|Saturday, Aug. 9||@ Detroit||12:30|
|Saturday, Aug. 16||Philadelphia||7:30|
|Thursday, Aug. 21||Dallas||8:00|
|Friday, Aug. 29||@ Carolina||7:30|
|Sunday, Sept. 7||Baltimore||1:00|
|Sunday, Sept. 14||@ Kansas City||1:00|
|Sunday, Sept. 21||@ Cincinnati||1:00|
|Sunday, Sept. 28||Tennessee||1:00|
|Sunday, Oct. 5||Cleveland||8:30|
|Sunday, Oct. 12||at Denver||4:15|
|Sunday, Oct. 19||BYE|
|Sunday, Oct. 26||St. Louis||1:00|
|Sunday, Nov. 2||at Seattle||4:00|
|Sunday, Nov. 9||Arizona||1:00|
|Monday, Nov. 17||at San Francisco||9:00|
|Sunday, Nov. 23||at Cleveland||1:00|
|Sunday, Nov. 30||Cincinnati||1:00|
|Sunday, Dec. 7||Oakland||1:00|
|Sunday, Dec. 14||at New York Jets||1:00|
|Sunday, Dec. 21||San Diego||4:05|
|Sunday, Dec. 28||at Baltimore||8:30|
The NFL has decided to bookend the Pittsburgh Steelers 2003 season with the Baltimore Ravens. This may indicate the recognition that this rivalry is heating up while the one with the Cleveland Browns is cooling down. At this juncture of the off-season, the Ravens looked poised to challenge the Steelers for the division crown, while the battle in Ohio will most likely concern the basement.
The end of the Steelers schedule looks daunting right now. The Steelers start the last quarter of the 2003 season at home against Oakland Raiders. The Steelers then take to the road to face the New York Jets and then face the San Diego Chargers at home the following week. The season finishes in Baltimore against the Ravens in a game that well may be for the division title and a playoff birth.
The notoriously slow starting Steelers will have to kick 2003 into gear by the second quarter of the season and the Cleveland Browns might oblige, coming to Pittsburgh on October 5th for a primetime Sunday night game. The playoff shootout last January will still be fresh in the minds of both fans and this match up should be a good indication of just how good the 2003 Steelers really are.
Other highly anticipated games include those at San Francisco, the Steelers only Monday night game of the season, at Denver, and the arrival of the Greatest Show on Turf when the St. Louis Rams come to town on October 26th. The Rams should appreciate the new field as much as anyone and Troy Edwards makes his return to the city that drafted him.
The Steelers will enjoy a relatively late bye-week this year, right after the tough road game against the Broncos. This will also give Bill Cowher and his coaching to prepare for Kurt Warner and his aerial assault.
Not to be forgotten, the Steelers 2002 season ended in Nashville in overtime at the hands of the Tennessee Titans. The NFL has provided the Steelers with a venue of revenge as the Steelers host Jeff Fisher and Steve McNair for the second home game of the season. The Steelers will be a little road-weary at this point, but every player on the team should be up for this game. However, keep in mind that the road to the playoffs starts and ends in the AFC North and that the Steelers regular season starts and ends with Baltimore.