Having Ben Roethlisberger on the sidelines for the Pittsburgh Steelers this weekend will be the equivalent of someone having their pants pulled down at a party. All of the warts on this team are finally coming to the surface and Tom Brady and his offense is salivating right now. The local media did not have the Steelers going and winning a Championship. The National Media on the other hand was so enamored by the offensive fire power I believe they overlooked the defensive woes. Now that Pittsburgh is without their Star Quarterback for what could be 2-4 weeks, the NFL will find out what many suspected. This team is just not that good.
The defense has relied on a bend not break plan this season. This past week, they were not only broke they were busted. Take into consideration that their best defensive player was off the field in Cam Heyward and the defensive line gave up over 200 yards rushing. Add to the fact that Ryan Shazier can not stay on the field and he was supposed to elevate this linebacking group. Once again, the best Linebacker the Steelers have on the field gets limited play because of his age and that is James Harrison.
Now, let us add insult to injury. Tom Brady is guiding what is the most explosive offense in football and they are coming into Pittsburgh this weekend to play against a wounded average defense. On the offensive side of the ball, Landry Jones has had a moment or two of good play but not against a team as good as New England. This matchup has the makings of being a complete dismantling.
Currently the Patriots are coming into Pittsburgh as a 7 to 7.5 point favorite. It’s unprecedented in this Era that a team comes into Pittsburgh as a touchdown favorite. But there is a possibility that the Patriots will have the ability to call their shot here. They could in fact beat the Steelers by as many points as they want to. That is not saying Landry Jones has no chance to perform well this week. What I am saying is that “I do not think it matters what he does this weekend“. He can not manufacture enough points for the Steelers to stay in this game this week. No one on this Pittsburgh Roster can cover the tight ends that New England will send out on the field.
I will have all week to refine my thoughts just in case an injury crops up on the Patriots side of the ball. In the mean time, my initial thoughts on what outcome will be this weekend, 46-18. It’s an odd score, but I would expect Brady and Belichick to run this one up. They have a history of ripping the Steelers and this has makings of an overly lopsided victory for the Pats.
A healthy Big Ben would have made a huge difference this week. But with him out, the Steelers can’t get to the bye week fast enough. The only saving grace for this team is the fact that the other teams in their division are lousy right now.
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