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Steelers handed worst home loss in Mike Tomlin era to start 2023 season

This will be a game this team would undoubtedly like to forget.

San Francisco Kenny Pickett #8 of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks to throw a pass in the first half of a game against the San Francisco 49ers at Acrisure Stadium on September 10, 2023 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

There was a lot of hope that the Pittsburgh Steelers might enter the 2023 season with some oomph, particularly on offense after going 5-for-5 on touchdowns with the starting offense in the preseason. Unfortunately, that was not the case, having incurred their worst home loss during the Mike Tomlin era against the 49ers in Week 1, losing by a 23-point deficit.

Prior to Week 1 of the 2023 season, the Steelers' worst home loss had come in Week 5 of the 2017 season, where the Steelers lost to the Jaguars by a 21-point margin for a final score of 30-9. The Jaguars went on to beat the Steelers at home again that season in the Divisional Round, knocking the Steelers out of position for a trip to the AFC Championship game.

It was a brutal loss across the board, but of course, it all starts with the quarterback. Kenny Pickett completed 31 of 46 pass attempts for 232 passing yards 1 TD and 2 INT for a 68.4 passer rating. He took five sacks over the course of the day, pressured on just under half of his dropbacks, per NFL NextGen stats.