3 negative takeaways (and 1 positive takeaway) from Steelers disgusting loss vs 49ers

San Francisco 49ers v Pittsburgh Steelers
San Francisco 49ers v Pittsburgh Steelers / Joe Sargent/GettyImages
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The NFL regular season kicked off Sunday headlined by the Pittsburgh Steelers hosting the NFC powerhouse San Francisco 49ers. On paper, this matchup had all the makings to be an entertaining start to the 2023 season for both teams.

A revamped Steelers' roster on both sides of the ball clashed with the fully loaded 49ers, who were one game from the Superbowl just a year ago. Unfortunately for Steelers fans, their beloved team did not rise to the occasion.

The Steelers' electric preseason had fans convinced this team was ready to return to their days of contending for Super Bowls. After week 1's ugly performance in almost every facet of the game, it may be time to rethink this team's potential in 2023. Here are three negative takeaways from the Steelers' opening week loss and just one positive.

Negative takeaway No. 1: The Steelers archaic offense has returned

Matt Canada's offense appeared to have turned over a new leaf in the preseason. With splash plays coming left and right from the Steelers' top playmakers, it was only fair to assume they'd be able to translate some of those big-play opportunities into points in week 1. Matt Canada and his offense did not get the memo.

The Steelers' conservative gameplan fans have grown to hate found its way back into the game script from the last several years. Surprisingly to no one, Pittsburgh paid heavily for it. Two short passes on the game's opening drive and a deflating sack on Kenny Pickett perfectly summed up the Steelers' day on offense.

Pickett averaged just five yards per attempt on the day and only mustered up 232 yards on 46 attempts, via ESPN stats. His longest completion came on a 31-yard catch and run to Allan Robinson late in the fourth quarter, well after the game was out of reach.

Many expected this offense to take a step forward in the passing game with a chance to open up the offense using deep shots to Calvin Austin and George Pickens. While it is just the first game against a worthy opponent, the production and potential were nowhere to be seen.

What might be even more concerning was the amount of pressure the Steelers' "revamped" offensive line allowed. San Francisco's Drake Jackson dominated Dan Moore Jr. all afternoon, finishing the day with three sacks. San Francisco's defense would end the day with five total sacks on Kenny Pickett, causing multiple errant passes.

The Steelers' running game was equally ineffective as they completely abandoned it after falling behind early. Najee Harris, Jaylen Warren, and Kenny Pickett would combine for just 41 yards on ten rushes.