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2023 NFL Season Predictions: Four Bold Predictions for Pittsburgh Steelers

In this article, take a look at the four bold predictions for the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2023 NFL season.

Ankit Kanaujia
Last updated: 04.09.2023
2023 NFL Season Predictions Four Bold Predictions for Pittsburgh Steelers

After 18 years with Ben Roethlisberger as quarterback, the Pittsburgh Steelers went into the 2022 NFL season with a real QB battle. Mitchell Trubisky, a veteran, won the job, but the team got off to a slow start and was 2-6 when it took a week off.

Then Pittsburgh's rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett took over, and he almost led the team to the playoffs. The Steelers finished with a 9-8 record, and Mike Tomlin kept his run of not having a losing record for 16 seasons in a row. He also built momentum for 2023.

With the NFL regular season coming up soon, here are four big predictions for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2023

#1. Najee Harris will have to give up a lot of runs to Jaylen Warren

Najee Harris has been a good player in Pittsburgh, even though he sometimes jumps over things and often breaks tackles. But Steelers fans probably would have hoped for a little more from a guy with his background. The former first-round pick has had two seasons where he ran for 1,000 yards. However, the 25-year-old has only averaged 3.9 yards per run and 4.2 yards per touch from scrimmage in his two NFL seasons.

Also, rookie running back Jaylen Warren did well in his first season as a pro and quickly won the trust of head coach Mike Tomlin. The Oklahoma State player who didn't get picked in the draft ran the ball 77 times and averaged 4.9 yards per run. He also caught 28 passes and averaged 7.6 yards per catch, which was better than Harris's 5.6 yards per catch.

Harris has averaged 347 plays from scrimmage per season over the course of his career, which is more than anyone else in the NFL over the last two years. With all of his problems, he hasn't looked very healthy for a long time. Jaylen Warren needs to get more carries, not just to keep him fit but also because he has been the better player.

#2. Nick Herbig will be in the running to be the Defensive Rookie of the Year

The youngster who played the best in the preseason was not a quarterback, and he wasn't even picked in the first round. Pro Football Focus says that Nick Herbig, an outside linebacker for the Steelers, was the one who did it. During these games, the fourth-round pick looked like a skinny version of his friend T.J. Watt. He had four sacks, six pressures, and four quarterback hits in only 44 pass-rushing snaps.

The Steelers already have two of the best pass rushers in the NFL in Watt and Alex Highsmith. But after how well he played in the preseason, Nick Herbig will make his way onto the field and get a lot of passing-down snaps.

#3. Before the season is over, the Steelers will get rid of their starting kicker or punter

In Pittsburgh, 2022 was a bad year to be an expert. Chris Boswell was hurt, so he only made 71.4\% of his field goal tries. He also only made 5/10 kicks from 40 to 49 yards. Boswell's last bad season was 2018 when he only made 65\% of his field goals. After that, he had three seasons where he made at least 90\% of his tries, and he will need a similar kind of comeback this year.

Pressley Harvin's punting average went up by almost two yards in his second season, but he still came 28th out of 34 punters in yards per punt. Braden Mann, who used to be a punter for the New York Jets, gave Harvin a lot of trouble during the preseason. In the preseason, Mann averaged 46.8 yards per punt, and his net yards per punt were an excellent 45.4. Pressley's average punt is only 37.7 yards, but all of his six punts have fallen inside the 20-yard line, and he has only given up two return yards.

This year, both the punter and Chris Boswell will be closely watched because of how bad things were at each spot last year. If a player has trouble for a long time, he or she could be fired.

#4. When playing against teams in its own division, Pittsburgh will have a poor record

Last season, the NFC East was the only division in the NFL with more wins than the AFC North. This year, it could make a case for being the best football league. The Cincinnati Bengals will once again be in the running for the Super Bowl. The Baltimore Ravens, who won 10 games last year, will have a healthy Lamar Jackson and a new group of wideouts. The Cleveland Browns will have quarterback Deshaun Watson for the whole season.

The Indianapolis Colts, Arizona Cardinals, Tennessee Titans, and Houston Texans are all failing teams, so Pittsburgh's schedule outside of the AFC North isn't too hard. However, wins will be hard to come by in the AFC North. This may be a gloomy prediction, but the Steelers will split with the Ravens and Browns and then get swept by the Bengals.

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