5 reasons the Pittsburgh Steelers will win in Week 1 vs. the San Francisco 49ers

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Steelers have home field advantage and will win the turnover battle

There’s no doubt that this will be a tough game for each team because, in many ways, the Steelers and 49ers are very similar. Both have second-year quarterbacks. Both have stud edge rushers. Both have fantastic weapons at the offensive skill positions. I could list more here, but you get the idea.

So when matchups like this occur, it usually comes down to special teams, turnovers, and home-field advantage. I’ve already discussed the Steelers’ special teams advantage, so let’s explore the Steelers’ home-field advantage.

With Pittsburgh opening at home for the first time since 2014, Acrisure Stadium will be rocking. The Steelers have posted a 35-8-2 record (.800) against NFC teams at home since 2001, the best mark in the AFC during that time. Since 2007, Mike Tomlin’s 25 regular-season home wins over NFC foes are the most in the AFC.

San Francisco is opening on the road for the third season in a row, and playing a 1:00 p.m. Eastern game is never easy for a team traveling cross-country. The 49ers took a 41-33 win at Detroit in 2021 before suffering a 19-10 loss at Chicago last season. The game against the Bears was the first regular-season start for quarterback Trey Lance and was played in a torrential downpour much of the time.

Weather could also be a factor on Sunday in Pittsburgh, with a 65 percent chance of rain according to The Weather Channel. If rain does occur, it will make protecting the football even more important for both teams.

3 questions the Steelers must answer in Week 1 against the 49ers. 3 questions the Steelers must answer in Week 1 against the 49ers. dark. Next

The Steelers and 49ers’ defenses tied for the league lead with 20 interceptions last season. But I expect the Steelers’ pressure, coupled with an improved secondary and a loud crowd, to help the home team win the turnover battle and thus be the difference in the game.