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As eras come to an end in the NFL, new eras begin.
With the season-ending injury to future hall of fame quarterback Ben Roethlisberger last week, the era of the Pittsburgh Steelers as a perennial contender might be over. By contrast, the San Francisco 49ers have started their season with two dominant victories as quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has come into his own.
There is some room for optimism in Pittsburgh, though, as backup Mason Rudolph looked decent in relief last week. The third-round draft pick has been serviceable in Pittsburgh, and even Big Ben admits that he is on the back end of his career.
Even if Roethlisberger had stayed healthy, Pittsburgh would have had issues to overcome. The Steelers receivers have looked flat and unimpressive without Antonio Brown. In particular, Donte Moncrief, who was set to start going forward, looks terrible.
While the defense has played well, Pittsburgh’s opponents have racked up nearly 60 points through two weeks. Though star turns from T.J. Watt, Steven Nelson, and Stephon Tuitt have been welcome, boneheaded mistakes by less special players like Terrell Edmunds and Daniel McCullers have set the unit back.
With Rudolph under center, the defense is going to have to play lights out every week if the Steelers want to keep their season alive.
In San Francisco, a rising star is lifting all ships. A much improved Week 2 for Jimmy G led to nice results across the board for the whole offense. Emerging rusher Matt Braida ran for 121 yards, averaging an outstanding 10.1 yards per carry. Four receivers went over 50 yards, including tight end George Kittle, who continues to shine.
Stars are emerging on defense as well. Akhello Witherspoon has been dynamic at cornerback. Up front, the Niners have notched seven sacks through two games. Though Nick Bosa and Dee Ford remain the defensive leaders, a half-dozen players have recorded sacks so far.
While solid play from Rudolph could keep this game competitive, the simple analysis is that the 49ers are firing on all cylinders and the Steelers are definitely not.
|HOW TO WATCH STEELERS VS. 49ERS|
|SLING TV||TRY NOW|
|HULU WITH LIVE TV||TRY NOW|
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. San Francisco 49ers
- When: Sunday, Sept. 22 at 1pm ET
- Where: Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, CA
- Streaming: CBS, NFL Sunday Ticket
There are a number of options for watching Steelers vs. 49ers on streaming platforms that carry CBS. However, consult a coverage map to see what game your regional channel will be playing.
If a game is not being carried in your area, the only option might be an NFL Sunday Ticket package.
Steelers vs. 49ers live stream: How to watch the NFL online
1) Sling TV
- Cost: $25-$40 per month (40% off first month)
- Sling TV devices: Amazon Fire TVs, Android Fire Stick, Apple TV, Android TV, Roku, Xbox One, Google Chromecast, Oculus Go, and iOS and Android devices
- Sling TV local channels: NBC, Fox (check your local availability here)
Both Sling Blue ($25 per month) or Sling Orange + Blue ($40 per month) include NFL Network and a number of sports channels—like three ESPN channels, NBCSN, and FS1—and it’s still a nice perk that Sling subscribers can order a la carte packages. Sling TV also offers a special Latino package for bilingual viewers. Sling TV is currently offering a deal where you can subscribe for 40% off the regular price for the first month of your subscription. That means Sling Blue would cost $15, and Sling Orange + Blue would cost $25. (Here’s a complete guide to Sling TV channels and our Sling TV review.)
For $10 extra per month, you can get NFL RedZone via the Sling Blue Sports Extra package.
How to use AirTV with Sling
AirTV solves one of the Sling’s biggest problems: The inability to receive all of your local channels. By purchasing a basic AirTV for $79.99 or the AirTV Player for $119.99, you can merge those local channels into your Sling TV, (or on your mobile device if you have the basic AirTV). As the Daily Dot wrote in its AirTV review, “it’s practically magic.”
The basic AirTV is a dual-tuner streaming device, while the AirTV Player is basically an upgraded Chromecast that has Netflix preinstalled. You’ll still need to own an HD antenna because even though AirTV gets you access to your local channels, it doesn’t actually physically show them to you.
But AirTV—which has no monthly fee—serves to strengthen one of Sling’s biggest weaknesses compared to other live streaming services like Hulu with Live TV, YouTube TV, and PlayStation Vue. All those services have plenty of local channels.
- Cost: $54.99 per month
- FuboTV devices: Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Android TV, iOS and Android devices
- FuboTV local channels: Fox, NBC, CBS (check local availability here)
If you’re a big-time sports fan, FuboTV is your best streaming service option. If you love international soccer and you’re a Spanish speaker, FuboTV also offers various add-on packages, including Fubo Latino and Fubo Português. FuboTV’s basic plan showcases nearly 100 channels and includes NFL Network. At $54.99 per month, you’ll also get FS1, FS2, NBCSN, NBA TV, Big Ten Network, Pac 12 Network, BeIn Sports, and CBS Sports Network, along with premium channels like FX/FXX/FXM. The only notable omission for sports fans is ESPN. You can add Fubo’s Sports Plus package for an additional $8.99 per month, which allows you to stream NFL RedZone, (Here’s the complete FuboTV channels list.)
- Cost: $44.99-$79.99 per month
- PlayStation Vue devices: PlayStation 3 and 4, Roku, Amazon Fire, Google Chromecast, Kodi, iOS and Android devices
- PlayStation Vue local channels: NBC, Fox, ABC, CBS (enter your ZIP code here to check your availability)
If you’d like to watch live NFL games directly from your PS4, PlayStation Vue is your best bet. PlayStation also works with streaming devices like Roku and Amazon Fire products, but what separates PlayStation from the rest of the streaming services is that it’s also compatible with Kodi. No matter how you stream, you’ll get to choose from four tiers of channels—all but the cheapest include NFL Network. From there, you can also add NFL RedZone as part of the $10-per-month Sports Pack, which also unlocks ESPN Bases Loaded, ESPN Classic, Longhorn Network, Outside TV, and NBCUniversal regional sports networks. You can see the full list of PlayStation Vue channels here. Two other great perks: You can stream on up to five devices at once, and there’s also unlimited cloud DVR.
- Cost: $44.99 per month
- Hulu devices: Roku, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire Stick and Fire TV, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Nintendo Switch, and iOS and Android devices
- Hulu local channels: ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, the CW (check your local availability here)
Hulu with Live TV includes sports programming among its offerings, including ESPN and FS1, and as a subscriber to the service, you’ll get free access to Hulu’s sizable on-demand library. (Check out the full list of Hulu Live TV channels.)
5) YouTube TV
- Cost: $50 per month
- YouTube TV devices: Google Chromecast, Roku, Apple TV, Android TV, Xbox One, iOS and Android devices
- YouTube TV local channels: NBC, CBS, Fox, ABC, the CW (enter your ZIP code here to check your availability)
Cost: $73.99 per month for four months, or one single payment of $293.96
There are two—and only two—ways of acquiring NFL Sunday Ticket without DirecTV. There’s NFLSundayTicket.TV, which costs $73.99 per month for four months. It’s everything you love NFL Sunday Ticket but online-only. You can stream from pretty much any device that connects to the internet (but only on one device at a time).
You can also upgrade to the NFLST.TV Max bundle for a total of $99 per month for four months or one single payment of $395.99. You can also add on NFL Game Pass, which allows you to watch replays of every game after they air, for $50 for the full season.
There’s another way to watch NFL Sunday Ticket without DirecTV: Amazon Prime. While you can’t pay for the package using Amazon Prime, you can at least watch all of the games on the service. To start, first download the NFL Sunday Ticket channel on Amazon Prime. It’s free. From there, you’ll just need to sign in with your subscription credentials.
College students can purchase NFL Sunday Ticket at a discounted price through NFLSundayTicket.TV U.
Steelers vs. 49ers: Why it matters
Though the 49ers have started strong, they still have something to prove. Their first two opponents, the Bengals and the Buccaneers, aren’t exactly titans, but if San Francisco can improve to 3-0, the rest of the league will have no choice but to take them seriously.
It seems unlikely that the Steelers will be contenders with untested Mason Rudolph under center. However, if the young backup can step into a starting role and win a few games, then he could establish himself as the future face of the franchise.
At least on defense, the Steelers have no plans on rolling over. An already much-improved unit has added stud safety Minkah Fitzpatrick to a strong secondary. A win for Pittsburgh feels improbable here, but not impossible.
The Steelers could be the stiffest competition Jimmy G and company have faced to date, and Week 3 will be a test. If the Niners can continue to improve and Garoppolo continues to lead, this could be the best San Francisco squad in recent memory.
This game feels like the end of one era and the beginning of another, but only the final score will tell if we are truly seeing a changing of the guard.
- How to watch NFL RedZone without cable
- How to watch NFL Sunday Ticket without a DirecTV satellite
- How to watch NFL Network online (without cable)
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Brenden Gallagher is a politics reporter and cultural commentator. His work has been published by Motherboard, Complex, and VH1. He’s the co-founder of Beer Money Films, an indie production company. Based in Los Angeles, he works in television drama as a writers assistant.