Predicting every game on the Steelers 2023 schedule
The anticipation of the NFL schedule release seems to grow each and every year. It seems as if everyone wants to know the latest schedule leak when springtime rolls around, and everyone waits with anticipation to see which games are nationally televised. It matters even more if you are a fan who does not live in the area and relies on the television broadcast to watch games.
No matter what your situation is, we all love the schedule and enjoy predicting which games our beloved Steelers will win. Despite the belief Pittsburgh has one of the easiest schedules in the entire NFL, the team will be faced with difficult opponents up and down the schedule. Most teams do not look incredibly scary on paper, but as we have witnessed before during the Mike Tomlin era, easy games are sometimes the most stressful to watch.
I am feeling fairly optimistic about the Steelers’ chances to make the playoffs, but in a challenging division and conference, the Steelers will likely need at least ten wins to make it into the playoffs. Let’s predict each game on Pittsburgh’s schedule and see if a playoff berth is possible.
San Francisco 49ers
Sunday 9/10/2023 1:00 PM ET (CBS)
For the first time in forever, the Steelers are finally starting the season at home. The robust talent on San Francisco’s roster is difficult to ignore, but with a shaky quarterback situation, I am not sure we see them hit their stride until later in the season. Plus, they have to travel cross country to play a team who is having its first home opener in nine years. It is not the ideal scenario for the Niners.
Prediction: Steelers win 23-17 (1-0)
Monday 9/18/2023 8:15 PM ET (ABC)
The Steelers have quite the history when it comes to home games on Monday night, but the Kenny Pickett era has officially begun, and there is no guarantee the Monday Night Football success continues. I do not have a comforting feeling about this game, as Deshaun Watson could easily have a bounce-back season. However, the only receiver I do not see the Steelers matching up well against is Elijah Moore, and being early in the season, he may not yet be on the same page with Watson. Thus, I think the Steelers neutralize the Cleveland offense enough to eek out a close win, with a lot of help from Chris Boswell.
Prediction: Steelers win 22-21 (2-0)
at Las Vegas Raiders
Sunday 9/24/2023 8:20 PM ET (NBC)
Most people do not expect Vegas to be very good in 2023, and I would probably agree. However, traveling to Vegas after a big divisional win is not an easy task. We will see how healthy Jimmy Garoppolo is when the time comes, but I could see this being a breakout game for rookie tight end Michael Mayer. Jimmy Garoppolo has always had premier tight ends to work with, and I expect him to see plenty of targets early on. With no reliable coverage linebacker or strong safety on the roster, covering tight ends could be a serious problem for Pittsburgh. I hate predicting the Steelers to lose to the Raiders, but I do not like the outlook.
Prediction: Raiders win 27-20 (2-1)
at Houston Texans
Sunday 10/1/2023 1:00 PM ET (CBS)
There has been plenty of hype surrounding C.J. Stroud, but Houston is far from a complete team. The addition of Will Anderson should boost their pass rush, but with a suspect defensive unit overall, I believe we see the Steelers offense finally cash in with some touchdowns after getting in the red zone. It is also worth noting that rookie quarterbacks do not typically perform well against Mike Tomlin-led teams.
Prediction: Steelers win 28-17 (3-1)
Sunday 10/8/2023 1:00 PM ET (CBS)
Is it just me, or does it seem like the road team often performs better in this rivalry? Lamar Jackson has never played the Steelers twice in the same season, and he has not exactly been the most effective through the air when playing them. What has killed the Steelers the most is Baltimore’s running backs, but with J.K. Dobbins’ health uncertain, the Steelers may have the upper hand in this one. The new-look linebacking corps is also better suited to slow down the Ravens’ rushing attack than the group from last year.
Prediction: Steelers win 25-22 OT (4-1)
A couple weeks later would have been nice, but extra rest is always nice after a physical matchup with the Ravens.
at Los Angeles Rams
10/22/2023 4:05 PM ET (FOX)
Coming off a bye week, the Steelers could very well come out of the gate slowly. This game is also out on the West Coast, adding an even greater level of difficulty for the Steelers. While I am not extremely concerned about the Rams’ offense as a whole, I do worry about Aaron Donald on defense. It never seems to matter who is blocking him up front, because he always finds a way to get loose. This may not look like a challenging game on paper, but I do not see this game going in favor of the Steelers.
Prediction: Rams win 28-20 (4-2)
10/29/2023 1:00 PM ET (CBS)
Coming back home will certainly be a relief, but if we are being honest, Jacksonville looks like an incredibly dangerous team for the Steelers to face. Their depth at wide receiver will challenge a Steelers secondary with several new pieces, and if Evan Engram is not injured, he is going to give the Steelers’ linebackers and safeties fits, due to his phenomenal athleticism. Dropping one at home is never fun, especially after having lost the previous week; however, I do not like how this matchup looks on paper.
Prediction: Jaguars win 34-24 (4-3)
11/2/2023 8:15 PM ET (Prime Video)
Say what you want about Thursday night games, but let’s get these games back on national TV! I digress. The addition of DeAndre Hopkins certainly helps this offense, but with uncertainty surrounding the quarterback position, I do not see Tennessee as a legitimate contender, even in a weak division overall. A lack of pass rush, a lack of weapons, and a suspect offensive line add up to losses, making this a game the Steelers could absolutely run away with.
Prediction: Steelers win 34-17 (5-3)
Green Bay Packers
11/12/2023 1:00 (CBS)
Jordan Love is better than people give him credit for, but he’s not the clutch quarterback Aaron Rodgers was. Christian Watson is emerging into a viable NFL weapon, and the offensive line is still projected to be a solid unit, but I do question the overall strength of Green Bay’s front seven. Najee Harris could be in line for a big workload and a productive day.
Prediction: Steelers win 24-19 (6-3)
at Cleveland Browns
11/19/2023 1:00 PM ET (CBS)
Cleveland likes to play the Steelers tough, and by this point in the season, Deshaun Watson should be hitting his stride (that is, if he hits it at all this year). I think the Steelers can eek out a win at home, but beating this team twice in the same season is a tall tack. The Browns find a way to remain afloat in the AFC North race and come away with a big divisional win.
Prediction: Browns win 28-26 (6-4)
at Cincinnati Bengals
11/26/2023 1:00 PM ET (CBS)
Joey Porter, Jr. will be relied on heavily in this matchup, as Patrick Peterson cannot cover both Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins. If he is up for the task, the Steelers have a chance, but considering the game is in Cincinnati, I tend to lean toward the home team in this one. I could also see this game being flexed to primetime.
Prediction: Bengals win 30-20 (6-5)
12/3/2023 1:00 PM ET (CBS)
Yes, bad teams often give the Steelers problems, but even if Kyler Murray is fully healthy, they have to travel cross country to play a team that just dropped two divisional games in a row. I think this is a game we could see a defensive touchdown or two. Perhaps a Minkah Magic pick six will be in the making!
Prediction: Steelers win 29-20 (7-5)
New England Patriots
12/7/2023 8:15 PM ET (Prime Video)
I am not afraid of Thursday Night games, especially when they are home. Unfortunately, there is no coach you want to play on a short week less than Bill Belichick. If Joey Porter, Jr. progresses quickly and is able to play on the boundary, Patrick Peterson may be able to move inside to the slot, but JuJu Smith-Schuster will certainly be looking to play well against his former team. He could be problematic for this secondary.
Prediction: Patriots win 23-18 (7-6)
at Indianapolis Colts
I think Indy was a great landing spot for Anthony Richardson, but I certainly did not expect him to be the starter right out of the gate. There will most likely be growing pains, no matter how well he performs, as he is a rookie. As stated earlier, the Steelers typically perform well against rookie quarterbacks as well. That in and of itself gives me a good bit of confidence entering this game.
Prediction: Steelers win 30-19 (8-6)
12/23/2023 4:30 PM ET (NBC)
One benefit of playing Cincinnati twice in a short period of time is that Pittsburgh will get an opportunity to get a feel for the strengths and weaknesses of the Cincinnati team. Being in Pittsburgh, I cannot help but think the Steelers make a statement win. Mike Tomlin officially has another non-losing season.
Prediction: Steelers win 27-24 (9-6)
at Seattle Seahawks
12/31/2023 4:05 PM ET (FOX)
Can Geno Smith duplicate his success from last season? It will be tough, but with the addition of Jaxon Smith-Njigba, this offense should definitely be able to put up points. If this game were in Pittsburgh, I would side with the Steelers, but it is not ideal to travel to the West Coast in between two divisional matchups that could determine the AFC North champion. Because of this, I think this game favors the Seahawks.
Prediction: Seahawks win 33-24 (9-7)
at Baltimore Ravens
If the season goes how I expect it to in my head, I see this game determining a playoff spot, and I also see this being a nationally televised game. I still do not trust Lamar Jackson in this new-look offense under Todd Monken, and yes, I trust Kenny Pickett to make a clutch throw at the end of the game more than I do Lamar Jackson. Yeah, I said it. The Steelers win and secure their spot in Wild Card Weekend.
Prediction: Steelers win 20-17