Nov 3, 2013; Foxborough, MA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) throws a pass against the New England Patriots in the in the second half at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots defeated the Steelers 55-31. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
With the preseason finally finished, and the offseason drama coming to an end, football season is officially beginning this Thursday with our Pittsburgh Steelers traveling to Foxborough to take on the defending champion New England Patriots. The following is a set of game by game predictions, with scores, and a brief explanation for each decision.
Week 1 – Pittsburgh Steelers @ New England Patriots
Score: 38-35 New England
With Tom Brady seeking vengeance for the offseason spectacle, expect him to come out with full force against the Steelers. Many could argue that the Steelers’ high power offense could feast upon a defense that is suffering the recent losses of cornerback Darrelle Revis, and Brandon Browner, as well as veteran defensive tackle Vince Wilfork, the suspensions of both running back Le’Veon Bell and wide receiver Martavis Bryant could be the nail in the coffin, and playing at Gillette is never easy. Expect a shootout, but don’t be shocked if New England comes out on top.
Week 2 – San Francisco 49ers @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Score: 34-20 Pittsburgh
The San Francisco 49ers are coming off one of the largest exodus’ of players in NFL history, watching their team be torn apart by retirements, free agency, and the lack of new players. Both defenses in this game are fairly weak at this point, but even when lacking both Bryant and Bell, the Steelers’ offense should be too much for the 49ers.
Week 3 – Pittsburgh Steelers @ St. Louis Rams
Score: 30-28 Pittsburgh
This game will be close. The St. Louis Rams are known for bringing down big names, while the Pittsburgh Steelers are known for playing down to their opponents. That being said, the Rams are by no means a bad team. They are one of the most underrated teams in the NFL, simply because they are constantly under the powerhouse Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals in one of the hardest divisions in football. Why do I think Pittsburgh may win? One name, Le’Veon Bell. Bell returns from his two-game suspension and despite facing a strong defense will wreak havoc in his season debut. The Steelers squeeze through this one solely on the NFL’s decision to reduce Bell’s suspension.
Week 4 – Baltimore Ravens @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Score: 24-21 Pittsburgh
Another Steelers win, but this time against a division rival. The Steelers and Ravens always tend to play close games, though the last couple of years, the games haven’t been as close. The Steelers-Ravens rivalry is going to get back to closer games here at Heinz Field where the home advantage leads to a Steelers victory. Later on, when the Steelers play in Baltimore, don’t expect a win. It’s always interesting to see how these two teams almost always split their games against each other.
Next: Second quarter of the season