Steelers schedule predictions ahead of the 2023 NFL schedule release

Pittsburgh Steelers
Pittsburgh Steelers / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL schedule is to be released Thursday night. We have already known who the Pittsburgh Steelers play this season for a while; we just have not known when or which games may be in prime time. So here are a few quick schedule predictions ahead of the NFL’s schedule release.

In the era of a seventeen-game season, as always, six games will be against AFC North opponents. Then the Steelers will have four games against the NFC West and another four games against the AFC South. Two games are at large against AFC opponents, the Patriots and Raiders, with the 17th game, slotted for the Greenbay Packers.

The question then becomes which of these are the regular Sunday games and which ones get featured in the prime time slots on Thursday, Sunday night, or Monday. Historically with the Steelers that can vary. They would likely get one Monday night game and at least one Sunday night matchup. Thus will they get a Thursday game. Considering they were in the playoff bubble last season and might be another contender in 2023, here are the schedule predictions ahead of the release.

2023 Schedule predictions for Steelers:

Season opener/Home Opener

The Steelers almost, but not always, open against an AFC North opponent; it would seem 2023 should be no different. Considering the Steelers only faced the Bengals once in a season opener, something that only happened in 2022, look for the NFL to have the Steelers open against the Browns on the road. Tennessee will be a home opponent; this would be a good home opener. It’s not unusual to have the Steelers play the Titans earlier in the season.

Steelers on Monday Night

Knowing the Steelers record on Monday night has been pretty solid since the Bill Cowher era, the NFL knows the Steelers always bring their best in this prime-time appearance. Considering the Steelers play a slightly weaker schedule on the road than they do at home, based on 2022 standings, look for them to have a Monday night home game. This would be a good spot to have them play San Francisco mid-season in October as the wins and losses start having a greater impact on playoff viability.

Steelers on Sunday Night

If it’s Sunday night, it’s the Steelers and Ravens in this prime-time show. Face it any time the Steelers play the Ravens; it’s a game that never fails. Not because they hate each other vehemently, which they do anyway. Not because it’s an AFC North game that impacts the playoff race, which it normally does.

It’s because these two teams play smash-mouth football; there are very few routes, and they could hold the game in a parking lot, and it would still be entertaining, and you have a final game score of 19-16 with someone winning in overtime. Look for this to be a Thursday matchup in mid-November, either at Pittsburgh or in Baltimore.

Steelers on Thursday Night

In 2022 NFL’s Thursday night experiment on Amazon Prime was a disaster in some respects. The League will want to have a better schedule in 2023. Hence, the Steelers should command one Thursday night game. Considering they may play one national game with the Ravens, it makes sense the Bengals will be the other. Look for a Thursday night game either in September or perhaps November. It’s a game that should draw good ratings for the NFL and prove worthy of a Thursday night.

Apparently, the Steelers have been spared from going to Europe, which last happened in 2013 against the Vikings. Plus, due to stadium renovations, Mexico will not get a game in 2023. Although, considering the Steelers have a dismal home record against Jacksonville and that they play Jacksonville at home.

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It’s the one game you can almost put in the loss category for the Steelers. Thus, there is no overwhelming desire to see the Steelers play in Europe,  but facing Jacksonville anywhere but in Pittsburgh might be a viable alternative.