Steelers get 5 prime-time games

From Mirror, wire reports

When you have been as successful as the Pittsburgh Steelers have been over the years, people want to watch you on television, and the National Football League wants you to be on television. That is the case again in 2018.

The NFL released its 2018 schedule for each team Thursday night and the Pittsburgh Steelers will be seen in prime time five times this season.

The Steelers, who open the season at Cleveland on Sept. 9, will play at Tampa Bay on Monday night, Sept. 24, at 8:15 p.m. on ESPN. The following week, Pittsburgh will host the rival Baltimore Ravens on Sunday night on NBC. Kickoff is 8:20 p.m.

They return to prime time on Thursday, Nov. 8, at home against the Carolina Panthers for an 8:20 p.m. game on both Fox and the NFL Network. The following week, the NFL has the Steelers playing on the road at the Jacksonville Jaguars on NBC for an 8:20 p.m game. Their final game in the national TV spotlight is Sunday, Dec. 9, at the Oakland Raiders on NBC. Kickoff is 8:20 p.m.

Pittsburgh plays the NFC South this year as well as the AFC West. The Steelers also have a shot at the national game on Sunday, Dec. 23, with a 4:25 p.m. game at New Orleans on CBS.

Super Bowl champion Philadelphia will host Atlanta to kick off the the season on Thursday night, Sept. 6.

Green Bay hosts Chicago in the first Sunday night matchup on Sept. 9, while the Monday nighters on opening weekend feature the New York Jets at Detroit, followed by the Los Angeles Rams at Oakland.

The Eagles also will play at England’s home of soccer when they take on the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 8 at Wembley Stadium.

That’s one of four international games. The other match at Wembley will be the previous week with the Los Angeles Chargers hosting the Tennessee Titans. Tottenham Hotspur’s new stadium, also in London, will be the site for a Raiders home game on Oct. 14 against Seattle.

For the third straight year, the NFL will stage a game in Mexico City: the Rams will host Kansas City in a Week 11 Monday night game.

Thanksgiving will provide a feast of divisional games. The traditional doubleheader in Detroit and Dallas has the Lions playing the Bears, followed by the Redskins at the Cowboys. At night, it will be Atlanta visiting New Orleans.

Other intriguing matchups include New England at Jacksonville in a rematch of the AFC title game in Week 2; the Eagles and Vikings in an NFC championship game redux in Philly on Oct. 7; and the Steelers vs. Patriots in Pittsburgh in Week 15.

Fox, which will do 11 Thursday night games, begins its package in Week 4 with the Vikings at the Rams. Those contests also will be televised by NFL Network and in Spanish on Fox Deportes. NFL Network has seven exclusive broadcasts.

Flexible scheduling in which a Sunday afternoon game can be switched to the evening because it is a better matchup than the previously planned game will be in use for Weeks 11-17. But two Sundays in Weeks 5-10 also can have a game flexed to night.

In a new twist, flex scheduling will be used for Saturday games in Weeks 15 and 16. In Week 15, two games will be played on Saturday, Dec. 15: Houston at the New York Jets and Cleveland at Denver, with game times of 4:30 p.m. and 8:20 p.m. to be determined. In Week 16, two of four possible matchups will be scheduled for Saturday: Baltimore at the Chargers, Jacksonville at Miami, the New York Giants at Indianapolis, or Washington at Tennessee. Start times for Saturday games for Week 15 and 16 will be announced no later than following Week 8, with the contests not chosen for Saturday to be played on Sunday on the 16th weekend.

No Sunday night game has been scheduled for the last day of the season, Dec. 30. That will be chosen after Week 16 games conclude.

The 2018 schedule has three three-game road trips, down from seven last year. The Saints, Rams and Ravens will have those three-game journeys, but the Ravens and Rams also have three-game homestands. In all, 12 franchises are home for three straight weeks, and Baltimore and Indianapolis have a bye in there, meaning neither club will leave home for a month.

Also, no team plays a road game following a road Monday night match. That occurred last year five times.