Steelers vs. 49ers: 5 things to know about Pittsburgh's Week 1 matchup

Pittsburgh Steelers, Steelers
Pittsburgh Steelers, Steelers / Daniel Shirey/GettyImages
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Season-opener features two of the hottest teams in the NFL dating back to last season

As crazy as it is to think that this is the Steelers' first season-opener at home in nine years, it's perhaps equally surprising that this game isn't scheduled for a 4:25 pm (Eastern) kickoff, Sunday Night Football, or as part of a Monday Night Football doubleheader. Instead, this game will be a "regional broadcast" on Fox, kicking off at 1:00 pm (Eastern) with Joe Davis and Daryl Johnston on the call according to

The fact is, the storylines are there to make this "Must See TV", regardless of the network or kickoff time. These were two of the hottest teams in the NFL over the last nine games of the 2022 regular season, with Pittsburgh going 7-2 and San Francisco posting a perfect 9-0 mark during that span.

Both teams are led by second-year quarterbacks beginning their first full season as the starter. Pittsburgh's Kenny Pickett, the only quarterback selected in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft, saw his first action in week four and steadily progressed throughout last season. He led the Steelers to three fourth quarter comebacks and four game-winning drives during the team's stretch run.

San Francisco's Brock Purdy, the final pick of the entire 2022 NFL Draft, was the 49ers' third-string quarterback to begin last season. But after injuries to Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo, the 49ers called on Purdy to make his first career start in week 13. He led his squad to seven consecutive wins, including two in the playoffs, before suffering a torn ligament (UCL) in the NFC Championship loss at Philadelphia.

Both teams also have a talented defense, led by the last two NFL Defensive Players of the Year in Steelers edge T.J. Watt (2021) and 49ers edge Nick Bosa (2022). Watt tied the NFL's single-season sack record with 22.5 two seasons ago but missed seven games last season due to a torn pec muscle and was limited to just 5.5 sacks.

Bosa, who held out all of the 49ers Training Camp while seeking a new contract, is questionable to return in time to play the season-opener against the Steelers. He collected a league-leading 18.5 sacks last season.