Sunday night opener in Foxborough? OK, then


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Steelers cornerback Joe Haden (23) attempts to tackle Patriots receiver Cordarrelle Patterson (84). (Matt Sunday / DKPS)

We already knew who the Steelers would face in the 2019 NFL season. Now we know when and where these matchups will take place. The NFL released the full schedules for all 32 teams, adding to some earlier leaks that revealed a Steelers vs. Patriots 'Sunday Night Football' opener on NBC and more.

The Steelers will open against the Patriots on Sept. 8 in Foxborough, Mass. Yes, the Patriots will have their Super Bowl LIII banner unveiling with the Steelers in town. That should add a little extra motivation, eh?

That's not the only game that leaked earlier today. Per the San Jose Mercury News, the Steelers will travel to San Francisco for Week 3. That will be the 49ers' home opener, a matchup confirmed tonight by the NFL.

Per the New York Daily News, the Steelers' game at New York against the Jets will be in Week 16. That game will feature the Steelers vs. former star running back Le'Veon Bell. That game was also confirmed when the full schedule was released tonight:

[caption id="attachment_809752" align="aligncenter" width="640"]Pittsburgh-Steelers-2019-schedule-revised Full Pittsburgh Steelers 2019 schedule – DALI KOVACEVIC / DKPS[/caption]

If you prefer a Mr. Rogers-style breakdown instead of reading a list, the Steelers' official Twitter has you covered:


That's exciting. The Steelers beat the Patriots, 17-10, at Heinz Field last season, sparking intense optimism in the Steel City. The team finally beat the Patriots. Surely, they can make a run, right?

Nope. The Steelers eventually missed the playoffs, while the Patriots went on to win their sixth Super Bowl, tying them with the Steelers for the most by a franchise in NFL history. And now two six-time Super Bowl-winning franchises will face off in their opening game for the first time ever.

In doing so, the NFL has deviated from its normal structure for Week 1. Recently, the prior year's Super Bowl winner faced another in-conference opponent during the season's Thursday Night Kickoff Game. Last season, that was an NFC Divisional Round rematch between the Super Bowl-winning Eagles and Falcons. This year, however, the Patriots aren't playing on Thursday night and they aren't facing an in-conference opponent who made the playoffs the previous year.

But this matchup is juicy every year. The ratings are always fantastic. With the Steelers' late-season implosion and offseason drama contrasting the Patriots' continued success, this is a can't-miss showdown for football fans across the globe. This is phenomenal scheduling to kick off the season.

Then you have a season finale against the Ravens in Baltimore with playoffs potentially on the line. Even better for Steelers fans, two of the harder NFC West matchups — the Seahawks and the Rams — will come at home.

Prediction: 11-5, win AFC North, lose AFC Championship to Chiefs

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