49ers vs. Steelers: Remember when Kyle Juszczyk rag-dolled Minkah Fitzpatrick?

Perhaps Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick won't want to mess around and find out this time.
San Francisco 49ers fullback Kyle Juszczyk (44)
San Francisco 49ers fullback Kyle Juszczyk (44) / Daniel Shirey/GettyImages

The last time the 49ers played the Steelers, Kyle Juszczyk had a brutal stiff-arm against one of Pittsburgh's best defensive players.

It's typically every four years for the San Francisco 49ers and Pittsburgh Steelers to play each other, given the two storied franchises are in separate conferences and such.

So, considering the last time these two teams squared off against one another was in 2019, it's about time both the Niners and Steelers saw each other again.

They will, in case you hadn't noticed, open up their regular-season campaigns for 2023 on Sunday, Sept. 10.

A lot has changed since the last time these two teams played each other. Both squads have different quarterbacks, Brock Purdy for San Francisco and Kenny Pickett for Pittsburgh, although one might expect the showdown to be just as tough as it was back in 2019.

The 49ers offense started off slow in that showdown, yet head coach Kyle Shanahan's squad ultimately came away with a 24-20 victory at Levi's Stadium.

And you could argue there was one massive turning point in the game, and it involved a certain fullback donning the red and gold.

49ers FB Kyle Juszczyk delivered devastating stiff-arm on Steelers DB Minkah Fitzpatrick

That 2019 season was awfullys pecial for the Niners, cultimating in a disappointing Super Bowl loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

But the ride along the way was awesome, and one particular play in the second quarter of that Week 3 game arguably set the tone for San Francisco, not just in that contest but for the rest of the season.

Fullback Kyle Juszczyk, on a 1st-and-10 play with just over 13 minutes remaining in the first half and the 49ers trailing 6-0, hauled in a pass from quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo while running up the seam.

Steelers Pro Bowl safety Minkah Fitzpatrick was in Juszczyk's way, however:

Advantage: Juszczyk.

Related story: Will Nick Bosa suit up for 49ers vs. Steelers on Sunday?

That rag-dolling stiff arm from the Niners fullback was savage, putting it lightly, and one could make the argument it was a notable turning point in the game, even though Garoppolo subsequently fumbled later on that drive.

Despite the turnover, San Francisco managed to squeak in a field goal before halftime and then outscored Pittsburgh 21-14 in the second half.

Few 49ers fans probably remember the final score, but they'll assuredly remember Juszczyk tossing Fitzpatrick around.

With the Niners visiting the Steelers again to kick off the 2023 season, perhaps it'll be appropriate for the two Pro Bowlers to be reintroduced again.

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