ShareThis Page

Steelers open and close 2017 season against Browns

| Thursday, April 20, 2017, 8:24 p.m.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Steelers receiver Cobi Hamilton pulls in the game winning touchdown to beat the Browns in overtime Sunday, Jan. 1, 2016 at Heinz Field.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Steelers receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey beats the Browns' Briean Boddy-Calhoun for 46 yards in the fourth quarter Sunday, Jan. 1, 2016 at Heinz Field.

Until last season, the Steelers had never played on Christmas during the franchise's illustrious history that dates to 1933.

Now, they get to do it in back-to-back seasons, and not everybody is happy about it.

Defensive lineman Cam Heyward took to Twitter to express his displeasure Thursday after the NFL unveiled its schedule and put the Steelers in Houston on Monday, Dec. 25 for a 4:30 p.m. game against the Texans.

The Steelers-Texans game is one of only two that will be played Christmas. Two games will be played Saturday, Dec. 23, and 12 will be contested Sunday, Dec. 24.

Steelers president Art Rooney II told the team website he was "surprised" to see his team play on Christmas after playing on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day last year.

"Obviously, the Christmas Day game jumped out at me first, unfortunately," Rooney said.

The Steelers will open and close the season against the Cleveland Browns with five prime-time games sandwiched in between during a six-game midseason spurt.

The Steelers open with five consecutive 1 p.m. kickoffs and play three of their first four games on the road, starting with the season opener Sunday, Sept. 10 in Cleveland. After a home game against Minnesota, the Steelers travel to Chicago and Baltimore on successive weeks.

The first half of the season concludes with a home game against the Cincinnati Bengals (Oct. 22) and a visit to the Detroit Lions on Oct. 29. That game is the first of five nationally televised games and is the Sunday night game of the week.

Following the bye week, the Steelers play at the Indianapolis Colts on Nov. 12, then embark on a run of four consecutive prime-time games: Thursday, Nov. 16 vs. Tennessee; Sunday, Nov. 26 vs. Green Bay; Monday, Dec. 4 at Cincinnati; and Sunday, Dec. 10 vs. Baltimore.

"I guess you would say they are expecting us to be in it down the homestretch this year, and they want to feature us that way," Rooney told

The Super Bowl champion New England Patriots visit Heinz Field in Week 15 for a 4:25 p.m. kickoff. The Steelers conclude the regular season Sunday, Dec. 31 against the Browns.

Joe Rutter is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at or via Twitter @tribjoerutter.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.