It's finally Week 1 of the 2019-20 NFL regular season, and that means that Team SCU has been chatting in our back rooms about what we believe the Pittsburgh Steelers will bring with them when they enter Gillette Stadium in Foxborough (MA) to face the 2018-19 Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots. While we are typically pragmatic and reserved with our presentation of fact - 'Bold Predictions' is one area where we let the hype get a little loose as we weigh realistic expectations with dauntless hopes. This week Joe, Brian, and Derek joined me in our wild prognostication of things we predict the Steelers will accomplish.
Here we go!
The Steelers put Brady on the turf five times
Brian: Why is this bold? I mean, the Steelers have had monster sack seasons the last two years but normally Tom Brady doesn't hit the ground that often during the game. I think the Steelers D-line is ready to eat, and T.J. Watt and Bud Dupree can add in as well and worry Brady the entire game.
The Steelers hold the Patriots to under 20 points
Joe: Both teams will be motivated to play in this one, but it’s Pittsburgh’s improved defense that will be the difference-maker against a hodgepodge New England offensive line. This will cause some disruption for Brady and company, and lead the Steelers, who have had the Patriots’ number in the last two seasons (with only one win being official even though “Jesse Caught It”), to victory.
'Big Ben' goes for 350 and three touchdowns
Brian: I expect Ben Roethlisberger to have a big year, and to spread the ball around. I think he can have a "lit" night up in Foxboro under the lights and throw TD's to three different receiving targets.
Washington grabs 100 receiving yards
Christina: While JuJu Smith-Schuster and Donte Moncrief both will factor into the Steelers' offensive playmaking on the road, this is James Washington's game to explode. While the Patriots defense tries to keep everything covered, Roethlisberger will find Washington for some big plays and give the youngster a 100-yard receiving game.
Overly goes crazy in his rookie 'bold predictions' list
Derek wasn't with SCU during the 2018 season, so it was interesting to see what he'd put out there for bold predictions as a rookie to this feature. He didn't disappoint. Going throttle full-open, here is his forecast of Steelers fortune:
Derek: Devin Bush plays less than 50% of defensive snaps Week 1. Terrell Edmunds has the lone turnover for the Steelers defense. "JaySam" (Jaylen Samuels) is a bigger factor than James Conner on offense, going for over 100 scrimmage yards. The Steelers come away with a dirty win.
Initially, I predicted that Bush would play significant snaps despite being a rookie linebacker and that the Steelers would earn at least two turnovers/takeaways. I even went so far as to predict that Bush would create a turnover on his own. Why? Because it's more than bold; it's outrageously optimistic... and that's what the Steelers need. Guts, fire, and a "nothing but a win" attitude.
Because Derek, Joe, and Brian got me really fired up, I tossed out the more conservative side of my nature and decided to go one step bolder in my final prediction: The Steelers will beat the Patriots by more than two touchdowns for a Week 1 stunner.