Well, my ego took as severe of a beating as the Steelers did at the hands of the Ravens last Sunday. I really felt that the Steelers would have a game, and after going down 14 points to start, they were tied at halftime, getting the ball to start the third quarter and appeared primed and ready to make me look like a genius.
Instead, the offense flopped, the defense stalled, and I was left holding the bag.
Here’s a review of last week's predictions:
- Steelers extend streak
- Steelers score 35-plus
- Antonio Brown goes off
- Ben posts 400-plus
- Joe Sacco
- Limit rushing yards
Okay, so the Ravens didn’t accumulate 100 total yards of rushing, which I suppose is a victory since that was one of my predictions. But the rest? Into the crapper, they went. The Steelers couldn’t score, didn’t win, and Big Ben and AB are still moving slowly toward the dominance we all expect of them.
That makes this week’s predictions that much more difficult to pinpoint, but I’ll still give it my best effort!
This could be my main prediction every week but I truly believe they get back on track with the “second quarter” of the season by finally realizing what a home field advantage is.
Expect a shootout
Atlanta enters Heinz Field 1-3 and capable of putting up points but they give up a lot and may have a worse defense than the Steelers do.
That said, the over/under on this game is 58 and rightfully so: with the weapons the Falcons have, Pittsburgh will also be hard-pressed to limit their scoring. Therefore, expect both teams to put up points. It may even come down to whoever makes the least mistakes!
Or nearly. Call me crazy, but I believe the Steelers have worked the kinks out and will have five or fewer flags thrown their direction Sunday.
Another reason for this prediction is Sunday’s referee: John Parry. Parry’s crew has yet to penalize any team more than ten times in a single game this season through three games. His past encounters with the Steelers include the Jaguars Week 5 loss in 2017 (4 penalties for 19 yards), Steelers/Ravens on Christmas Day 2016 (7/95 yards), Steelers/Jets 2016 (4/18), and two games against the Bengals, a regular season matchup in 2015 (5/82) and the wild Wild Card game which had the Steelers tagged ten times for 142 yards.
Those are some mismatched numbers, but the divisional rivalry games tend to draw more bad blood. Therefore, we may finally see a smoother game with fewer stops this Sunday!
Put me down for two turnovers, please. Oh yes, for the Steelers of course.
I don’t mind Matt Ryan, but I don’t necessarily trust him either. I do believe the Steelers have some playmakers who have been in hibernation on the defense and that they can alter the game significantly. I’m not going to call for outright sacks, strip sacks, forced fumbles or interceptions, rather, I’ll just say that the Steelers D makes it happen at least twice in this game.
It’s time folks. I called for it last week, and it’s happening this week. Seven receptions, 100-plus yards, and at least one touchdown.
I’d go on record with Ben too, but I have another idea about how the Steelers offense will operate…
Run the darn ball!
My final prediction is that James Conner touches the ball at least 25 times in this game, with a minimum of 20 rushing attempts.
The Steelers have to get the running game going, something that’s been neglected since Week 1. I fully believe the Steelers offensive line can launch Conner to a big game and make everyone forget about Le’Veon Bell’s absence for another week… until he tweets something during or after the game.
Yes, that’s a prediction too. Let’s see if I can nail a few of these this week as the Steelers bring home a win!