The Steelers and their fans finally got their wish when it was announced during the annual schedule reveal extravaganza on May 11 that Pittsburgh will open the season at home for the first time since 2014.
That’s right, the Steelers will host the 49ers on September 10 at Acrisure Stadium in Week 1 of the 2023 regular season.
The Steelers will also be at home for a Monday Night Football matchup against the Browns in Week 2.
It has been so long for the Steelers and their suffering fans who so often had to wait an extra seven days to see their favorite football team play a home game.
It’s one thing to open at home, but to have two games at Acrisure Stadium to begin the season? Dan Rooney must be smiling down upon us from Heaven.
If only the Steelers didn’t have to end their season with two games on the road.
Not only do the Steelers end their season with two games on the road, but they play five of their final eight away from home, including three of their last four.
This was why I was hoping the Steelers would again open up on the road. I don’t mind it at all when Pittsburgh begins its season with a business trip. In fact, I prefer it.
Think about it, how often is a team playing its best football in September? Hardly ever, right? Take a look at the last two seasons when the Steelers opened things by traveling to the home of a Super Bowl contender—the Bills in 2021 and the Bengals in 2022—and escaped with an upset win each time.
How would Pittsburgh have performed later in the season after those contenders worked the kinks out and found their sea legs? I think we found that out last year when the Bills and Bengals outclassed Pittsburgh in Weeks 5 and 11, respectively.
I guess you can say these things tend to even out, but do they, though?
It’s now paramount that the Steelers, a team that few people think will be a contender in 2023, jump out to a hot start and takes advantage of those six home games through November 12.
If this team is good enough to actually build a cushion for a division title or simply a playoff berth, it better have one with a month to go in the regular season.
Can you imagine being on the bubble for the playoffs and having to travel to both Seattle and Baltimore to close out the year? That’s likely not going to end well.
No, give me a road opener every season. Give me a Steelers schedule that leans heavily toward business trips over the first eight or nine games.
If you can tread water over the first half of the season, or even get off to a hot start, having a slate of home games on the backend of the schedule will surely be a great benefit.
I get the feeling many fans will agree with me when the Steelers 2023 campaign is nearing its conclusion.