PITTSBURGH (7-2) -6.5 vs Tennessee (6-3)
We don't know what to make of this game. We think it’s because despite their record, Tennessee has no identity. They’re the Men in Black of the NFL, only without the kick-ass technology and skinny ties. Mariota is a super nice guy, fine. Wesley Woodyard is 4th in the league in tackles. Those are the most interesting stats we could find about this team. Plus, their punter is 9th in avg yards.
And yet, they’re 6-3 bringing a 4-game winning streak to Pittsburgh to play the Steelers, who have a 4-game streak of their own.
Pittsburgh is the anti-Tennessee. They have Three-Faces-of-Eve-level identities. They have the leading rusher in football. What? Yes. LeVeon Bell leads the league in yards and carries, 24.4 carries a game. Only Elliot (23.9 when not sus-un-sus-un-sus-un-suspended) and Fournette (21.0 whenever he decides to show up) have over 20. It’s a crazy amount of usage. But what you read about is how Roethlisberger is washed up and they’re magnificent underachievers. At least Ju-Ju Smith Shuster is acting like a 19-year old (we chalk up last week’s TD celebration to youthful exuberance). We will say that they’ve had 6 of their first 9 on the road, where their bad side typically surfaces.
Tennessee hasn't beaten anyone good since Seattle in week 3, and that doesn't count because of the whole “Seattle doesn't have to take games seriously until October” thing. Since getting pasted by Houston 57-14 and losing to Miasma, they’ve beaten Indy, Cleveland, Baltimore, and Cincinnati. After this game, they play more bad teams. Indy, Houston, Arizona, San Francisco. Fast forward to Week 16. Do you think it’s likely that Tennessee enters their game vs the Rams at 11-3 with a 9-game winning streak? Unlikely.
We’re giving the points and assuming that the Steelers team that can score more than 20 points shows up.
Pick: Steelers -6.5