Saturday, December 29, 2007

Opponents for the 2008 Season Set
(and most of 2009)

It's a good thing that the Steelers qualified for the playoffs this season because next season is going to be a doozy.

Future opponents, other than division opponents, are set according to a formula established in 2002. This same formula will be used through the 2009 season. The particulars of the formula, as quoted directly from the NFL's press release on the matter, are:
  • The four teams from another division within its conference (4 games).

  • The four teams from a division in the other conference (4 games).

  • Two intraconference games based on the prior year’s standings (2 games). These games match a first-place team against the first-place teams in the two same-conference divisions the team is not scheduled to play that season. The second-place, third-place, and fourth-place teams in a conference are matched in the same way each year.
So the Steelers will play six games against their divisional rivals, and will -- along with their divisional rivals -- play the teams from the AFC South and the NFC East. Finally, they will play two first place teams. The first place team from the AFC West (i.e. San Diego) will visit Pittsburgh while the Steelers will go on the road to visit the AFC East (i.e. New England) division winner.

Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has broken it down, and these are the opponents the Steelers will face, home and away:

N.Y. GiantsWashington
San DiegoNew England

The Steelers will play no fewer than six playoff teams next season, and may play as many as seven (if Washington wins this weekend). And for those of you who really want to plan ahead, here's a peek at the 2009 schedule:

San DiegoKansas City
Green BayChicago
AFC SouthAFC East



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