Pittsburgh Steelers (11-6) at New England Patriots (15-4)
|Date & Time||Thursday September 10, 2015, 8:30 PM (EDT)|
The Line: New England Patriots -6.5 -- Over/Under: 51
The Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots open the 2015 NFL season on Thursday at Gillette Stadium.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are coming off an 11-win season and are one of the teams to beat once again in the AFC. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and wide receiver Antonio Brown lead a Pittsburgh offense that can put up points with the best of them. Last season, the Steelers were second in the NFL in total yardage and seventh in points per game. However, the Steelers will be without their star running back Le'Veon Bell and WR Martavis Bryant for the first four games due to suspension. Defensively, the Steelers are a lot younger than we’re used to seeing but promising players such as Ryan Shazier, Bud Dupree and Jarvis Jones help anchor the future of Pittsburgh’s stingy defense. Last season, the Steelers were 18th in total yards allowed and 18th in points allowed per game.
The New England Patriots head into this season with the target on their back after being crowned Super Bowl champs. The good news for the Pats is that quarterback Tom Brady will not be suspended, which means the future Hall of Famer who has 392 career touchdown passes will be on the field. The rest of New England’s offensive weapons such as Rob Gronkowski, Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola help form another solid unit for Bill Belichick and company. Defensively, the Patriots return majority of their key players such as Dont'a Hightower, Devin McCourty and Rob Ninkovich. However, the loss of cornerback Darrelle Revis could hurt the Pats secondary. Last season, the Patriots ranked eighth in scoring defense and 13th in total yards allowed.
The Steelers are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games in Week 1 and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall. The Patriots are 13-5 ATS in their last 18 home games and 14-6 ATS in their last 20 games on fieldturf. The Steelers are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 meetings in New England and 3-10 ATS in their last 13 meetings overall.
Remember the last time the Patriots were thrown under the bus? They came out guns blazing and beat the NFL into the ground by dropping 50 points every week. I think we're going to see an angry New England team that's eager to make another point to the league. An upset and motivated Tom Brady isn't someone you want to see. Also, the Bell loss for the Steelers hurts.
Patriots roll here.