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How much should the Steelers starters play vs. the Falcons?

The Pittsburgh Steelers and Atlanta Falcons are squaring off in Week 3 of the 2023 preseason, which brings up a lot of questions.

  • Who will play, and who won’t?
  • How much of the offense/defense should the coaches put on tape?
  • Was there any game planning done?

But the most important question of all might entail something completely different, depending on the fan.

  • How long should the Steelers starters play?

Again, there is no clear-cut answer to this basic question. Why? Because everyone has a different thought process, or philosophy, regarding preparation and the risk of a player getting injured.

Therefore, this article is simply posing the question for you, the fans, to answer. How much should the Steelers starters play vs. the Falcons on Thursday night?

We already know there will be some players who don’t even see the playing field, which is fine, but for players like Kenny Pickett, George Pickens, the offensive line, key members on the defense…how long should they be playing in Week 3 of the exhibition season?

What becomes even more interesting is how Mike Tomlin said Tuesday during his press conference how he is preparing to use Game 3 of the 3-game preseason the same way he would in Game 3 of the 4-game preseason. That was traditionally the game where the starters played the most.

But in the same press conference Tomlin also said there is no guarantee everyone will play. As always, Tomlin likes to keep his cards close to the vest, even in the preseason.

As for me, I would allocate playing time accordingly:

  • Starting Offense: 3 drives, or the 1st quarter
  • Starting Defense: 3 drives, with players like Cam Heyward, Minkah Fitzpatrick, T.J. Watt and Patrick Peterson playing only one drive.
  • 2nd String: 2nd quarter
  • 3rd and 4th Strings: 2nd Half

What do you think? Let us know your preference for Week 3 starters playing time in the comment section below, and be sure to stay tuned to SCN for the latest news and notes surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers as they prepare for the rest of the preseason and get ready for the games which really count!


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