Browns, Vikings, and Bears Oh My.
Well how about them Steelers!! 2-0 yeahhhh babyyy!! The killer B’s (Ben, Brown, and Bell) are rolling and the steel curtain is shutting teams down. Browns, no problem. Vikings, no problem. Next challenge: the Bears
Let’s dive back into week one against Cleveland where the Steelers took the win away with a surprisingly close 21-18 victory. I really thought going into that game the Steelers would clean house and run the score on the Browns all afternoon. I thought my prediction was confirmed when special teams recovered the blocked punt for a touchdown a few minutes in, but the Browns kept fighting. Guess I really underestimated their rookie QB DeShone Kizer, who played well in his debut, going 20/30 for 222 yards, one TD, and one interception. With that said, in your face Browns because we still took the win.
This past week I felt was a better performance on the Steelers part. We stepped it up against a tougher Vikings defense and our added depth proved worthy. Le’Veon Bell was much more effective this time around rushing for 87 yards (more than double last weeks of 32). Antonio Brown was shut down a lot of the game with the Vikings putting him in multiple coverages and always against their top corner Xavier Rhodes. With that, however, the Steelers realized how much they have missed Martavis Bryant, who caught 4 passes for 91 yards and a TD. Rookie JuJu Smith-Schuster also caught his first career TD pass from Ben to help secure the 26-9 victory.
Our depth in the receiving core is what won us the game (along with help from a lot of Vikings penalties.) This is what the Steelers were lacking last year and is what is going to put them ahead this year. Last year Antonio Brown saw an average on 12 targets per game and was constantly over covered. The Steelers lacked a solid number two WR and were forced to over-rely on Brown (even though most times he could handle it).
This year when teams are caught rolling that extra coverage towards Brown, it leaves Bryant open where he can make that big play. My prediction is that Martavis Bryant will be the subtle difference maker for the Steelers this season, if he can stay clean.
As for this coming Sunday, the Steelers hope to keep the streak as they head to Chicago to take on the Bears at 1:00 pm. The Bears are off to a slightly struggling start, as they are 0-2 going into week 3. They put up a respectable contest with the NFC champion Falcons, but still lost 17-23. Now they are coming home from an embarrassing 7-29 trip to Tampa Bay, and their top running back Jordan Howard is questionable with a shoulder injury. The Steelers also have injury troubles, with star rookie T.J. Watt leaving the Vikings game with a groin injury, no update on him released. Also on defense Stephon Tuitt is questionable with a bicep injury. Luckily our powerhouse offense is still completely healthy (knock on wood).
My prediction for the week: Steelers- 27 Bears- 13
HERE WE GO STEELERS!!