Ranking the 5 most important games of the Steelers 2023 schedule
By Zach Hiney
3. Steelers vs San Francisco 49ers, Week 1
This may be the best team the Steelers play all season long. And they get them in Week One.
The 49ers went 13-4 last season and made it to the NFC Championship Game, where they lost to the Eagles. They boast one of the best rosters in the entire league, led by stars Christian McCaffery, George Kittle, Nick Bosa, and Fred Warner.
The biggest question mark for the 49ers is their quarterback position. Jimmy Garoppolo is in Vegas now. Trey Lance, the 3rd pick in the 2021 Draft, is coming off of an injury and will be in a battle with "Mr. Irrelevant" Brock Purdy, who played well last season leading them to the playoffs. Regardless of who wins that battle, the 49ers look poised to be a Super Bowl contender once again.
This game will be the ultimate litmus test for the Steelers. Kenny Pickett and company will get to challenge one of the best defenses in the league, and the Steelers' defense will get to try and keep up with McCaffrey, Kittle, and Deebo Samuel.
A good performance against the Niners could open up the eyes of the rest of the league and establish the Steelers as a playoff threat in the AFC early in the season.