Allen Robinson’s Major Familiarity With NFC West Teams Could Pay Minor Dividends In 2023

Long before the trade that the Pittsburgh Steelers made for veteran wide receiver Allen Robinson II was made official by the team, we had the play of the Penn State product broken down from several different angles on the site. However, there was one very different, yet minor, angle that I wanted to address now concerning the addition of Robinson to the Steelers and it’s related to the team’s 2023 opponents.

For starters, Robinson played for the Los Angeles Rams in 2022 and they are obviously in the NFC West division. The Steelers will play all four of those NFC West teams in 2023 as part of their schedule with two of those games obviously being on the road against the Rams and the Seattle Seahawks. In short, Robinson should know quite a bit about the defensive schemes, and most of the personnel involved in them, of three of those four teams as only the Arizona Cardinals have an all-new coaching staff.

Last season, and prior to suffering his fractured foot in November, Robinson played in four games against teams in the NFC West, two against the San Francisco 49ers and two against Cardinals. He unfortunately missed both of the Rams’ two meetings against the Seahawks last season, but that said, it’s easy to fathom that he helped his teammates prepare for both games while sidelined with his foot injury. Obviously, Robinson practiced against the Rams defense all season until being shut down near the end of it.

At this point in this post, it’s also worth pointing out that Robinson’s team in 2021, the Chicago Bears, played all four NFC West teams as well. Robinson, however, only played in the games against the Rams and 49ers that season.

While the annual NFL draft and subsequent free agency signings could still reshape teams across the NFC West division, I think most would agree that the 49ers should open the 2023 regular season as the favorites of that group of four teams. The Seahawks and Rams will likely battle for second place in that division while the Cardinals, who have a new coaching staff, will probably be expected to finish in last place.

Personally, I could see the Steelers being favored in their 2023 home game against the Cardinals and possibly in their road game against the Rams as well. The game against the 49ers at Acrisure Stadium should be the Steelers toughest of the four NFC West teams they will face.

Will whatever insight that Robinson can provide the Steelers on those four NFC West teams in 2023 be a huge factor? Probably not overall. That said, the Steelers will be a young team on offense in 2023 and especially at the wide receiver position, a group that figures to include two second year players in George Pickens and Calvin Austin III, and possibly even a rookie as well. In summation, whatever insight that Robinson can give the Steelers on those four NFC West teams in 2023 will be useful.

In case you’re curious, 13 of Robinson’s 33 (39.4%) total receptions and 128 of his 339 (37.8%) total receiving yards in 2022 came against two NFC West teams, the 49ers and Cardinals.

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