Even though the Steelers first regular season game is almost 7 months away, the anticipation of building the 2023 roster in the forthcoming season continues with small milestones throughout the offseason.
But before Steelers fans can get excited about the 2023 season, the exact NFL schedule will have to come first. With the Steelers hosting nine regular season home games for 2023, the opponents for those games have already been set. The only question is when the Steelers will face each team.
For the last eight seasons, the Pittsburgh Steelers have opened up their regular season on the road. It is a ridiculously long streak the NFL leads to remedy. With the Pittsburgh Pirates finally not having a home game scheduled over what would be Week 1 of the NFL season, the Steelers playing at home should be a high priority when it comes to the NFL determining their schedule for opening weekend.
Assuming the first game of the season will be at Acrisure Stadium, because if it’s not there should be a criminal investigation to follow, which of the 2023 home opponents would Steelers fans like to see them open up against in Week 1?
The Steelers opened against an AFC north opponent this past season which was the first time since 2018. The Steelers have started their season against the Baltimore Ravens four times with the most recent being in Baltimore in 2011. The last time the Steelers opened their season at home against the Ravens was before the Ben Roethlisberger era in 2003.
The Steelers had never played the Cincinnati Bengals in the first week of the season until 2022. Although it would be in a different location, I doubt the NFL would have them face the same team two seasons in a row although the Steelers did travel to the Browns in both 2017 and 2018 to start the year.
With the last time these two teams squaring off in the first week in season ending in a tie, the Steelers have ultimately opened with the Cleveland Browns eight times in their history. Since it’s been a while it could happen again.
Since joining the NFL in 1995, the Steelers have faced off against the Jacksonville Jaguars twice in Week 1 coming in 1996 and 2001. The Steelers were not victorious in either game, but both were in Jacksonville. Opening against the Jags at home would be new territory and something the NFL may consider.
The Steelers have opened their season against the New England Patriots four times with the most recent being in 2019. But all four matchups were in New England, so like the Jaguars this could be a new Week 1 scenario the NFL provides.
The Steelers faced the Titans the opening week of the NFL season three times with all of them coming in Pittsburgh. The Steelers lost to the Titans in their last Week 1 matchup in 2013 but were victorious in both 2009 and 2005.
Although there are not often a lot of cross-conference games in Week 1, the Steelers opened against the Giants in 2020 and in Washington in 2016. The Steelers have never faced the Arizona Cardinals in Week 1 of the NFL season, although they did play the Chicago Cardinals to start the season three times in the 40s and 50s.
With these two historic franchises not facing off each season, the Steelers haven’t opened the season against the Packers since the NFL–AFL merger where the Steelers moved to the American Football Conference. This one could be fun to start the season.
Although these teams have faced off in Week 1 before, the last matchup came in 1993 where the Steelers fell in defeat in Pittsburgh. Will 2023 offer a rematch?
So which team would you like to see the Steelers open the 2023 regular season against at Acrisure Stadium? Make sure you vote in the poll and leave your thoughts in the comments below.
What team do you want the Steelers to open their 2023 season against?
This poll is closed
New England Patriots
Green Bay Packers
San Francisco 49ers