NFL Schedule Leak: Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Atlanta Falcons Week 1 breakdown

The Steelers had their week 1 matchup against the Falcons leaked hours before the 2024 schedule release.
Pittsburgh Steelers v Atlanta Falcons
Pittsburgh Steelers v Atlanta Falcons / Todd Kirkland/GettyImages

It was the first leak of the Steelers 2024 schedule, but it looks like Pittsburgh will be hitting the road in Week 1 yet again. They will go to Atlanta to play the Falcons. The home team in this contest has a bunch of new faces in the building that resulted from a busy offseason. They have a new coaching staff and a new quarterback to be the face of their franchise.

Many expect the Falcons to be the top dog of the weak NFC South division. Kirk Cousins will be a challenge, but much like Russell Wilson they will both likely show growing pains. Both Cousins and Wilson will be learning a new system and have to adapt to that. These quarterbacks are proven veteran starters in the NFL and should push for a win in this contest.

Steelers Week 1 matchup against the Falcons poses challenges

Let's start with offense here as Cousins and Wilson will be the top headliners coming into this game as it will be their first start in new uniforms. Arthur Smith will be looking to get some revenge on his former team. The Steelers will try and start their schedule by running the ball effectively and trying to open up the play-action pass from there.

Atlanta will probably try and accomplish the same sort of task. Cousins will likely have more power calling their offense, and that could stop the run game at points. Bijan Robinson is looking to have an explosive season, so this one will be won in the trenches. Both offenses will be relying on their run game early to try and set up their quarterbacks for some deep shots.

Defense is where the Steelers could be favored

The black and gold have a stronger defense on paper than the Falcons. We know that Atlanta just hired a defensive-minded Head coach, but that does not mean he will make their defense an immediate success. Things can change in terms of players on certain teams between now and week one, but Atlanta is struggling in a couple of areas. Their secondary is solid as a whole, but their defensive front could be taken advantage of.

When you look at the Steeler's defense, they have an All-Pro at almost every level of their group. T.J. Watt is a star and Cam Heyward will be back to help clog the trenches. Minkah Fitzpatrick should be able to get back to the role that made him one of the best safeties in the NFL. The Steelers cornerbacks could be where issues arise, but they should be able to shut down the run and get after the passer.

Final thoughts for Steelers @ Falcons

Another road game could mean a tough go for the Steelers to start their schedule. The fans of the black and gold travel well and should be well-represented in Atlanta for this contest. It won't be a walk in the park for the visiting team, but they should be able to push for a win here. Cousins is the outlier as he could win this game for the Falcons if he can expose something in the secondary of Pittsburgh.

Besides Cousins potentially winning this one by himself, things will come down to which team wins the trenches. If the Steelers can have Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren run the ball effectively, then it will be tough for Pittsburgh to lose. On the other hand, if Robinson gets going early and often for the Falcons then the Steeler's defense will be in trouble.

You can check out all of the latest Steelers schedule leaks and rumors here.

dark. Next. A cupcake start is just what Steelers need in 2024. A cupcake start is just what Steelers need in 2024