The Pittsburgh Steelers (3-6) went retro on the defensive end in dominating the Buffalo Bills 23-10 Sunday while the Detroit Lions (6-3) seized hold of the NFC North at Soldier Field against the Chicago Bears. Now these teams must follow up triumphant victories by battling on the cold banks of the three rivers.
NFL Week 11 Matchup, Game Time and TV Info: Detroit Lions at Pittsburgh Steelers (1 p.m. ET on FOX)
Predicted Point Spread: Lions by 4.5 (Early spread: Lions by 3)
Calvin Johnson makes this offense go round and the Steelers possess the right personnel to limit him — maybe five years ago. Ike Taylor (33), Troy Polamalu (32) and Ryan Clark (34) comprise a secondary good enough to reach the Super Bowl in its prime but is proving just the antidote for struggling offenses in 2013, as Tom Brady will attest. Taylor graded out 33rd among CBs by Pro Football Focus last year but entered today at No. 93. Matt Stafford and Reggie Bush look at the safeties and lick their chops.
Ben Roethlisberger could very much use this antidote but must instead face the likes of Detroit’s fearsome DT duo and edge rushers Ziggy Ansah and Willie Young. LaMarr Woodley is still seeking his form from years ago while Jarvis Jones and Jason Worilds look the bizarro James Harrison. Edge protection in Pittsburgh remains poor per usual yet the skill positions are still stocked thanks to Antonio Brown, Emmanuel Sanders and intriguing rookie RB Le’Veon Bell.
Key Matchup: Lions DTs Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley vs. Steelers G David DeCastro
The Lions are banking on Fairley regaining his level of play from the end of 2012 while Suh has taken that momentum and run with it. DeCastro put 2012 in the rearview mirror and now looks the part of a can’t-miss first-rounder. Should be fun to see either of them collide with DeCastro.