New England Patriots (5-1) at Pittsburgh Steelers (4-2)
NFL Football: Sunday, October 23, 2016 at 4:25 pm (Heinz Field)
The Line: Pittsburgh Steelers +2 -- Over/Under: 46 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
One of the biggest NFL games of the year is coming in Week 7 on Sunday, October 23 from Heinz Field as the New England Patriots visit the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Patriots are coming into this game at 5-1, fresh off a 35-17 win over the Bengals. In Patriots QB Tom Brady’s regular-season home debut, he went 29-of-35 with 376 yards and three touchdowns, and big TE Rob Gronkowski took most of them with seven catches and 162 yards with a TD. LeGarrette Blount led New England in rushing with 13 carries for 50 yards and a touchdown.
On the season so far, Brady has put up a 57-of-75 mark for 782 yards and six touchdowns, while Blount sits at 119 carries, 439 yards and six scores for New England. Martellus Bennett is the Patriots’ receiving leader with 26 catches, 362 yards and four touchdowns.
As for the Steelers, they’re skidding after a 30-15 loss to the Dolphins in Week 6, and even worse they lost their starting QB Ben Roethlisberger to a torn meniscus. Roethlisberger finished Sunday’s game with a 19-of-34 line for 189 yards, a TD and two picks, while LeVeon Bell managed just 53 yards on 10 rushes. Bell was also the Pittsburgh receiving leader with six catches for 55 yards.
So far this year, Roethlisberger has put up 1685 yards and 16 touchdowns, and the Steelers would love to have him back after the bye week if everything goes well. As for Pittsburgh’s rushing, DeAngelo Williams still leads the team on 275 yards with three scores, and Antonio Brown is the high man in receiving with 41 receptions for 486 yards and five scores.
The Patriots are 5-1 ATS in their last five against the AFC, and 38-16-3 in their last 57 games in October. New England is also 2-5-2 ATS versus a team with a winning record, and 0-3-1 ATS in their last four games in Week 7.
Meanwhile, the Steelers are 4-0 ATS in their last four games after a straight-up loss, and 5-1 ATS in their last six games following an ATS loss. Pittsburgh is also 5-1 ATS in their last six home games, and 4-1 ATS in their last five games in Week 7.
This game lost a lot of its luster when Roethlisberger was injured, as that one loss swings the pendulum firmly toward the Patriots. Pittsburgh’s only hope here is that their defense can pester Brady enough to knock him out of rhythm and keep the score low. With Landry Jones under center, I don’t see a whole lot of dynamic plays coming from the Steelers, so I’ll stick with the safe play here and take New England.