Two Super Bowl contenders will meet up for a duel in Week 7 of the 2016 NFL season when the New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers take the field against one another.
While Pittsburgh will get this showdown at home, it has one major thing going against it, and that is the fact that Ben Roethlisberger is down and out with an injury.
No one knows if the Steelers can survive without Big Ben making the throws. With that said, this squad certainly has a lot of weapons. Names like Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown tend to come to mind when thinking about lethal players on the offensive side of the ball for Pittsburgh.
Pittsburgh enters this contest with a 4-2 record and the No. 7 ranking in ESPN’s power rankings. The Steelers looked a little lost in their last game against the Miami Dolphins as they lost by the score of 30-15.
As for the Patriots, they now hold the No. 1 ranking in ESPN’s poll, and they are also 5-1 on the year. Since Tom Brady’s return, the Pats have looked pretty unstoppable on the offensive side of the ball, and their defense hasn’t been too shabby either (won the last two games by a combined score of 68-30).
With Roethlisberger out, Pittsburgh’s chances of knocking off Bill Belichick & Co. take a major hit. Nonetheless, fans should still be in store for quite the treat, and the bold predictions will also be running wild.
Le’Veon Bell Does Everything In His Power To Make This A Game With 200-Plus Yards
Without his starting quarterback in the lineup, Bell has to come up big from here on out if Pittsburgh is going to continue to rack up the points and capture the wins. Therefore, Bell will do just that with 200-plus yards in Week 7.
Here’s the only problem about this prediction: The Patriots are only giving up 92 rushing yards per game. They are, however, allowing 347 total yards per game. For what it’s worth, New England’s defense has been rather stingy in the scoring department as it is only allowing 15.2 points per game, which is second-best in the NFL.
Nonetheless, Bell has only played in three games this season, and he has already racked up 440 yards (263 rushing yards and 177 receiving yards).
Tom Brady Continues To Take The League By Storm, Drops 300-Plus Yards, Three Touchdowns
Tom Brady is 39 years old. With him, age is literally just a number.
In two games, the almighty Brady has recorded 782 passing yards, six passing touchdowns, and zero interceptions. Does it get better than that? No, not really.
According to ESPN, “Brady has not thrown an interception in his past five games against the Steelers, totaling 210 attempts in those games.” So not only has Brady been lighting up opposing defenses as of late, but he hasn’t been turning the ball over against Pittsburgh. He could be in store for a big day against the Steelers as a result.
New England Wins By Less Than A Touchdown
As long as players like Bell and Brown step up for the Steelers, Pittsburgh should still have enough firepower to keep up with the New England Patriots. However, that does not mean the Steelers are going to leave Week 7 with a home victory.
Although Big Ben is a major loss, Pittsburgh is not doomed just yet, not when it has weapons all over the field and a defense that hasn’t been horrible (allowing 20.5 points per game).
Life in the NFL is brutal, no matter who a team is playing. Just because Brady has been going ham out on the football field, that does not mean the Patriots are going to run away with this contest. However, Pittsburgh’s defense and playmakers have to step up in Roethlisberger’s absence.
[Featured Image by Billie Weiss/Getty Images]