It was a rough week last weekend for yours truly. Not only was I under the weather (legitimately) but I was also feeling sick to my stomach for about three quarters of the Steelers/Jaguars game.
My predictions weren’t all on the money last week, maybe not one of my sharper efforts actually. But this time around I’m feeling healthier and with a clear mind, I can see the future a little better than last week. (Okay, I can’t see the future at all, obviously, from last week’s picks!)
Here’s a recap of my mind was heading into last Sunday:
- Fournette under 100
It didn’t look like I would hit this prediction, but believe it or not: I did. Fournette would be contained to 95 yards rushing.
- Steelers score 30+
Swing and a miss as the offense struggled through most of the game.
- Ben sacks over/under 2
Jacksonville got to Big Ben exactly twice.
- Steelers defense gets five or more sacks
The men on D got to Blake Bortles six times.
- Jaguars held under 18
They got up 16-0 and that was it folks!
- Vance finally hits 100
3 for 27 yards and a touchdown. Still not there. I may have to let this one go, considering all of the weapons the Steelers offense has.
- Zero picks
This was the big miss on my part, as Ben threw three interceptions.
- Jalen Ramsey attempts to start a fight
Between his and Telvin Smith's trash talking all game, I'm shocked there wasn't more of a scuffle.
Okay, so it wasn’t all that bad, but it felt that way at times. I’m going to take another stab at making some predictions this week with a hot and cold opponent that is the Denver Broncos.
Defense gets five sacks
I don’t see how the Broncos offensive line slows down the Steelers defense. Five may not be a bold enough number here, but Denver QB Case Keenum is going down several times this Sunday.
Steelers put 30 on the scoreboard
Cumulatively, I see the Steelers getting close to, or just over the 30-point mark. As noted below, that may not be all offense however.
Of course, put me down for a "W" too.
Antonio Brown continues scoring streak
There are still a few franchise and NFL records AB doesn’t already hold. Look for him to continue his consecutive games scoring streak, attempting to eclipse Buddy Dial’s all-time mark for a Steeler.
James Conner returns to the century mark
Denver cannot stop the run. Conner has been cold the last couple of games statistics-wise.
Look for one of the leaders in Pro Bowl voting to run wild, with at least 100 yards of rushing, plus 20-30 yards receiving.
Defense forces two turnovers
If they’re putting pressure on Keenum, I can see the ball getting loose at least twice. Mix it up, I don’t care: fumbles and interceptions are both fine in my book!
Special teams splash
I’ve been waiting for a return for a touchdown, maybe even a long return, to help boost the Steelers offense. Perhaps a turnover will even do the trick.
Somehow, I see special teams involvement on Sunday. That could even mean 3-4 field goals from Chris Boswell, but we’ll see something we’re not used to over the last 4-6 games in this one. I just can’t pinpoint exactly what that will be, but it’s coming from this third phase of football.
Ben attempts 30 or less passes
You know I want to put Vance McDonald here and say he’ll top 100 yards, yada yada. He’s going to make a mark, as will Jesse James, as the Steelers tight ends attack the middle of the field against those Broncos linebackers.
However, in the grand scheme of things, I also see a run-oriented Steelers offense chewing clock and keeping Ben from having to throw nearly 50 passes this week. Let’s keep his pitcher’s arm fresh and feed Conner and company in the backfield.