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Predicting the winner of Pittsburgh Steelers vs. San Francisco 49ers, Week 3

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Predicting the winner of Steelers vs. 49ers in Week 3 at Levi Stadium.

Seattle Seahawks v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers are a team desperately in need of a victory, and it won’t be easy in Week 3. Not only are the Steelers traveling to the west coast, somewhere Mike Tomlin hasn’t been successful since taking over the team in 2007, but they will be taking on the San Francisco 49ers (2-0) without their franchise quarterback.

After Ben Roethlisberger left the Week 2 game vs. the Seattle Seahawks with an elbow injury, it has been the Mason Rudolph show. Roethlisberger’s season will be over after having to undergo season-ending surgery this week, and Rudolph will get his first start of his young career against a very good 49ers team.

If the Steelers are to complete the upset, they will not just need Rudolph to play well, but they will need some help from the running game and defense. If you think back to the recipe for success deployed when Roethlisberger was a rookie, it should look similar for the current Steelers.

Run the ball, control the clock, and play a brand of defense that keeps points off the board.

Easier said than done, but if the Steelers can control the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball they absolutely will have every opportunity to win this game, despite what the ‘experts’ might say.

The fact of the matter is no one really knows what the Steelers’ offense, or defense with Minkah Fitzpatrick, will look like in Week 3. This makes picking the game difficult.

This week I was fortunate enough to ask Niners Nation editor Kyle Posey some questions, and of course I asked him what his prediction for the game was, and you can check out his response below:

I’ve seen blowout predictions, but I expect the Steelers defensive line to have an impact on this game. That said, Shanahan has pressed all of the right buttons so far, and I think he is able to scheme open receivers and generate big plays, while Rudolph makes a costly mistake that puts the game out of reach. The 49ers offense is held under 30 points for the first time this season but win 24-16.

You can call me an eternal optimist, which I am, but I just see this Steelers team rallying on the road with everything going against them. On the west coast, backup quarterback, 0-2 start to the season, no one expects them to win. I always felt this is like a team playing with house money, or playing with nothing to lose.

With that in mind I like the Steelers to actually claim their first victory of the season Sundy afternoon. I think the Steelers will have to come from behind, but a late Chris Boswell field goal will put them ahead for good 30-28.

What is your prediction for the game? Let us know in the comment section below, and be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black-and-gold leading up to kickoff.