The best defenses from 2022 the Steelers are set to face in 2023
After taking a look at some of the best offensive and defensive players at their positions in 2022 who the Steelers are scheduled to face in 2023, it’s time to finish up with the best offensive and defensive ranks as a team. Before moving on, here are all the groups who have been covered so far:
Today it’s time to check out teams who ranked at the top in the NFL in defense for 2022 who are on the Steelers schedule for 2023. It should be noted that the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals each only played 16 games last season due to their game being canceled.For this reason, it is the per-game numbers which will be used to figure out ranking. The two categories for defensive rank will be yardage surrendered and points surrendered. Teams who finished in the top 10 in either category will be listed as well as their place in the other category even if it isn’t in the top 10.
Of course there have been a number of departures and arrivals for each defense the Steelers will face this season. Some of the key player movements will be noted in each description. Of the more than a dozen teams who appear in the top 10 of one of the two categories, the Steelers are only set to face four them this season.
San Francisco 49ers (1st yardage, 1st points)
Most Pittsburgh Steelers fans understand what the team is up against their first week of the season as they take on the number one defense from 2022 in the San Francisco 49ers. Coming in first in both yardage surrendered and points given up, the 49ers defense added Javon Hargrave to the defensive line after losing defensive end Charles Omenihu and Samson Ebukam. The 49ers also lost defensive backs Jimmy Ward and Emmanuel Moseley who were going to fight to find playing time in the 49ers secondary. In all, there should be no reason to expect anything less than a top-tier defense from the 49ers in Week 1.
Baltimore Ravens (3rd points, 10th yardage)
Week 5, Week 18
The Baltimore Ravens defense will be interesting to see if it can produce the same level as 2022. The ravens added cornerback Rock Ya-Sing but did not bring back players such as Calais Campbell, Marcus Peters, Justin Houston, and Jason Pierre-Paul. But being an AFC North opponent, the Steelers are always prepared for quality defense coming from the Ravens.
Cincinnati Bengals (6th points, 17th yardage)
Week 12, Week 16
Another AFC North team on the list, the Cincinnati Bengals surrendered the sixth fewest points in the NFL in 2022 but did not land in the top of the league in yardage surrendered. But the biggest move affecting the Bengals defense for 2023 is losing both of their safeties to free agency In Jessie Bates and Vonn Bell. With the Steelers not facing the Bengals until the second half of the season, there will be a lot to be determined when it comes to their quality of defense.
New England Patriots (8th yardage, 11th points)
Despite finishing outside of the top ten in points, the New England Patriots were in the top 10 for defense because yardage is the stat that the NFL uses. The Patriots didn’t have much change to their defense from 2020 to outside of the retirement of safety Devin McCourty. But like some other teams on this list, the matchup not being until December will give even more insight to what the Steelers will be up against.