The National Football League will unveil the 2023 Regular Season schedule on Thursday May 11th. As I do every year, I always ‘predict’ where and when the Pittsburgh Steelers will be playing. I fully recognize this is an exercise in futility because the only thing I’m aware of is the opponents.
But, based on numerous factors, I believe I can come up with a few games that will be correct in terms of primetime TV and have a pretty good idea of when they’ll be played. Keep in mind, I usually get two or three correct out of the 18 week season which isn’t exactly a decent batting average. Without further ado, here are my predictions.
Week 1: Jacksonville 1pmET
Yep, I’m going there. I’m actually predicting a week one home opener! For the first time since 2014 the Steelers will open the season at home. Why? Because the Pittsburgh Pirates are on the road during NFL Week one! In return for this gesture, the Steelers will welcome up and coming Jacksonville.
Week 2: @Houston 1pmET
The Steelers hit the road for an early season AFC matchup against the Texans. Pittsburgh is 2-1 all-time against the Texans in Houston and have outscored them 70-31 in those three games.
Week 3: New England 1pmET
Gunner Freaking (only it wasn’t “freaking”) Olszewski. His fumble on a punt return turned the game around in favor of the Pats last year. Let’s hope that history doesn’t repeat itself once again.
Week 4: Cincinnati 1pmET
The Bengals are the first divisional game of 2023 and they are on tap as the Steelers look to get the divisional games off to a positive start. After winning five straight, the Steelers have now lost two in a row at home to Cincy.
Week 5: @Baltimore (Sunday Night)
After a year’s hiatus from primetime, the league’s best rivalry returns to the lights. The Ravens will host the Steelers in a Sunday Night affair.
Week 6: Arizona 405pmET
The Cardinals arrive in the Steel City under a new coach and get the benefit of not having to play on the East Coast at 1pmET… Which of course is 10am out west.
Week 7: BYE
Week 8: @Seattle 425pmET
The Seahawks welcome the Black and Gold for a nationally televised late afternoon start. Pittsburgh has won just one time in Seattle in eight games dating back to 1981. That lone victory came in 1983.
Week 9: Cleveland (Thursday Night)
Hard to believe after years of seeing each other at or near the opening week, the two rivals will play their first contest this late into the season. The schedule makers do the team no favors with a Thursday night game against a division opponent coming off a long road trip.
Week 10: @Las Vegas 405pmET
One of the great AFC rivalries continues and for the first time the Steelers and Raiders meet in Las Vegas. Allegiant Stadium is sure to see a massive amount of Black and Gold at this one.
Week 11: Green Bay 1pmET
The Packers have lost five straight in Pittsburgh dating back to 1980. Their last two losses in Pittsburgh have been by a total of four points.
Week 12: @Indianapolis (Thanksgiving-Primetime)
The Steelers will play on Turkey Day for just the third time and first since 1998. The Colts, behind rookie QB Anthony Richardson are their hosts.
Week 13: San Francisco 425pmET
The Niners come to Pittsburgh as strong Super Bowl contenders. The own a 12-10 advantage in the series but the Steelers have two straight in the Steel City and three of the last five.
Week 14: @Cincinnati (Monday Night)
Pittsburgh has lost four of their last five against the Bengals but did win in their last appearance in Cincy. That was an overtime victory in the opener last season. Thank you Minkah Fitzpatrick.
Week 15: @LA Rams 405pmET
Mike Tomlin and company play the Rams in Los Angeles for the first time since 1993. All-time the Rams hold a 15-10-2 advantage.
Week 16: Tennessee 1pmET
Pittsburgh has won four straight in this series and five of the last six at home and it will be interesting to see if Ryan Tannehill is still the QB or Will Levis be under center?.
Week 17: Baltimore 1pmET
This one likely has huge playoff implications for at least one team and very likely both.
Week 18: @Cleveland 1pmET
It seems to be a rite of passage these days that the Steelers and Browns play to finish up their respective seasons. Why stop now I figure? I have every expectation that this game could decide a playoff spot for one of the two teams.