Patriots: Ranking the 2019 regular season opponents
10. Pittsburgh Steelers (HOME)
Steelers fans, like Cowboys fans, have every right to feel insulted by their placement on this countdown list. If you’ve been keeping score at home, you know then that we’re listing three divisional games on the road (Dolphins, Bills, Jets) as more difficult draws for the Patriots than a game against Pittsburgh.
None of this is meant to discredit or disrespect all that Pittsburgh (and Dallas, for that matter) has accomplished as a franchise, both historically and in recent seasons. The fact remains, though, that Pittsburgh is a team in turmoil right now.
Le’Veon Bell missed all of 2018 in order to play for another squad this coming season. Antonio Brown has also demanded out, and now faces domestic assault charges as well. The team’s leading receiver in 2018, JuJu Smith-Schuster, compared the dysfunction of his franchise to the Kardashians. Even former Steelers greats like Hines Ward have had to break their silence and speak out against the current direction of the team’s culture.
With all this in mind, what makes any level-headed person think the Steelers are going to come into Foxborough next season and beat the Patriots?
New England has mostly owned Pittsburgh in the Brady/Roethlisberger era, though Big Ben did get the upper hand this past season at Heinz Field. Without Bell and Brown, though, there’s no logical rationale for why the Steelers should be a better team this fall than they were in 2018 or 2017.