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Saturday, September 21, 2013

Who I like, Chicago version

To show just how quickly things can change in the NFL, the AFC North was considered one of the better divisions in the NFL the past couple of seasons.

Why not? In Cincinnati, Baltimore and Pittsburgh, it boasted three teams that were playoff contenders in each of those seasons, with the Ravens winning the Super Bowl last season.

Two weeks into 2013, however, the entire division is at .500 or worse and oddsmakers don’t think that’s going to change a lot. All four teams are underdogs this weekend, including the Steelers, Ravens and Bengals at home.

It’s the first time since the Ravens moved to Baltimore in 1996 that they and the Steelers are both home underdogs in the same weekend,

In other words, it wouldn’t be surprising if the AFC North leader was 1-2 after this week.

At 0-2, the Steelers would need a win to get to that record.

And from what they’ve shown in the first two weeks, scoring 19 points, it might be a stretch for them to get there.

Obviously, what the Steelers have done thus far, hasn’t worked. That’s why you can look for the Steelers to try to do something a little different this week.

With tight end Heath Miller returning this week after missing the first two games while recovering from a torn ACL, the Steelers finally have all of the pieces available in their passing game.

And they intend to use them.

Look for the Steelers, who are 3-point underdogs, to spread the field with multiple receiver packages and Miller split wide as well.

With the running game producing just 75 yards in the first two games, the Steelers will try to move the ball with a short passing game instead.

And if the defense can limit Chicago’s multi-faceted attack and create a turnover or two – something it has not done yet this season – the Steelers will not only cover, they will win it outright.

Take Pittsburgh, 20-17


Henry said...

Wait a minute. If the Steelers are dogs, then winning alone covers...

marc said...

Dale, you are the eternal optimist.

Until the o-line shows it can block adequately and the defense can make a big play I don't see how the steelers can possibly win.

24-13, Chicago wins.

George said...

If the defense can rattle Cutler enough. He will make bad decisions. Steelers win if the defense gets more turnovers than the bears.
The OL will be fine by mid season if they stay healthy.

Dale Lolley said...

Not optimist. Realist. I picked the Bengals last week. I'm picking the Steelers this week

Anonymous Brian said...

I think Steelers scratch out a lucky, weird, controversial win, 31-26 but somehow they don't look any better than the first two weeks.

Patrick said...

I'll go Steelers 26-20 with Felx Jone taking one to the house on a kickoff or dump off.

Jarvis Jones and/or Troy are due for big plays.

Anonymous said...

Cutler is 2-0 against the Steelers. I expect that undefeated streak to remain intact after tonight.