X

2023 Pittsburgh Steelers Schedule: Full Listing of Dates, Times and TV Info

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVMay 12, 2023

PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA - JANUARY 08: Kenny Pickett #8 of the Pittsburgh Steelers throws the ball during the first half of the game against the Cleveland Browns at Acrisure Stadium on January 08, 2023 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
Joe Sargent/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers are in a state of flux.

They will enter the 2023 season with Kenny Pickett locked in as their Week 1 starter after a rocky rookie campaign and with Najee Harris lining up behind him hoping to bounce back from his own disappointing 2022.

The addition of Broderick Jones in the first round of April's draft should help fortify the offensive line, and Keeanu Benton and Joey Porter Jr. were stellar defensive picks in the second round.

That said, the Steelers enter this campaign as significant underdogs in the AFC South. The Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns all fashion themselves as contenders, and you don't have to squint too hard to see the process.

The Steelers? You might need some X-ray goggles.


2023 Pittsburgh Steelers Schedule

Pittsburgh Steelers @steelers

Mark your calendars. The 2023 schedule is set‼️<br><br>📺: Schedule release coverage on <a href="https://twitter.com/nflnetwork?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@nflnetwork</a> <a href="https://t.co/S3YqAe5iKt">pic.twitter.com/S3YqAe5iKt</a>


Analysis

Speaking strictly on paper, the Steelers are the worst team in the AFC North. There are major questions about Pickett's ability to lead on offense and Najee Harris' ceiling as a rusher, and this isn't exactly a Steel Curtain-esque defense. There's a reason the oddsmakers have Pittsburgh's over/under total set at 6.5—this is a fundamentally mediocre team playing in a hard division.

That said, the Steelers have two major factors going in their favor: Mike Tomlin and a weak schedule.

Tomlin has never had a losing season in 16 years with the Steelers, with the team reeling off four straight wins to close 2022 and keep that streak alive. Already equipped with a Hall of Fame resume, it often feels like Tomlin's ability to extract the absolute most out of his roster is overlooked. There may be no better motivational coach in football.

The Steelers also have the NFL's eighth-easiest schedule based on their opponents' 2022 record. The AFC North gets the good fortune of playing the AFC South and NFC West as common opponents this season, which should be an automatic handful of wins by itself.

Pittsburgh also got a good luck of the draw with its non-common opponents, as the Raiders, Patriots and Packers aren't exactly striking fear into the hearts of their opponents.


Pivotal Matchups

It's hard to see many scenarios in which Tomlin's winning season streak continues. There are three legitimate playoff contenders with franchise-level quarterbacks in this division, and the Steelers are the exception. Everything aside from coaching on this roster feels fundamentally average, and eventually, not even Tomlin can be enough to boost the win total.

That said, if the Steelers can beat up on their non-divisional opponents and sneak in even a 2-4 record in the AFC North, they have a legitimate shot of being in the playoff race down the stretch.

Their absolute ceiling is probably matching last season's 9-8 record, but that's feasible if they can take care of business when favored.