TV Schedule: Sunday, Nov. 3, 4:25 p.m. ET, CBS
Stadium: FirstEnergy Stadium
Weather: High 54, Low 32
Line: New England (-6.5)
It has been a tough start to the season for the Pittsburgh Steelers are the usually-formidable franchise has struggled to win games, accounting for just a 2-5 record through eight weeks to begin the year. Pittsburgh’s offense is not something that you would call impressive as Ben Roethlisberger has struggled to get his passing attack off the ground, accumulating 1,930 yards but just eight touchdowns for the 14th-ranked passing offense in the league. The veteran quarterback misses Mike Wallace, who left the team in the offseason, quite a bit, but Antonio Brown looks to be an adequate replacement as the No. 1 receiver, catching 56 passes for 630 yards and two touchdowns on the year. Le’Veon Bell has returned to the run game after an injury in the preseason, rushing for 208 yards and three scores in four games.
The New England Patriots have been one of the more successful teams in the NFL this season, posting a 6-2 record through eight weeks. Although they are in first place in the AFC East, Tom Brady has been heavily criticized and people have begun to question if he is still an elite passer because of his struggled this season. Not having a top target to throw to for the first handful of weeks, outside of Julian Edelman, Brady was forced to pass to a handful of rookies and undrafted players — leading to frustration. Danny Amendola is on his way back to playing as he was supposed to be the team’s top wide out prior to the season and tight end Rob Gronkowski is now back and producing for the Patriots. Brady has passed for 1,824 yards and nine touchdowns for the 23rd-ranked passing offense in the NFL. Stevan Ridley adequately leads the rushing attack with 399 yards and four scores.
Defensively, the Patriots have one of the best secondaries in the league, accounting for the fifth-best pass defense in the league in terms of yards allowed through the air. However, they rank 31st in rush yards allowed and 19th in total yards allowed per game. The Steelers are known for their defensive prowess and that hasn’t changed this season as they rank fourth it total yards allowed and second in passing yards allowed per game. Too bad they have a tough time stopping the run, ranking 27th.
PREDICTION: Steelers 20, Patriots 32