On Thursday, August 24, the Atlanta Falcons will be hosting the Pittsburgh Steelers for both teams’ preseason finale. The Steelers (2-0) will be hoping to build upon their red-hot start to the preseason while the Falcons (1-0-1) are hoping to continue to develop second-year quarterback Desmond Ridder as the regular season draws closer.
How to watch Steelers vs. Falcons Week 3 preseason
Date: Thursday, August 24
Start time: 7:30 p.m. ET
TV channel: KDKA, NFL Network (out of market only)
Live stream: NFL+
DraftKings Odds: Steelers -4.5, Over/Under 38
As always, the final game of the preseason should have high stakes as roster bubble players across the league fight for a spot on the final 53-man rosters as cutdowns approach.
3 things Steelers fans are watching for
Can Najee Harris change the narrative?
After Jaylen Warren’s big touchdown run against the Bills, there was a barrage of is-Jaylen-Warren-better-than-Najee-Harris comments. Since then, the Steelers have only reiterated their faith in Harris as the team’s RB1, and while there’s no reason to doubt that, it would be nice for Harris to double down on that sentiment with a good showing against Atlanta on Thursday. With fans already high on Warren this preseason, some hype around what Harris can bring to the table would take the expectations for the 2023 Steelers offense even higher — if that's even possible.
How will key defensive roster battles play out?
There are still some unknowns regarding how the depth will shake out on the Steelers’ offense, specifically in terms of backup offensive linemen and receivers, but the biggest roster questions remain on the defense.
The Steelers have a load of quality depth on the defensive line, likely meaning that one of Montravius Adams, Armon Watts, Breiden Fehoko, or Isaiahh Loudermilk will be on the outside looking in after cutdowns. The same goes for inside linebacker, where Tanner Muse, Nick Kwiatkoski, and Mark Robinson seem to be fighting for two roster spots between the three of them. Chandon Sullivan and Isaiah Riley are neck-and-neck in a battle for the starting slot corner position, while James Pierre may be in danger of losing his reserve cornerback role to a newcomer like Madre Harper or Luq Barcoo. There should be plenty of competition worth watching as the Steelers defense takes the field on Thursday.
Can the Steelers avoid injury?
The most nail-biting and important story to watch on Thursday is of course the injury one. With this being the last game before the regular season, it’s imperative that the Steelers’ starters can remain healthy heading into Week 1, and that those on the roster bubble can squeeze in as many reps as possible in their final push for the 53-man roster.
Of course, with Pittsburgh having over two weeks of preparation between their preseason finale and their regular season opener against the 49ers, the usual “bumps and bruises associated with play,” as Mike Tomlin would call them, shouldn’t matter much overall. But regardless, let’s just hope that the players — on both sides — can avoid injury scares all game.
What will you be watching for as the Steelers take on the Falcons? Join our Behind The Steel Curtain community and let us know in the comments!