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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The Still Curtain staff has the Steelers beating the 49ers in a close one

"I have the Steelers offense carrying their momentum from the preseason into week one. Kenny Pickett and the offense play a clean game with zero turnovers and do enough to hold off the 49ers. Pittsburgh’s defense has a field day with Brock Purdy and gets pressure all day long, resulting in a handful of sacks and a win." - Dawson King (Steelers 24-20)

"The Steelers need an impressive home win to start the season with positive momentum. Teryl Austin’s defense has enough fire power to disrupt Brock Purdy’s rhythm." - Loyal Ricks Jr. ( Steelers 24-16)

"The Steelers haven't lost in Week 1 since the 2019 season, and have upset the Bills and Bengals in their last two season openers. The 49ers may end up as one of the best teams in the NFC this year, but the Steelers are at home and look prepared after a dominant preseason." - Shayne Kubas (Steelers 24-20)

"The Steelers begin the 2023 campaign with a home game against the San Francisco 49ers. This game will be challenging for us on both sides of the ball. The 49ers offense could pose problems for the defense. Our offense will be tested by the 49ers 'D'. In what proves to be a back-and-forth contest, the Steelers pull ahead at the end to get the season off to a good start." - Eric C. Hassel (Steelers 24-20)

"The Steelers are opening at home for the first time since 2014, and Acrisure Stadium will be rockin'. That's a difficult environment for any opponent, much less one coming from the West Coast for a game in the early time slot. In a battle of second-year quarterbacks making their first season-opening start, my money's on Kenny Pickett due to the growth he showed last season and his fantastic pre-season." - Cory Rogers (Steelers 27-17)

"The Steelers have another tough opening contest this year with a team that was good enough to play in the Super Bowl a year ago. Similar situations were in front of the Steelers in openers against the Bills and Bengals in recent years. With a bit more hype behind the Black and Gold, it may not be as surprising to win this game as the previous efforts, but it won't be any easier. Give me the Steelers in a tight one, 20-16." - Jacob Harrison (Steelers 20-16)

"The Pittsburgh Steelers are redhot off an impressive preseason that included a perfect passer rating from quarterback, Kenny Pickett. Now it will be trial by fire for their young offense against a stout 49ers 'D' in Week 1. Fortunately for San Francisco, a long-lasting contract dispute with Nick Bosa has now been resolved and their best player will be on the field in Week 1. Still, the 49ers didn't play their starters much during the preseason and Mike Tomlin may be able to catch Kyle Shanahan napping in the opener." - Tommy Jaggi (Steelers 20-17)