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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Final prediction has a dominant defense take care of business on Sunday

A couple of things need to be considered here as both sides will have their weaknesses heading into this contest. The Steelers have both Cam Heyward and Larry Ogunjobi listed on their injury report. That could be two significant losses for the Steelers as they try and stop the 49ers run game with Christian McCaffery. Brock Purdy might have shined last season for San Francisco, but he is coming off a brutal injury and missed the preseason.

This game is going to come down to who can win the battle in the trenches as both clubs have strong defenses that rush the passer well. Having both Nick Bosa and George Kittle will be important for the 49ers as they can exploit some weaknesses for Pittsburgh. This contest is going to be close and will raise the heart rate on both sides.

49ers, 23- Steelers, 21

Having Bosa back is going to be a game changer even though he hasn't played a snap all preseason. The availability of Heyward and Ogunjobi is also a huge hurdle to overcome if they cannot suit up for the Steelers. If both are unable to go on Sunday, then San Francisco will be able to run the ball fairly easily against a battered front.

Pickett should be able to get some yardage against a less than stellar cornerback group that the 49ers employ. Turnovers are going to be huge in this one and if the Steelers struggle to run the ball against this tough assignment in front of them then Pickett will be the only form of offense. He will have to force some throws and that will cause a few turnovers eventually.

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