The Pittsburgh Steelers might have saved their season in Week 6 with a gritty win over the Geno Smith-led Seattle Seahawks at home. The win evened Pittsburgh’s record at 3-3, but they still take up residence at the bottom of the AFC North. It would be an understatement to say that the Steeler’s offense has struggled this year.
The team currently ranks 27th in the league in total yards, and 26th in points scored. Big Ben hasn’t looked like himself for much of the year, and Matt Canada’s offensive play-calling has looked severely outdated. The NFL lines currently have Pittsburgh as +3.5 dogs on the road. Let’s see what we can expect from this critical Week 8 divisional tilt.
Najee Harris Has Been As Advertised
The Pittsburgh Steelers are getting what they had hoped for in first-round pick Najee Harris. The Alabama product has impressed this year as a workhorse, averaging 23 touches per game. While his yards per carry isn’t eye-popping (3.8), it’s his receiving skills that have stood out. Harris has gained 244 yards after the catch this year, good for second in the NFL among RBs.
He also seems to get stronger as the game goes on, averaging 32.3 yards from scrimmage in the fourth quarter this season, whereas the league average for running backs is 15.9. With the lack of a significant air attack, expect the Steelers to keep riding Harris all season long.
Does Ben Roethlisberger Have Anything Left in the Tank?
Steelers fans keep waiting for Big Ben to prove the doubters and critics wrong, but so far, that just hasn’t happened. Instead, the 39-year-old has looked tired and slow and has rarely thrown the ball down the field. 77% of his pass attempts have been between 1-10 yards – the highest in the league.
While the Steelers’ backup options leave a lot to desire, at some point, you’d think that they might need to give someone else a chance. The rumor mill has gone wild in Steel-town, with many fans hoping that Pittsburgh signs disgruntled Packers QB Aaron Rodgers in the offseason. But for now, the focus is on finding someone who can get the job done this year.
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cleveland Browns
The last time these two teams faced, the game was over before it even got started. The underdog Browns jumped out to a 28-0 lead in the blink of an eye, leaving the Steelers shocked and reeling for the rest of the AFC Wild Card Playoff game. Pittsburgh will have revenge on its mind as they try to get over .500 for the first time since Week 1.
Last year’s playoff game featured a ton of points as the Browns went on to win 48-37, but I’d expect a much different result this time around. The Steelers are 26th in the NFL in points scored, averaging just 19.5 per game this season. Cleveland QB Baker Mayfield will likely be a game-time decision, but I expect this to be a gritty defensive battle even if he plays.
Don’t Bet on Fireworks This Time
The Pittsburgh Steelers haven’t eclipsed 27 points in a game this season, and I don’t think that changes this week. They’ve averaged under 20 points per game on the year, and I’d expect a similar outcome in this one, as their offense lacks creativity and the ability to push the ball down the field.
I’d recommend looking elsewhere for your pick in this week’s King of the Weekend Promo. Instead, check out BetMGM’s sportsbook for more details, as well as all your online betting for this weekend’s action.
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