Fri, 03 Jul 2020

Thanks for the memories

The Steelers
25 May 2020, 06:30 GMT+10

The Steelers will be home for at the holidays this season and for that defensive tackle and defensive captain Cam Heyward is truly thankful.

"I like that we have a Thanksgiving home game," Heyward acknowledged recently. "That should be fun."

That the schedule commences on the road again is by now an all-too-familiar refrain, perhaps to everyone except Willie Nelson.

"One thing I don't like, we haven't had a season opener at home in a while," Heyward continued. "I know they say this is made by a computer and everything but you would think your chances are a little bit better of having a home game with a computer after six years."

The Steelers haven't opened at home since they defeated Cleveland, 30-27, to begin the 2014 season. Since then they've been at New England (2015), at Washington (2016), at Cleveland (2017), at Cleveland (2018) and at New England (2019) to kick things off.

They haven't played on Thanksgiving since they beat the Colts, 28-7, in 2016 in Indianapolis.

The Steelers' history on turkey day prior to that isn't the type of stuff that inspires the staging of a parade.

There was a 22-20 loss in 2013 at Baltimore.

There was a 19-16 overtime loss in 1998 at Detroit that's memorable for a coin flip controversy prior to the start of the extra session.

There was a 20-10 loss in 1991 at Dallas.

And there was a 45-3 loss at Detroit in 1983.

The Steelers' only other victory on Thanksgiving occurred over the Cardinals in 1950, the Chicago Cardinals (28-17 in Chicago).

The franchise's first two appearances on Thanksgiving resulted in losses in Philadelphia (17-14 as the Pirates in 1939 and 7-0 as the Steelers in 1940).

The Steelers will host a Thanksgiving game for the first time in franchise history when Baltimore keeps a scheduled date on Nov. 26 at Heinz Field.

The 2020 season's rematch with the Ravens also falls into the primetime category (kickoff is set for 8:20 p.m.), which is a more appealing prospect for the home team.

The Steelers' 28 home wins in primetime games since 2001 trail only the Patriots' 29.

The Steelers are 41-21 overall in regular season primetime games under head coach Mike Tomlin.

The Sept. 14 regular-season opener at the New York Football Giants is the Monday Night Football debut broadcast of the 2020 campaign.

Tomlin is 15-2 on Monday Night Football, including 8-2 on the road.

The Steelers are also scheduled to make a Monday Night Football appearance on Dec. 21 at Cincinnati.

In addition to the four scheduled primetime exposures and a 4:25 p.m. kickoff on Nov. 8 at Dallas, there are 11 games scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. on a Sunday.

"For the fans, I think the 1 p.m. games work out great," Heyward said. "For me personally, l love playing in primetime games."

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