Steelers vs. 49ers: Writers' picks and predictions for pivotal Week 1 matchup

Pittsburgh Steelers v San Francisco 49ers
Pittsburgh Steelers v San Francisco 49ers / Daniel Shirey/GettyImages
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Fans have been waiting months for this moment as Steelers football is finally back. They have been getting more excited as the offseason progressed and the preseason process played out. It has been nearly eight months since Pittsburgh has seen meaningful football for the city. The wait is finally over as the team laces up their cleats on Sunday afternoon.

They will host the San Francisco 49ers in their home opener in a game that will pose many challenges to overcome. The Steelers are coming off a great showing in the preseason, but as we saw last year, that does not always carry over into the regular season. The black and gold have a lot of positives heading into this game, but the 49ers will be a tough opponent to beat.

Things to watch for in the Steelers home opener against the 49ers

There will be a couple of things to pay close attention to as the game progresses that will directly affect the outcome. The Steelers offensive line needs to be perfect against one of the best defensive fronts in the NFL. That will be a challenge in itself as this offensive line does have some weak points and a new left guard installed into the trenches.

Pittsburgh's receivers should be able to win against the 49er's cornerbacks, but San Francisco's linebackers are not for the faint of heart. It is going to be tough for the Steelers to get any sort of run game against this front, so they will rely on Kenny Pickett to make some quick throws and get the ball downfield. It should be a tight game that could go either way.