Week eight of the NFL schedule brought a bunch of new wrinkles into the playoff pictures for both the AFC and NFC. A couple of teams have fallen down, while others have started to emerge as possible Super Bowl contenders. Another thing that might have changed the landscape for this week was the NFL Trade Deadline that happened this past Tuesday afternoon.
Not many teams did much of anything before the trade deadline, including the Steelers. A couple of contenders, especially on the NFC side made some moves to help their clubs now. That should only strengthen the NFC, which many consider a weaker conference compared to the deep AFC. Nine more weeks of football as we hit the midway point of the schedule.
2023 season prediction record after week 8: 64-42
Overall, a successful week of predictions as this series finished with more correct picks than wrong ones. A couple of upsets and picks outside the box pushed for a closer record last week, but the overall record has held positive. The Steelers had a hand in making things harder as some thought they might have been turning a corner heading into the Jacksonville game last week.
Tennessee Titans (3-4) vs Pittsburgh Steelers (4-3), Thursday at 8:15 P.M. EST
Prediction: Titans 22, Steelers 17
Here is another winnable game for Pittsburgh and a matchup they could actually turn things around in. The issue is that the coaches for the Steelers refuse to admit their problems and just keep rolling with what they have out there. They need to trust their young guys to go in and gain positive experience. Kenny Pickett has looked terrible at times this year, and he needs to turn things around fast.
Derrick Henry should be able to run all over the Steelers defense, which is one of the worst in the league. That will allow Will Levis to open up the play action pass and exploit a defensive secondary that will be without Minkah Fitzpatrick. It should be a close game that ends with a Steelers victory, but there is little hope for Pittsburgh winning many games the rest of the season.