NFL Sunday Night Predictions
Will Packers Put Up a Fight Against Steelers?
Nobody expects the Green Bay Packers to offer any resistance this evening, or the rest of the season for that matter. There’s no player more valuable to his team than quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who underwent the knife after a crushing hit snapped his collarbone during a week six game against the Minnesota Vikings.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are having one of their best seasons in the past decade or so, matching the rival New England Patriots step-for-step throughout the regular season. Steel City has an inside edge on the Patriots for the AFC title, as long as they take care of lesser teams before welcoming Tom Brady in week 15.
- Game: Green Bay Packers at Pittsburgh Steelers
- Pick: Steelers Beat -14 Spread, Over 43.5
- NFL Odds Courtesy of Sports Interaction
Packers at Steelers - Vital Trends
No Aaron Rodgers, No Win
The best quarterback in football consistently snatched victory from the jaws of defeat this year, making up for all the other shortcomings of Green Bay’s lineup. Wins during week one, three and five were close affairs orchestrated by Aaron Rodgers, who outplayed the Seahawks, Bengals and Cowboys defense late in the game. Prior to his injury, Rodgers had a 103.2 passer rating, production the Packers sorely miss.
Big Ben On A Roll
Roethlisberger picked apart the defense of the Tennessee Titans on Thursday night football last week, throwing 299 yards on 30-45 attempts, resulting in 4 touchdowns and zero INTs. Over his past five games, Ben has a 102.7 passer rating, averaging 265.6 yards per game and accumulating 10 TDs and three INTs in the process. The Steelers don’t need much from Ben to win, and he’s been giving them more offense than usual.
Le’Veon Bell Runs Defenses Ragged
Bell has been a workhorse for the Steelers this year, averaging 88.6 yards per game on 3.8 yards per attempt. He also catches the ball well, averaging 30.8 receiving yards per game, pushing his total yards from scrimmage to 1,194 in only 10 games. This opens up the field for the rest of Pittsburgh’s offense, especially the combo of Antonio Brown and Ben Roethlisberger, who make the most of the opposition paying attention to Le’Veon.
Steelers Powerful Defense
Pittsburgh’s made their bacon by preventing the opposition from earning easy points, and this year they’ve been one of the best defenses in the league. The Steelers allow only 16.5 PPG in 2017, which ranks second best in the NFL. Their pass defense allows the third least yards in the league, while their rush defense is eighth best. The only minor weakness statistically would be the number of TDs they give up on the ground, which ranks 18th in the NFL.
Healthy Steelers, Battered Packers
Pittsburgh has a single player on the injured reserve – linebacker Keion Adams – and three others who will miss the game with short-term injuries. Nine players on the Packers lineup populate their injured reserve list, with 13 likely to miss the game, and a total of 20 players who might not suit up on Sunday night. Unfortunately, this matchup will be mostly defined by the lack of health for Green Bay.
NFL Sunday Night X-Factors
Backup pivot Brett Hundley has performed as inconsistently as you’d expect for a second string QB in the NFL, winning only one of his starts this year. There’s always a chance that Hundley has another, hidden gear available. In the unlikely event that he suddenly improves, a 14-point spread would become a lot more difficult for Pittsburgh to beat.
The good news is Ben Roethlisberger’s ability to up his game during primetime, regular season matchups. Big Ben has a 37-16 record in late games, winning 69.8% of evening games. His passer rating is also higher than early and afternoon games – his career average over 14 seasons is 93.7, while his passer rating at night is 96.5. Last week Ben threw four TDs on Thursday night, continuing the trend.
Category : NFLMore articles...