravens at Heinz Field during the regular season. This first meeting between these two AFC North rivals takes place on Sunday Night Football. In primetime home games, Ben and the Steelers are 5-2 against the Ravens in the regular season. Divisional matchups tend to be more difficult than they otherwise would be, but a home matchup tends to go the Steelers way. It still wouldn’t be a surprise if the game isn’t decided until the final quarter.
10. Week 13: vs Cleveland Browns
The home game against the Browns takes place two weeks after their first meeting in 2019. Since 2004, the Steelers have utterly dominated the Browns regardless of whether the game is played in Pittsburgh or Cleveland. Big Ben has never lost to the Browns in 11 home starts. Even without Roethlisberger, the Steelers are 15-0 against the Browns in Pittsburgh. A win would match the run 16 straight home victories that the Steelers enjoyed against the Browns from 1970 to 1985. On paper, this is arguably the best Browns team since 2007 or their playoff team in 2002. It will likely be a bit closer than usual, but it would be a surprise to see the Browns get only their second ever win at Heinz Field.
11. Week 15: vs Buffalo Bills
This season, the Steelers play the AFC East as part of their schedule rotation. That means they will meet the Bills on the field for the first time since 2016. Since 2005, the Steelers are 5-0 against the Bills. When played in Pittsburgh, the Steelers have an average margin of victory of 18 points. The Bills have a tough defense and an improving offense with Josh Allen under center. Were this game played in Buffalo, it would certainly rank higher on this list. But a home crowd watching (potentially) the final game of the year in Pittsburgh will certainly benefit the Steelers.
12. Week 16: at New York Jets
The Steelers will make their first trip to the Meadowlands since 2014 to take on the Jets. Since 2007, Pittsburgh is 1-2 when they visit New Jersey to face this team. This season, Adam Gase takes over as the new head coach to mold second-year quarterback Sam Darnold. In the future, this might be a more difficult game after Gase has more time to help Darnold reach his potential. Until then, Pittsburgh should have a pleasant visit to the Garden State. They will also get to meet their former running back Le’Veon Bell after he departed during the off-season.
13. Week 12: at Cincinnati Bengals
For three weeks from mid-November to early December, the Steelers play only teams based in the state of Ohio. Since Roethlisberger joined the Steelers in 2004, Pittsburgh is a combined 51-10-1 against the Bengals and Brons. The Steelers are 15-2 against the Bengals in Cincinnati. Games between Pittsburgh and Cincy are generally quite chippy. This tends to make the games closer than they otherwise might be. The average margin of victory for the Steelers is 5.8 points in their last five trips to the Queen City. That said, there is no reason to believe the Steelers can’t extend their win streak against the Bengals to ten in a row, assuming they win their first meeting of 2019.
14. Week Four: Cincinnati Bengals
Before the Steelers meet the Bengals in Cincinnati, they will take the field in Pittsburgh on Monday Night Football in Week Four. The Steelers are 10-5 at home against the Bengals since 2004. The odds improve for the Steelers in primetime, where they are 7-1 against the Bengals. This will be the first divisional game for the Steelers in 2019, making it important to get off to a strong start as they try to reclaim the AFC North. Injury concerns tend to haunt the Bengals, which might leave rookie head coach Zac Taylor scratching his head in his first trip to Pittsburgh.
15. Week 14: at Arizona Cardinals
It has been documented how poor the Steelers record is the further they get from Pittsburgh. The NFC West is part of the Steelers 2019 schedule rotation and their final opponent from that division is the Cardinals. The Steelers travel to the desert for the first time since 2011. Big Ben has quarterbacked the team twice in their visits to Arizona, splitting the meetings. This should be a positive trip for the Steelers. Arizona has a rookie head coach that will likely be playing a rookie quarterback this point in the season. After playing Tom Brady, Russell Wilson, Philip Rivers, and Jared Goff earlier in the season, Kliff Kingsbury and Kyler Murray likely won’t offer much the Steelers haven’t seen.
16. Week Eight: vs Miami Dolphins
The Steelers will face the Dolphins for the first time since their AFC Wild Card matchup following the 2016 season. Since 2004, the Steelers are 6-2 versus the Dolphins although Miami has won the last two regular-season meetings. There are plenty of factors that make this one of the easiest games for the Steelers this season. Pittsburgh is 3-1 at home against the Dolphins since 2004. During that same span, the Steelers are undefeated in three primetime meetings. The Steelers will also be coming off of their bye week, fully rested and a week of extra preparation. Finally, not much is expected of the Dolphins this season. Many have them pegged as one of the worst teams of 2019, likely already on the clock for the 2020 NFL Draft. The Steelers should have no problems in this one.