Steelers schedule 2023: Predicting which games are in primetime

Steelers, Kenny Pickett
Steelers, Kenny Pickett / Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
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NFL football is terrific enough in itself, but there's just something about watching your team play under the lights in primetime. Last year, rookie Kenny Pickett got fans out of their seats with a game-winning touchdown drive on primetime TV against the Las Vegas Raiders on Christmas Eve.

In 2022, the Steelers ended up playing four primetime games. They would have had a fifth, but their matchup against the Bengals in November was flexed out of primetime and into a late-afternoon slot.

Primetime games are usually reserved for promising matchups or heated divisional battles. Now, just ahead of the 2023 NFL schedule release, I have taken a stab at predicting every primetime game that will be on the Steelers schedule this year:

Primetime game No. 4: Steelers @ Texans

This one feels more like a Thursday Night Football matchup than a Sunday Night Football contest on NBC with the nation watching. The Houston Texans haven't exactly been a team that networks are rushing to fight over for primetime slots, but they could see that increase now that QB C.J. Stroud will offer some excitement.

The battle of two young quarterbacks with Stroud and Kenny Pickett could be enticing enough to draw an audience. Though both the Steelers and Texans are longshots to win their respective divisions, this is an AFC matchup between teams that both have some flashy, young talent that viewers will show up to watch.

Knowing the Steelers, this won't be one of those blowout performances either, as Matt Canada has a way of keeping things close. I could see this as an early-season primetime matchup with two quarterbacks that fans are excited about.