Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Detroit Lions - 11/17/13
Detroit Lions (6-3) at Pittsburgh Steelers (3-6)
NFL Football: Sunday, November 17, 2013 at 1:00 pm (Heinz Field)
The Line: Pittsburgh Steelers +3 -- Over/Under: 48 See the Latest Odds
The Detroit Lions head into Pittsburgh looking for their second straight road victory while the Steelers look to build on their two score home victory over Buffalo last week.
The Lions have been a bubble team over the past few seasons as they climbed back to respectability and made the playoffs two years but fell back out of the picture last year and have revamped themselves once again this season as they make a drive towards the playoffs. If there has been a statement win by any team in the NFC North this season you have to give it to the Lions for their effort in Chicago last week as they rallied from giving up a late touchdown to stuff the Bears not once but twice on the two point conversion attempt on an excellent read by Nick Fairley who stopped Matt Forte in his tracks. If the NFC East has parity due to all teams playing poorly, the NFC North is its counterpart (with the exception of the Vikings) as the Packers, Lions, and Bears are all in the hunt but it is only Detroit who is at full health and is seemingly in the driver’s seat until Aaron Rodgers and Jay Cutler are 100%. Detroit heads into Pittsburgh to take on a Steelers team who has looked dreadful at times this year but is trying to make a late season push and played quite well against Buffalo at home last week.
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Pittsburgh is going through a tough season as they’re 3-6 on the year through the first 9 weeks and sit 2.5 games behind the Cincinnati Bengals for first place in the division but with Le’Veon Bell asserting himself as the go to feature back and Antonio Brown, Jerricho Cotchery, and Emmanuel Sanders handling the ball catching duties from Ben Roethlisberger you can quite count the Steelers out yet. Pittsburgh has been bitten by the injury bug hard this year as they have lost key components on offense and combine that with an aging defense and you get a ton of pressure on Big Ben and the offense to handle the load. The Steelers did look good last week against the Bills but Buffalo played their worst game of the year and this Lions offense and defense is much better than what Pittsburgh saw last week. You can never count Ben Roethlisberger out and Mike Tomlin is a great coach but there seems to be some swagger with this year’s Lions team as demonstrated by Fairley’s game winning play last week in Chicago. While Heinz Field is as tough as they come in terms of winning on the road I think Detroit’s offense will be too much for the Steelers to handle and as such that’s where I’m leaning in this one.