Why Steelers season-opener vs 49ers is a critical game

Steelers / Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
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The Steelers defense

Defensively it will be a major test for the Steelers secondary. Patrick Peterson and Joey Porter Jr. will have a major test in their first game. Will they shut down the 49ers' receivers? Or will the 49ers move the ball at will? Will the Steelers defensive line allow McCaffery to run the ball at will? Something the Steelers defense seemed to do in many games last season.

Not only are fans anxious to see how Joey Porter Jr and Corey Trice, but they also want to see if the Defensive line plays much better with Keeanu Benton and a healthy second-year player DeMarvin Leal. A strong pass rush will help the Steelers secondary. If the Steelers can hold the 49ers to less than 20 points, win or lose that will be a solid performance.

As a fan, there is much to be hopeful about as the Steelers take the field in 2023. While a loss is not what the Steelers want against the 49ers, if they play them well and lose a close game, say like a touchdown or less, and can score 20-25 points and Pickett passes for 300 yards and Najee Harris rushing for close to a hundred. Fans should at least expect the Steelers to make the playoffs when the season wraps up.

Next. Intriguing positional battles for Steelers in 2023. dark

If the Steelers offense is anemic and the Steelers secondary fails to impress anyone, it could be a long season like 2022, and there will be many questions abound at the bye week that they will have to sort out headed into the second half of their season. Nevertheless, Steelers fans have much to be optimistic about heading into the season. The Steelers should be talented enough to hang with, if not knock off, the 49ers. Look for the Steelers to win 24-21.