Finally, the NFL schedule is finally coming out (eventually) and there are only a few things that we know for sure about the Pittsburgh Steelers 2023 slate of games. We know that the Steelers are in the friendly confines of Acrisure Stadium for their extra game this season, we know that the black and gold won’t be playing an international game, and we know that there’s going to be many a game in prime time again. We also know that the contributors at BTSC enjoy competition and bragging rights as well. With that, editor Dave Schofield and podcast producer Bryan Anthony Davis will square off while predicting when the Steelers play who. With no expectations of getting a single game right (although last year Bryan got five correct while Dave got four), let’s take this for a spin.
If you think mock drafts are pointless, check out this exercise in futility.
Week 1 (September 7 - 11)
BAD: at Cleveland Browns (1 PM)
It’s becoming a joke at this point with the Steelers starting off the season on the road for the ninth consecutive season. They’ve done it a few times over the streak in Cleveland, Here we go again.
Dave: vs. Tennessee Titans (1 PM)
The streak ends at eight seasons of the Steelers opening on the road. The Titans just feel like a Week 1 matchup. Perhaps it’s because the Steelers have faced Tennessee at home to start the season two of the last four times they have opened in Pittsburgh, albeit in 2013 and 2009.
Week 2 (September 14 - 18)
BAD: vs. San Francisco 49ers (Monday Night Football)
This seems quite unlikely, but it would be a fun matchup in prime time on MNF between two of the best Super Bowl teams in history.
Dave: at Baltimore Ravens (Monday Night Football)
After facing them very late in the year in both matchups in recent years, the Steelers must go on the road to Baltimore early and in prime time.
Week 3 (September 21 - 25)
BAD: vs. Baltimore Ravens (4:25 PM)
A national game on CBS features one of the finest of all rivalries in all of sports.
Dave: vs. San Francisco 49ers (4:25 PM)
Nothing special here other than FOX getting the national game and not forcing the 49ers to play at 1 PM.
Week 4 (September 28 - October 2)
BAD: at Las Vegas Raiders (4:25 PM)
A matchup between 70s rivals as the Steelers make their first trip ever to Sin City.
Dave: at Seattle Seahawks (4:25 PM)
In an attempt to spread out the west coast trips, the Steelers head to the pacific northwest early in the season.
Week 5 (October 5 - 9)
BAD: at Cincinnati Bengals (Sunday Night Football)
A SNF matchup goes on the books with early AFC North supremacy on the line.
Dave: vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (1 PM)
After traveling to the west coast, the Steelers get to stay at home to face the Jags.
Week 6 (October 12 - 16)
BAD: vs. Arizona Cardinals (1 PM)
The Steelers ho-hum home slate brings in Pittsburgh West.
Dave: vs. Cincinnati Bengals (Thursday Night Football)
The Steelers are going to get at least one Thursday game this year and it could be two. This time it’s at home but it is once again against the AFC North.
Week 7 (October 19 - 23)
Although not last season, the Steelers usually get cracked with an early BYE. The complaints return in 2023.
Dave: at Las Vegas Raiders (4:05 PM)
After their mini bye, the Steelers have to travel west again to Sin City (I typed it first, Bryan stole my line).
Week 8 (October 26 - October 30)
BAD: at Seattle Seahawks (4:25 PM)
A rainy day in late October in the Pacific Northwest seems appropriate.
Dave: vs. Cleveland Browns (Monday Night Football)
For some reason the Steelers division matchups seem like their best prime time opportunities this season.
Week 9 (November 2 - 6)
BAD: vs. New England Patriots (Sunday Night Football)
The Steelers and Pats get back to prime time in a rarity in Pittsburgh.
Dave: at Indianapolis Colts (1 PM)
This isn’t an overly exciting matchup so it gets placed in a non-exciting position.
Week 10 (November 9 - 13)
BAD: at Los Angeles Rams (4:05 PM)
This is the Admiral Ackbar game. It’s a trap playing a possibly subpar team out west.
The Steelers have been having their bye in the first half of the season the last several years. This year it gets bumped back ever-so slightly.
Week 11 (November 16 - 20)
BAD: vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (1 PM)
Steelers vs. Jags is no longer a bore. If these two teams are good, it could become a national game.
Dave: at Houston Texans (1 PM)
Fresh off their bye week, the Steelers head south to take on the Texans.
Week 12 (November 23 - 27)
BAD: vs. Green Bay Packers (Thanksgiving 8 PM)
Two legendary franchises vying for a chance to have their captains eat a weird turkey on national television while hungry linemen look on.
Dave: vs. New England Patriots (Black Friday 3 PM)
It’s the first ever Black Friday game. Why not have it between the two franchises tied for the most Super Bowls?
Week 13 (November 30 - December 4)
BAD: at Baltimore Ravens (Monday Night Football)
This could be a division dandy especially if Lamar gets back to playing in December.
Dave: at Cincinnati Bengals (Sunday Night Football)
Yes, I put both of the matchups against the Bengals in prime time. I just didn’t know what else to do.
Week 14 (December 7 - 11)
BAD: at Houston Texans (1 PM)
Gotta fill out the schedule. A December game in H-Town could be a weather treat like Carolina was last season.
Dave: vs. Green Bay Packers (1 PM)
This matchup just doesn’t seem the same without Brett Favre or Aaron Rodgers.
Week 15 (December 14 - 18)
BAD: vs. Tennessee (1 PM)
This game seems to be iceberg quality. But it continues a favorable back end of the schedule for the Steelers.
Dave: at Los Angeles Rams (4:05 PM)
Spreading out the west coast trips, the Steelers put in long miles for the last time of the season in mid December as they head to LA.
Week 16 (December 21 - 25)
BAD: vs. Cleveland Browns (1 PM)
No need for another prime time game on Christmas Eve. The Steelers and the Browns get an early affair and both get home to their families.
Dave: vs. Arizona Cardinals (1 PM)
I went with a non-exciting matchup for Christmas Eve as I don’t know how the NFL is going to schedule games that weekend. I figured I’d go 1 PM to give the Cardinals time to get home for the holiday.
Week 17 (December 28 - January 1 )
BAD: at Indianapolis Colts(1 PM)
The Steelers have owned the Colts since the 1970s. This is the lone road game in the final four before a tough home battle to conclude the season.
Dave: vs. Baltimore Ravens (4:25 PM)
I also don’t know how the NFL is going to handle New Year’s Day since it’s on a Sunday. So I simply have the Steelers hosting the Ravens in a national game.
Week 18 (January 6 - 7)
BAD: vs. Cincinnati Bengals (4:25 PM)
If fortunes work out for the Steelers, a home game vs. the defending division champs could be not only epic, but flex worthy for the crown.
Dave: at Cleveland Browns (1 PM)
I filled this game in first on the schedule because I like ending with the division matchups that the NFL has been doing for several years. Also, I have a feeling the Joe Burrow and Lamar Jackson matchup is one they think could come down for something important the final week of the season as they are the two teams currently with the best odds to win the division. Instead the Steelers benefit by getting the Browns to close things out again.