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The best rushers from 2022 the Steelers are set to face in 2023

As the Pittsburgh Steelers prepare for the 2023 NFL season, the main focus is on themselves more than their opponents. The Steelers have to get things right in their own house before they can begin to focus on what to do to stop the team they face each week.

But as Pittsburgh Steeler fans, we have the luxury of looking ahead at the Steelers schedule and their opponents. Being able to slow down the opponents offense will be key each and every week. When it comes to being able to stop the run, a statistic in which the Steelers were much improved last season than the previous year, who are some of the best rushers they will face this season?

Keeping this in mind, let’s take a look at the top rushers from 2022 who are scheduled to face the Steelers in 2023. Of course, there could be holdouts, injuries, or trades which could make these players not able to see the field when they face the Black and Gold. But for now, these things can’t be known for sure. This list consists of players who rushed for at least 1,000 yards in 2022, their overall rank in rushing yards last season, and the week in which they will face the Steelers.

Josh Jacobs (1st)
Las Vegas Raiders
Week 3

The NFL leading rusher in 2022, Josh Jacobs is in quite a dispute with the Las Vegas Raiders. After they declined his fifth-year option only to see him win the rushing title, the Raiders instead placed the franchise tag on Jacobs for 2023. The two sides have until Monday at 4 PM to work out a long-term deal, otherwise Jacobs can only play on the franchise tag with the Raiders. Whether or not Jacobs will join the team by the time they face the Steelers in Week 3 will be an ongoing story until things get resolved. But even though Jacobs averaged 97.2 yards per game last year, he only managed 44 rushing yards on 15 attempts against the Steelers on Christmas Eve.

Derrick Henry (2nd)
Tennessee Titans
Week 9

Constantly at the top of the NFL in rushing, the Steelers will be facing Derrick Henry for the first time since the 2000 season. Although the Steelers faced the Titans in 2021, Henry was out due to injury. In 2020, Henry had 75 rushing yards on 20 rushing attempts along with a touchdown.

Nick Chubb (3rd)
Cleveland Browns
Week 2, Week 11

There is no issue of familiarity when it comes to the Pittsburgh Steelers and running back Nick Chubb. Facing the Steelers twice a season every year, Chubb rushed for 113 yards on 23 rushing attempts and a touchdown in the first matchup last year in Cleveland. In the final game of the season in Pittsburgh, Chubb was held to only 77 yards on 12 rushing attempts but added another 45 receiving yards on five catches along with a receiving touchdown. In five seasons with the Browns, Chubb has faced the Steelers in 10 games including the postseason but has only gone over the century mark in rushing yards twice.

Christian McCaffrey (8th)
San Francisco 49ers
Week 1

Splitting his time between the Carolina Panthers and San Francisco 49ers in 2022, Christian McCaffrey will visit Pittsburgh in Week 1 for only the second time in his career. In 2018, McCaffrey and the Panthers fell to the Steelers 52–21 where McCaffrey only had 77 rushing yards on 14 attempts with one touchdown. But this is a different team with McCaffrey and the 49ers.

Travis Etienne (9th)
Jacksonville Jaguars
Week 8

When the Jacksonville Jaguars visit the Steelers and week eight, it will be the first time Travis Etienne will face the Pittsburgh Steelers. The second running back selected in the 2021 NFL draft behind Najee Harris, it will be very intriguing to see which player comes out on top when these teams face off just before Halloween.

Aaron Jones (10th)
Green Bay Packers
Week 10

The second running back from the NFC who the Steelers face who appears on this list, the Steelers have very limited action against Aaron Jones and the Green Bay Packers. Usually these matchups occur every four years, but with the addition of the 17th game the Steelers get another game with the Packers in 2023. Two years ago, Jones rushed for 48 yards on 15 carries.

Kenneth Walker III (12th)
Seattle Seahawks
Week 17

The runner-up for NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2022, Kenneth Walker averaged 70 yards per game with the Seahawks. But with the Steelers traveling to Seattle so late in the season, it’s difficult to project where either team will be by the time this matchup rolls around.

Rhamondre Stevenson (13th)
New England Patriots
Week 14

Despite only having one game in which he had 20 rushing attempts or more, Rhamondre Stevenson still managed to go over 1,000 yards in 2022. In their Week 2 matchup last season, Stevenson rushed for 47 yards on nine carries while Damien Harris was given the lionshare of the load with 71 yards on 15 carries and a rushing touchdown. But with Harris now in Buffalo, Stevenson is expected to be the first option for the Patriots this coming season. Whether or not that still remains the case in Week 14 remains to be seen.

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