TV Schedule: Sunday, Nov. 17, 1 p.m. ET, FOX
Stadium: Heinz Field
Weather: High 58, Low 48
Line: Detroit (-1)
It’s starting to look like the Detroit Lions are serious playoff contenders after a 6-3 start to the season and a No. 1 spot in the NFC North division. Matthew Stafford is taking the step, if he hasn’t already, into elite quarterback status, leading the sixth-best offense in the NFL. Stafford has passed for 2,836 yards and 18 touchdowns on the season, completing 53 passes to Calvin Johnson for 903 yards and nine touchdowns. Johnson has become the league’s top receiver in recent years and he is proving just why he has been considered the best receiver in recent memory. Reggie Bush has proven to be a perfect addition to this offense, rushing for 623 yards and two touchdowns while catching 34 passes for 343 yards and another two scores.
The Pittsburgh Steelers have not gotten off to the start they were looking for this season, beginning 2013 with a 3-6 start and quickly falling out of playoff contention. Mike Tomlin has not been the happiest of coaches as he’s seen his team struggle, but the Steelers have won three of their last five games after starting the season 0-4. Ben Roethlisberger leads the 11th-ranked passing offense with 2,534 yards and 13 touchdowns on the season, hitting Antonio Brown 67 times for 805 yards and three touchdowns. Jerricho Cotchery leads all receivers in touchdowns, however, with six. Rookie running back Le’Veon Bell has come on strong as of late, rushing for 339 yards and four touchdowns after missing the first few weeks of the season.
Defensively, the Lions have not been as solid in the stopping pass as they are in the run game. The Lions rank 27th in passing yards allowed while ranking eighth in the NFL in rushing yards allowed per game — having one of the best defensive lines out there. The Steelers are the exact opposite, ranking fourth in the pass game but a mediocre 29th in the run game.
PREDICTION: Lions 24, Steelers 17