With the highly anticipated 2014 NFL Regular Season Schedule release came overall excitement for Pittsburgh Steelers fans in the last two days, anxious to see who the black and gold would face this year outside of the AFC North Division. The release has also stirred some strong emotions that the Steelers may see a return to their winning ways in a schedule considered by many to be easy based on the shorter travel distances the team will make in 2014 and the strength of teams they are slated to play.
As reported by Matt Leode of SteelersGab.com and ESPN Steelers blogger Scott Brown, anticipation is that the Steelers will be able to take advantage of a favorable 2014 schedule. Brown wrote, "The schedule is favorable with only one game out of the Eastern time zone and only two road contests against teams that had a winning record last season. The offense will carry a defense that is in transition and the Steelers will return to the playoffs after missing it in consecutive seasons for the first time under coach Mike Tomlin." The news is certainly welcome to Pittsburgh fans who have seen the team lose their luster over the past two NFL seasons.
In an online poll conducted via PollDaddy.com on Thursday, following the release, nearly 85 percent of over 500 Steelers fans who participated admitted that they feel that the Steelers' 2014 schedule will prove successful for the team. In the same poll, 82 percent voted that the Steelers will win at least 10 games in the upcoming regular season. That echoes the sentiment of Brown, who also predicted that the Steelers will post 10 wins in 2014.
Despite the schedule and predictions, the AFC North Division looks to be more competitive going into the 2014 regular season than it did last season.