The best part of the off-season is getting ready for the actual season in September.
The free agency buzz is over, sure teams will still make a signing here and there, but the big-name players are already off the board. The draft is the next thing to look forward to, but that is still about a week away. The next thing truly is the schedule release for the entire league.
Sure, we know the teams that our favorite football teams will be playing come the 2017 NFL season, but we don’t know when the games are and how late in the season will the division rivals be playing each other.
As is the normal, the defending Super Bowl Champions will host a team on the opening Thursday night in September. A rematch of Super Bowl 51 might be the starting point being that the Atlanta Falcons come to New England in 2017 to play the Patriots.
The Pittsburgh Steelers will grab the AFC South and NFC North this year, as well as New England and Kansas City to go along with their six division matchups throughout the year. The matchup for week one could go a few different ways this year, but it really doesn’t matter as the Steelers look to finish what they were unable to do in the AFC Championship last year. They would love to have a matchup against the Patriots, but that won’t happen as New England will host the first game of the year as the defending champions and the Steelers host the Patriots this year.
I can see the Steelers hosting the Green Bay Packers in that first game to see two high powered offenses going toe-to-toe with a pair of future Hall-of-Fame QB’s. They could also head to Indianapolis to take on Andrew Luck and the Colts or a trip to Houston to take on a very good Texans defense in week one. Another option could be a rival game against the hated Ravens to open the 2017 season.
Home matchups: Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, and New England Patriots.
Away matchups: Ravens, Bengals, Browns, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, and Kansas City Chiefs.
The Steelers will find out their schedule on Thursday evening.
Who do you want in week one to kick off the upcoming 2017 NFL season?