Back-to-back 8-8 records by the Steelers didn’t stop the NFL from giving them the maximum amount of night games next season.
Pittsburgh drew five night games in the NFL schedule, which was released Wednesday, including both of its meetings with the Baltimore Ravens.
The Steelers also will play all of their games against the Ravens and Browns in the first nine weeks of the season, and they won’t face Cincinnati until they play the Bengals twice in the last four weeks.
“Our 2014 schedule is highlighted by two national televised games against the Ravens, as well as another nationally televised game at Heinz Field against the Houston Texans,” said team president Art Rooney II. “We are excited about playing five primetime games as it will give our fans around the world the opportunity to see us play. This marks the 40th anniversary of our Super Bowl IX victory, and we look forward to celebrating that milestone during our home schedule.”
The first of those two night games against the Ravens will come quickly. After opening the season Sunday, Sept. 7 at home against Cleveland, the Steelers will head to Baltimore for a Thursday night meeting against the Ravens.
Pittsburgh will play in prime time in Week 3, heading to Carolina Sept. 21 to play the Panthers in a Sunday night contest.
The Steelers will play three 1 p.m. games after that, hosting Tampa Bay Sunday, Sept. 28 before back-to-back road games Oct. 5 and 12 at Jacksonville and Cleveland.
The Steelers will play the Houston Texans in a Monday night game at Heinz Field Oct. 20, the first of a string of three home games.
The following week, the Steelers will host Indianapolis before their rematch against the Ravens in a Sunday night contest Nov. 2.
The Steelers will play four of the next five games on the road, heading to New York to face the Jets Nov. 9, then playing at Tennessee in a night game Monday, Nov. 17.
The bye week will follow before the Steelers host New Orleans Nov. 30.
Pittsburgh will then close out its regular season road schedule at Cincinnati (Dec. 7) and Atlanta (Dec. 14) before ending the regular season with a pair of home games against Kansas City (Dec. 21) and Cincinnati (Dec. 28).
The dates for the team’s preseason games were also set, with Pittsburgh opening Aug. 9 at New York against the Giants. Aug. 16, the Steelers will host Buffalo, travel to Philadelphia Aug. 21 and finish their preseason schedule Aug. 28 at Heinz Field against Carolina.
With the preseason opener set at Aug. 9, the Steelers can open training camp July 25 at the earliest.