Steelers vs 49ers: Who the experts are taking in this brutal Week 1 matchup

Pittsburgh Steelers v San Francisco 49ers
Pittsburgh Steelers v San Francisco 49ers / Daniel Shirey/GettyImages
3 of 3

Final prediction has a close game but the availability of Kittle and Bosa will be a factor

There are a lot of things that still need to become certain as this article is being written. The 49ers have a lot of issues coming into this game if both Bosa and Kittle are out of their lineup (it looks like Bosa is playing after inking his new deal). Both of those players would greatly impact the game with their presence alone. San Francisco still has Christian McCaffery and Deebo Samuel to slow down and that might be too much.

The Steelers need to find a way of opening up the passing game and get chunk plays. Their defense needs to take advantage of Brock Purdy's probably rust from lack of snaps this preseason and turn that into turnovers. This is a winnable game for the black and gold even with Bosa and Kittle in the lineup for the 49ers.

Final prediction: 49ers 23, Steelers 21

This one could go either way but expect the 49ers defense to do just enough to hold Pickett and company back. Expecting the great performances from the preseason to carry over into week one seems a little too good to be true. This is a tough 49er defense no matter if Bosa is in the lineup or not. Expect the Steelers to stay in this one.

Pittsburgh's defense should be able to cause fits and slow down Purdy and company most of the game. The issue will be where they can stop these teams and that might be a bend but don't break attitude. The defense will give up some yardage in this one but hold them to three points a good number of times. That effort will not be enough, and Pickett throws a last-minute interception to end the game on a sour note.

Next. 10 bold predictions for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2023. 10 bold predictions for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2023. dark