Carolina Panthers vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
The Carolina Panthers and the Pittsburgh Steelers wrap up their preseasons for 2011 as they meet in Charlotte. The Panthers are -3 point favorites over the Steelers with an over/under point total set at 35.
With the Carolina panthers playing their week three preseason game on a Thursday, it gave them an extra day of practice this week so for those wondering how much the starters will play if any, that scenario greatly reduces the chances of them playing at all. Ron Rivera has a lot to prove this year after being a defensive coordinator for a Chicago Bears team that went to the Super Bowl and then for the number one ranked defense in the NLF in San Diego, he’s proved he can get results but how quickly can he get those results with the team with the worst record a year ago. One of the big decisions for Rivera will be what to do with Jimmy Claussen since he won’t be the starter and honestly there are and will be better options for backup QB’s. Also Rivera has a stable of quality running backs and with other teams already needing backs, can the organization fill other needs and enhance future drafts by dealing on of them? In this game the big factor is the Panthers will be resting their offensive line and last season when the O-Line was banged up, this team was terrible, I am expecting them to be pretty terrible in this one as well.
The Pittsburgh Steelers expect nothing less than to get back to the Super Bowl this year but with backup QB Byron Leftwich already injured, it’s going to have to be Dennis Dixon here though Charlie Batch is getting the start. Head Coach Mike Tomlin has hinted that the starters will play some as he is still trying to configure the offensive line and has announced Doug Legursky will play right guard with the first unit. Jonathan Dwyer will try his best to show he is more than just roster worthy but for the final preseason games most of the guys who have cemented their roster spots will play a limited role at best and those with even the slightest bruises will not play at all.
The Steelers are the deeper team and the backups have played plenty given the injuries over the years and of course Batch has played for a while now. Dixon wanted to be traded to be a starter so anytime he hits the field he has something to prove. Tomlin is one of the most competitive guys around and I don’t see him having his team lay down here or anywhere.
Pittsburgh Steelers +3 Carolina Panthers