Of course it's foolish to put my thoughts about the Pittsburgh Steelers' 2015 season into circulation so early in the year with so much work left to be done. I just figure my first instincts are the best way to look at the new schedule.
But considering my lack of optimism about the team at this point in the year, this exercise has a chance to get ugly. So when you speak of me, speak well.
* Steelers at New England Patriots (Thursday, Sept. 10, 8:30 p.m.)
– Defending champs are 9-0 at home on Thursday nights since this game was introduced. Don't see trend changing. Loss, 0-1.
* San Francisco 49ers at Steelers (Sunday, Sept. 20, 1 p.m.)
– Bounce back with 10 days rest behind DeAngelo Williams. Win, 1-1.
* Steelers at St. Louis Rams (Sunday, Sept. 27, 1 p.m.)
– Le'Veon Bell wins appeal and Steelers win on the road in front of pro-Steelers crowd. Win, 2-1.
* Baltimore Ravens at Steelers (Thursday, Oct. 1, 8:25 p.m.)
– Can't see the O-line handling the Ravens' D-line any better than it did last time. Loss, 2-2.
* Steelers at San Diego Chargers (Monday, Oct. 12, 8:30 p.m.)
– Eleven days between games and no bye involved. The Chargers appear to be in disarray this spring. Win, 3-2.
* Arizona Cardinals at Steelers (Sunday, Oct. 18, 1 p.m.)
– Bruce Arians comes back to town but he doesn't have the quarterback who heats up every October. Win, 4-2.
* Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs (Sunday, Oct. 25, 1 p.m.)
– Already has the feel of a pivotal game. Tough place to play, particularly coming off an emotional trio of games. Loss, 4-3.
* Cincinnati Bengals at Steelers (Sunday, Nov. 1, 1 p.m.)
– Bounce back from K.C. loss against Andy Dalton. Again. Win, 5-3.
* Oakland Raiders at Steelers (Sunday, Nov. 8, 1 p.m.)
– Have lost four of their last five against this awful team. Media will shame Steelers into getting up for this one. Win, 6-3.
* Cleveland Browns at Steelers (Sunday, Nov. 15, 1 p.m.)
– Wasn't this supposed to be a brutally difficult schedule? Who's quarterbacking the Browns? Win, 7-3.
* Steelers at Seattle Seahawks (Sunday, Nov. 29, 4:25 p.m.)
– A late November bye is a beautiful thing but I can't see it helping Steelers here. Loss, 7-4.
* Indianapolis Colts at Steelers (Sunday, Dec. 6, 8:30 p.m.)
– Steelers won easily last year but this one doesn't feel right. Loss, 7-5.
* Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals (Sunday, Dec. 13, 1 p.m.)
– Because they lost to the Colts, the Steelers bounce back. Vice versa if they beat the Colts. Won, 8-5.
* Denver Broncos at Steelers (Sunday, Dec. 20, 4:25 p.m.)
– Peyton Manning's arm has died at the ends of the last two seasons. Bring on the elements. Win, 9-5.
* Steelers at Baltimore Ravens (Sunday, Dec. 27, 8:30 p.m.)
– So much will depend on injuries at this point, but, again, don't see the Steelers matching up physically. Loss, 9-6.
* Steelers at Cleveland Browns (Sunday, Jan. 3, 1 p.m.)
– Browns have usually packed it in at this point. Win, 10-6.
Well, a 10-6 record surprises me, considering that I'm a little down about the Steelers right now.
If that record is good enough to make the playoffs, the Steelers could be a dangerous team. As Mike Tomlin likes to say, iron sharpens iron. And the most difficult schedule in the NFL is certainly iron.