Football season is back upon us, and the NFL is set to kickoff Thursday night with the Packers visiting the Bears.
That game should be a highlight of the football filled weekend ahead of us, but we have a headliner game on Sunday Night Football. The Pittsburgh Steelers will be heading into Foxborough to take on the New England Patriots.
Games between Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger are always a fun filled with a lot of offense. Our article today will break down the matchup and assist with the betting lines.
Time for a new dawn in Pittsburgh
The Steelers were the headline of the 2018 NFL season, but not for their on-field play. Their team was surrounded in controversy, with question marks on some of their players. All-pro running back Le’veon Bell elected to sit out the entire 2018 season after contract negotiations could not be resolved.
Antonio Brown was the other wildcard, but he did end up suiting up for 2018. By the end of the season, it was clear that the relationship between Brown and the Steelers was going to force Pittsburgh to move him. They dealt AB to the Oakland Raiders in the off season. Since then – Brown has moved to New England, but cant play in this game.
Even with the absence of Brown and Bell, the Steelers offense is poised for another strong year led by Big Ben. Juju Smith-Schuster took a leap last year and was named Steelers’ MVP of the season by his own teammates.
James Conner filled the void at running back for Pittsburgh and finished 2018 with 973 yards rushing and 12 touchdowns on 215 carries.
Roethlisberger had a monster season passing the ball, finishing the year with 5,129 yards and 34 touchdowns.
Despite the departure of two All-Pros, the Steelers are looking to bounce back this season. Their defense should be able to gun for another strong season, and I like all of the weapons that are featured in their new offense.
Is the Patriots year (again)?
When Tom Brady turned 40 years old in 2017, the football world assumed his career would nosedive.
Brady has looked immortal as he has won six Super Bowl rings. Tom Versus Time has been the theme of this decade for New England.
Tied with the Kansas City Chiefs, The Patriots enter 2019 as the favorites to win the AFC. With the consistency and level of excellence under head coach Bill Belichick, it’s no wonder why they’re the favorites. As long as Brady and Belichick are in New England, there is no reason to ever bet against them.
The Pats did lose future hall of fame tight end Rob Gronkowski to retirement. Gronk had a tough season in 2018, but he came up big in the second half of the Super Bowl against the Los Angeles Rams. As such a dominant player this decade, Gronk’s presence will be missed on the field.
New England still features some weapons on offense with Julian Edelman at wide receiver and second-year running back Sony Michel. Both these players are poised to have a strong offensive season with Brady at the helm.
Coaching is the difference Sunday night
New England has gotten the better part of Pittsburgh in this decade, but week one is always a little shaky on both sides.
With that being said, the line has New England favored at -5.5 and the over/under set at 50.5.
I like New England to hold on to a victory at home. Belichik will work in a new system without Gronk as their focal point, but the Steelers will keep it close and cover the spread.
Both these defenses are sound, so I like the under on the point total. Lock in the Patriots for the victory. Until next time!
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