Patriots Steelers Week 7

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Patriots

vs.

Steelers

NFL Pick

10/23/16

The New England-Pittsburgh Game had all the makings of being a premier AFC showdown to potentially preview the AFC Championship Game, then Ben Roethlisberger tore up his meniscus. Don’t get me wrong, the Steelers still have plenty of talent and the potential to contend in this one, but it certainly is a damper on what could have been an extremely exciting build-up to this one. As a result of the injury the Patriots find themselves as 7 point favorites on the road, with a total of 46.

Tom Brady has been near perfect since coming back from his DeflateGAte suspension to open up the year. In his two Games back, Brady has completed 76.0% of his passes for 782 yards, six touchdowns and no interceptions.

Rob Gronkowski has similarly returned after missing time early. In his first couple of Games back he did not have much of an impact for the Patriots. since Brady returned, though, Gronkowski has been dynamic. He has 12 receptions in the last two Games for 271 yards and a touchdown. The tandem of Rob Gronkowski and Martellus Bennett will be very difficult to slow down as the trio GAins chemistry in their time back together.

LeGArrette Blount has seen a lighter workload since Brady has returned, but he still is capable of having an impact on the Game. In the last two Games, Blount has 87 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.

All of these weapons will be used against a Pittsburgh defense that ranks 28th in the NFL in yards allowed per Game. They have, however, been very successful in stopping teams from scoring. The Steelers are only allowing 20.5 points per Game. Don’t expect that trend to stay the same in this one.

LAndry Jones has seen extremely limited action in his NFL career thus far. He has completed 57.1% of his 56 career pass attempts for 513 yards, three touchdowns and Four interceptions. Due to his lack of experieNCe, expect the Steelers to implement a lot of the running Game to keep pressure off of Jones.

Le’Veon Bell is averaging 87.7 yards per Game. DeAngelo Williams is averaging 45.8 yards per Game.

Of course, Antonio Brown and Sammie Coates are dangerous weapons on the outside as well. But, it’s fair to ask just how much those two will be slowed down because of Jones’ preseNCe in this Game.

New England is a middle-of-the-road team in terms of allowing pass yards, but they have been excellent against the run. For these reasons, I find it hard to believe that their coaching staff isn’t going to find a way to dramatically slow down Jones.

Our instiNCt is certainly to go with a Bill Belichick-coached team in this scenario. The Patriots are clicking on offense and the Steelers don’t have the ability to slow them down. Jones should see all kinds of pressure, and the running Game shouldn’t be overly productive. Patriots 31, Steelers 17.
 

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