New England Patriots vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
The New England Patriots and the Pittsburgh Steelers face off on Sunday in New England in a week 9 NFL football battle. The Patriots are -6.5 point favorites over the Steelers with an over/under point total set at 42.5.
The New England Patriots haven’t always made it look pretty or easy this season but they stand at 6-2 at the halfway mark and are in first place in the AFC East. The Patriots offense is averaging 22.4 points and 330 yards per game and they are plus seven in turnover ratio. Tom Brady has completed 55.7 percent of his passes for 1,824 yards with nine touchdowns and six interceptions and he has been sacked 23 times. Stevan Ridley has rushed for 399 yards and four touchdowns and LeGarrette Blount has rushed for 265 yards and is starting to see more action. Julian Edelman has 48 receptions and two touchdowns, Aaron Dobson has 26 catches and two touchdowns, and Kenbrell Thompkins has 23 catches and four touchdowns. The New England defense allows 18 points and 346.2 yards per game with 10 interceptions, 24 sacks, and eight fumble recoveries. Brandon Spikes as 50 tackles, Steve Gregory has 46 tackles, and Chandler Jones has 6.5 sacks. The Patriots look to be headed to the post season once again.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are off to one of their worst starts in recent memory and barring a strong finish they aren’t going to be in the playoffs for the second year in a row. The Steelers offense is averaging 17.9 points and 322.1 yards per game with a turnover ratio of minus nine. Ben Roethlisberger has competed 66.2 percent of his passes for 1,930 yards with eight touchdowns and seven interceptions and he has been sacked 28 times. Le’Veon Bell has rushed for 208 yards with three touchdowns and he has caught 13 passes out of the backfield. Antonio Brown has 56 catches for 630 yards and two touchdowns, Emmanuel Sanders as 31 catches and two touchdowns, and Jericho Cotchery has 22 catches and two touchdowns. The Steelers defense allows 21.9 points and 302.9 yards per game with four interceptions, 10 sacks, and five fumble recoveries. Lawrence Timmons has 59 tackles, Ryan Clark has 55 tackles, and Troy Polamalu has 36 tackles. The Steelers look like a shell of what we are accustomed to seeing from their organization.
New England is 5-2 against the spread in their last seven home games, 2-5 against the spread following a win, and 1-5 against the spread against the AFC. Pittsburgh is 6-13-1 against the spread in their last 20 games against the AFC, 1-4 against the spread following a loss, and 3-8 against the spread in their last 11 games. The underdog is 9-2 against the spread in the last 11 meetings of these two.
While the Patriots haven’t been dominant they have been winning but it has been their defense which has been the better unit while the Steelers are all defense making the under my play here.