NFL Schedule-Makers Shockingly Hand Pittsburgh Steelers an Unbelievable Advantage in the 2022 Season

NFL games aren’t only decided during the 60 minutes the teams are on the field. Practice, game plans, injuries, distractions, and even travel play a role in determining the outcomes of the Sunday (or Monday or Thursday) matchups. As far as the travel piece goes in 2022, the NFL schedule-makers have handed the Pittsburgh Steelers a stunning advantage in this regard.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have a massive schedule advantage in 2022

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin smiles in 2021. His team has a big travel advantage next season thanks to the NFL schedule.
Mike Tomlin | Shelley Lipton/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The full 2022 NFL schedule doesn’t come out until Thursday, May 12, 2022, at 8 p.m. ET (although it will leak through the day). However, we already know which teams each franchise is playing next season and if it’s home or away.

By some quirk of schedule-making, the Pittsburgh Steelers have a huge advantage in the coming season. Here is the team’s upcoming home and away slate:

HOMEAWAY
Baltimore RavensBaltimore Ravens
Cincinnati BengalsCincinnati Bengals
Cleveland BrownsCleveland Browns
Las Vegas RaidersAtlanta Falcons
New England PatriotsBuffalo Bills
New York JetsCarolina Panthers
New Orleans SaintsIndianapolis Colts
Tampa Bay BuccaneersMiami Dolphins
 Philadelphia Eagles

When you look at the cities on the away side of the ledger, is there anything you notice?

If you said that every one of those cities (even Indianapolis) is in the Eastern time zone, you’d be right! Mike Tomlin’s Pittsburgh Steelers not only have to travel the shortest distance of any team in the NFL next season at just 6,442 miles, but the players also don’t once have to reset their watches to leave their home time zone.

This could become a huge advantage for the Steelers as travel can wear down players as a season goes on. It will give them a slight leg up in their division and a major edge over some of the teams that travel the most.

NFL teams that travel the most in 2022

While the 2022 NFL schedule is kind to the Pittsburgh Steelers, it is downright punitive to other teams.

In the Steelers’ AFC North, the discrepancy isn’t that bad. The Bengals, Browns, and Ravens make up three of the six teams with the least travel next season. The Bengals get the worst of it, traveling 10, 836, and switching time zones four times.

However, that pales in comparison to the most-traveled teams on the NFL schedule.

Unsurprisingly, the Seattle Seahawks — tucked up in the Northwest corner of the country — will log the most frequent flyer miles in 2022. Pete Carroll’s squad will travel a staggering 29,446 miles and cross 34 time zones. Their long trips include a flight down to New Orleans and a trip all the way across The Pond to face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Munich, Germany.

The other teams at the top of the travel list also play games in Europe this season. This list includes the Denver Broncos (27,398 miles, 32 time zones) and Jacksonville Jaguars (25,534, 22).

The Green Bay Packers are the team that travels least (17,794, 22) while still having an international game. Aaron Rodgers and company play the New York Giants in London, England.

The Miami Dolphins (25,178, 14) have the fourth-farthest to travel next season, and that is while staying in the contiguous United States for the duration. Their NFL schedule miles will primarily come from two cross-country trips to Los Angeles (for the Chargers) and San Francisco.

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