Steelers Schedule: Ranking the top defenses Pittsburgh will face in 2023

Pittsburgh Steelers v Atlanta Falcons
Pittsburgh Steelers v Atlanta Falcons / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages
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This is an important important year for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Expectations are high for a group that received vital experience. Mike Tomlin believes his group will have a productive season. Kenny Pickett showed glimpses of greatness this pre-season and will be an X-Factor in Matt Canada's scheme.

Here are a few defenses that plan to disrupt the Steelers' offense in 2023.

#5. Jacksonville Jaguars

A mid-season matchup between two developing quarterbacks will force defenses to stay on high alert. Trevor Lawrence shocked the NFL with an incredible sophomore season. It's a performance Kenny Picket needs to emulate if the Steelers want to defeat Jacksonville in Week 7. In 2022, the Jaguars ranked 15th in Pro Football Focus' defensive rating (72.7). They were stingy near the endzone - ranking 12th in total points allowed (350).

Protecting the quarterback will be a challenge against Mike Caldwell's front seven. Josh Allen and Dwuane Smoot helped the defense rank 7th in pass rush rating (77.6) at the end of the season. Matt Canada's offensive line allowed the 8th most sacks (38) in the NFL in 2022 and must find ways to protect their quarterback by mid-season.