TV Schedule: Sunday, Sept. 22, 8:30 p.m. ET, NBC
Stadium: Heinz Field
Weather: Low 50, High 70
Line: Chicago (-2.5)
The Pittsburgh Steelers are not the team they used to be back when they were winning Super Bowls, however, with Heath Miller possibly returning to help Ben Roethlisberger out on offense, they could somehow get back on track in the pass game. Roethlisberger has completed 41 of 70 passes this season for 442 yards and two touchdowns, connecting with Emmanuel Sanders and Antonio Brown a combined 23 times for 263 yards. Those two will need to find the end zone a bit more for this team to average more than 9.5 points per game. However, the run game is especially holding the Steelers back as rookie Le’Veon Bell is out at least a month with a foot injury, leaving Felix Jones to lead the team with 37 yards on 10 carries. Worst run game in football.
On the other side of the field, the Chicago Bears are now 2-0 after a final-second victory over divisional foe, the Minnesota Vikings. Jay Cutler‘s up-and-down play has been more up this season than down. He has passed for 532 yards and five touchdowns so far in 2013. Brandon Marshall is, once again, Cutler’s favorite target, catching 15 passes for 217 yards and two touchdowns. Don’t count out Martellus Bennett, who caught the game-winning touchdown pass against the Vikings, who has 10 catches for 125 yards and three scores. Matt Forte is the kind of running back that teams yearn for. He has 140 yards rushing and a touchdown on the ground while also racking up 15 catches for 112 receiving yards.
Defensively, the Steelers rank 25th in the league in rush yards allowed per game with just over 119. Matt Forte is sure to take advantage of this soft Steelers defense. Chicago has a middle-of-the-pack squad in terms of points and yards allowed per game. They allow the 11th most points per game in the league and the 16th most yards per game.
PREDICTION: Bears 23, Steelers 13