Steelers schedule 2023: Game-by-game predictions for upcoming season

Steelers, T.J. Watt
Steelers, T.J. Watt / Michael Hickey/GettyImages
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Week 13: Steelers vs Cardinals, December 3rd, 1:00 p.m. ET (CBS)

Just when it was starting to look like the Arizona Cardinals were starting to be a good team again after an 11-6 season in 2021, they fell flat on their faces -- going just 4-13 in 2022 and finishing as the third-worst team in the NFL. As a result, head coach Kliff Kingsbury lost his job, but a new regime isn't guaranteed to fix anything.

Quarterback Kyler Murray couldn't stay healthy last year, but even when he was, he took a notable step back as he passed for just 14 touchdowns and a dismal 6.1 yards per attempt in 11 starts. The regression of Murray doesn't help a team that's already void of talent. Though Kenny Pickett still may be considered the lesser quarterback when these two teams square off this year, the Steelers have a stronger supporting cast and their defense should be much better than Arizona's in 2023.

Factor in that this game will be played in Pittsburgh, and I think that it's totally reasonable to expect a win over one of the worst teams in the NFL this past season. I have the Steelers taking care of business against the Cardinals in the early-afternoon window in Week 13.

Prediction: Win (8-4)

Week 14: Steelers vs Patriots, December 7th, 8:15 p.m. ET (Prime Video)

The Steelers don't play the whole AFC East in 2023. Rather, they get matchup up with the Patriots as one of their additional games based on their records from the 2022 season. Both teams fell short of the AFC playoffs last year with season trajectories that were opposite of each other.

The Steelers started off 2-6 and finished strong, while the Patriots collapsed down the stretch with a record of 2-5 in their final 7 games. Gone are the days when Bill Belichick's team inspires fear in their opponents. Quarterback Mac Jones took an enormous step back in year two as he managed just 14 touchdowns and 11 interceptions in 14 starts.

Meanwhile, the second-year QB could only muster up 2,997 passing yards on 6.3 adjusted yards per attempt. Projecting forward, Pickett should be the better quarterback. Not only that, but the Steelers certainly have more star power on their roster. Their two-decade reign over the AFC East has ended and they could finish as the worst team in their division in 2023.

Though they might not have the ability to blowout a Belichick-led team, I think the Steelers claim this home victory in Week 14 and improve to 10-4 under the lights on Thursday Night Football.

Prediction: Win (9-4)