Easily the biggest game left in the season for the Pats, this seems like a very unpredictable game.
The Steelers have looked like a shell of a team lately, and are coming off a loss to the worst team in the AFC in the Raiders. The Pats are also horrible on the road this season, and they’ve proved it time and time again. This seems like it’s really a toss up as to what could happen this Sunday.
As long as there’s no more brain farts, the Patriots offense is going to score this week. The Steelers defense collapses every single year in this scenario.
All of a sudden Gronk cannot be covered, they’ll forget James White exists, and someone like Josh Gordon will have a score or two. It’s just a matter of Brady doing what he does.
If the blitz starts to get to him, they might have some problems. The good new is that they have an empty injury report going into this week, so even Dwayne Allen is back. Allen will add strength to their blocking both as help in the pass game and in the run game.
This might be the resurgence of Sony Michel. If he can run well, in turn the blitz will be at bay to Brady. Look for the offense to put up over 30 points this week.
The defense is where this could go wrong. They let Frank Gore look like it was 2006 again. He looked like prime Frank Gore, and he’s 35.
Not to mention they’ve lost to Ryan Tannehill, Marcus Mariota, and Blake Bortles. Big Ben is a hell of a lot better than those guys.
Even more trouble will be how they handle Juju and AB. Most likely Gilmore will shadow Juju, who has honestly seemed like a bigger threat this season. But Brown will be a tough matchup for the Pats DBs.
Jason McCourty will most likely have trouble keeping up with him, and JC Jackson is probably not up to the challenge.
Jonathan Jones is the best matchup in theory, but if he can really get the job done is the real question. Chances are if they can stop the run, the Steelers will make a horrible coaching decision that causes them to self destruct and lose the game.
This has some big playoff implications. The Chiefs lost, so a win could keep the Pats one game away from taking home field advantage.
The Dolphins could very well lose to a Vikings team that is fighting for their playoff lives, and if the Pats can win with the Dolphins losing then they will clinch the AFC East.
The Steelers have implications too, if they lose and the Ravens win, they surrender first place in the AFC North. Both teams are on such weird runs right now, this seems unpredictable, but I’ll take a shot at it. 38-34 Pats.
-Jake Kobierski (@TheRealKobe83)
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