Bold predictions for Steelers as they face the Buccaneers
The Steelers take on a talented Tampa Bay team this Sunday, and here are four bold predictions for the game.
The Steelers come into their week six matchup disheveled and without any real identity. While the Buccaneers team they are facing isn’t the juggernaut it has been in years past, it is yet another daunting game for this team to try and beat. The odds aren’t in their favor right now, and quite frankly, they shouldn’t be.
Despite the need for it, there hasn’t been a lot of change with the Steelers in recent weeks. The same offense and defense are trotting out onto the field with little to no expectations of good play. Schemes and plays remain consistent despite the team’s struggles. Coming up with bold predictions is hard because of this, as there isn’t enough difference to make me think we will see a new-look Steelers team this weekend.
Despite the inherent issues, here are four bold predictions for the Steelers week six game against the Buccaneers.
The Buccaneers win on the ground
Last week I predicted that the Steelers would keep the game close, expecting a loss but a half-decent fight against the Bills. As we all know, that wasn’t the case, as Pittsburgh got throttled. Against my better judgment, I do think this game is lower-scoring and more competitive. While the Buccaneers get the eventual win, the game is never out of hand.
The reason Tampa Bay does cruise for the win turns out to be their running game. While Leonard Fournette hasn’t been elite this season, he presents a tough power back for this team to bring down. I think he goes for 150 total yards and finds the endzone twice. The Steelers focus ends up being against the pass, and Fournette ends up being the difference maker.
Jaylen Warren outproduces Najee Harris
I think this week is officially the bottom for Najee Harris. The former first-round pick has struggled heavily this season, and now he is seeing more of his snaps go to undrafted rookie Jaylen Warren. While this prediction above happened last week, I think it is far more apparent and shocking this week.
Last week, these two backs practically split snaps. That isn’t the case this week, as the ratio goes back to about a 70/30 split in favor of Harris. The results don’t change much though, as Warren is his usual efficient self with the ball in his hands. He has more rushing and receiving yards than Harris, who continues to slip this season.
Steelers torment Tom Brady
While the rivalry has been mostly in favor of Tom Brady, this game seems like the end of an era. Even if Brady were to come back for one more season, the odds he ever plays the Steelers again after this week are slim to none. While he has torched this defense on numerous occasions, I think the Steelers have the upper hand this week.
It all starts with pressure, and I think Pittsburgh brings it. Alex Highsmith has a variety of rush moves that allow him to win. Along the interior, I think Cameron Heyward finally has that breakout game and punishes Brady. The Steelers tally up four sacks and a pair of fumbles on Brady. He may get the win, but he looks bad in his final outing against the Steelers.
The Pickens scores before Pickett
Let’s get really weird with it. Through his game and a half of play, Kenny Pickett has yet to throw a touchdown. While he adds another rushing touchdown this week, he is once again kept out of the endzone through the air. George Pickens is also scoreless, but I think he finds the endzone for the first time through a pass not thrown by Pickett.
Matt Canada decides to script up some creativity with a tight end screen to Zach Gentry. The former quarterback in Gentry remains behind the line of scrimmage and tosses a touchdown to a wide-open Pickens on the trick play. While it isn’t enough to win the game, it does keep the score of the game close.
The Steelers are struggling right now, and there aren’t a lot of options for them right now. Their offense is bland and predictable, and their defense is lacking in most areas. Keep these bold predictions in mind as the team tries to find a groove against the Buccaneers.