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Saturday, November 16, 2013

Who I like, Detroit version

The Steelers played their most complete game last week and defeated the Buffalo Bills, 23-10, in a game that wasn’t even that close.

That win put them at 3-6 and, surprisingly, pulled them within two games of both the AFC North lead and the second wildcard spot in the AFC.

This week we’ll find out for sure if we have to start looking at the playoff races or if the it’s time to start looking at potential draft picks when the Steelers host the Lions.

Of Pittsburgh’s remaining seven games, only three are against teams with winning records, and Cincinnati and Green Bay, two of those teams, are struggling right now.

The other is the Lions, who come into Pittsburgh on a bit of a roll, having won three of their past four.

Obviously, everyone knows the Lions have star wide receiver Calvin Johnson and quarterback Matthew Stafford throwing him the ball. It’s all that’s been talked about this week, along with Detroit’s potent offense.

But that offense is a little less potent on the road (21.8 points per game) than it is at home (32.2). And while the Lions don’t allow Stafford to be sacked – just 10 this season – they also don’t get a lot of sacks. Detroit, despite the presence of defensive tackles Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley, has just 15 sacks this season.

That means today’s game will be the first this season outside of the opener in which the Steelers, who have 16 sacks, will have more than their opponent.

Certainly, other teams with low sack totals, Chicago, for example, have found ways to get to Ben Roethilisberger. The Bears just 14 sacks this season, but three came in a win over the Steelers.

The Lions are two-point favorites to beat the Steelers and this game could go down to the wire.

If the Steelers can keep Johnson under control and force somebody else on Detroit’s offense to beat them, they can win.

If Detroit can get to Roethlisberger and force some turnovers, they could run away with it.

Take Detroit, 24-17


Steve-O said...

Sadly I have to agree with you Dale. The Steelers are lacking in talent at multiple positions. Everyone would have to show up for this one and quite frankly that hasn't happened against the better teams. That said, they are at home so I'll be rooting for the upset. If by some miracle it happens, the ensuing momentum could catapult this rebuilding project into a respectable season and hope for the future.... A guy can dream.

Steve said...

Man, I was expecting a prediction of a Steelers' win right up until the end.

Weather forecast for tomorrow -
Temps between 60-65, 70-80% chance of rain, winds between 15-20 mph.

Beating the Lions at home wouldn't be a 'miracle'. They're a good team, but this isn't the '85 Bears we're talking about.

Patrick said...

I feel like this game is going to either look like the 2009 Packers game, a high scoring no defense game, or the 2008 Eagles game where the Steelers give up a ton of sacks and neither team can do a thing.

But with Calvin Johnson on the field, I don't see how Detroit isn't going to put up points. I will say though that Ike does have a history of shutting down a big time WR but you just can't do that to Johnson.

I hope all these bs reports have Ben fired up and he can match whatever Det puts up. We're also due for a Jarvis Jones game changer.

I'll go Steelers 30, Detroit 27 in a fun one. Ben throws for 350+.

Anonymous said...

I think stopping the run is the key. You know they're gonna blanket CJ, but that won't matter if they can't stop the run.

Zac in tempe

Dale Lolley said...

I agree Steve. It's possible. But not probable. I'd put the odds at 30 percent

Anonymous Brian said...

Lions - 27 Steelers - 16

Lions get sack-fumble-six on Ben early.

Once again recommend that Ben throws on-purpose interception to Mathis early - but don't let him take to the house - to get it out of the way.

Anonymous said...

Dale, i hope you realize if the Steelers win you have to pick against them the rest of the year

Anonymous said...

It's windy and rainy plus Pitt played at Heinz last night. The turf is going to be awful and that might do more to slow down Det's passing than anything.

NineFingers said...

Wow Patrick...almost nailed the game perfectly. Well, until the Cotchery TD. Well done!

Kage Rush said...

I think the Steelers can make the playoffs if they fix their offensive struggles. They have the defense most of the time its the offense that has to step up if they want to win. is my blog if you want to leave a comment.

Patrick said...

Thanks, was hoping someone would take note