ATLANTA — The Pittsburgh Steelers completed a thrilling 2023 preseason with a 24-0 victory over the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday night. The Steelers finished the preseason with a perfect 3-0 record, and did so in dramatic fashion, at least in terms of the performance of the first-team units on both sides of the ball.
But Steelers fans can probably remember a 3-0 preseason in 2022, that was followed up by a 1-4 start to the regular season, even after a first-win upset win over the Cincinnati Bengals. Is there something about this season’s red-hot preseason that feels like it has a better chance of carrying over into a strong regular season than last year’s did?
It starts with the performance of those starting units, with a perfect five touchdowns on five drives for Kenny Pickett and zero points scored against the first-team defense. The spark of the offense has not just been about the fact that the Steelers are playing backups.
Pickett looks better, more aggressive and on the same page with his receivers on a different level than he was in 2022. The offensive line is both giving him time to operate and opening holes in the running game, which might be a lot more effective now that it’s not being asked to shoulder the entire load of the offense.
Alan Saunders of Steelers Now has more to wrap up the night from Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.