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BOSTON (CBS) – The CBSBoston sports team makes their predictions for the New England Patriots trip to Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers.
Andy Gresh, 98.5 The Sports Hub
Now that the Patriots have cut Leigh Bodden we’ll see how they decide to attack the Steelers three wide receiver set. The Patriots defensive line is really the key to the game pushing against a bad offensive line for the Steelers, who have had their issues.
The Patriots have to be worried that the Steelers will spread them out, but ultimately win because they can score.
Scott Zolak, 98.5 The Sports Hub
Pittsburgh has too many key guys out of this game; the lack of James Harrison, the lack of having Casey Hampton, guys that are up front that have consistently hit Brady.
The way Pittsburgh has beaten this team was to hit Brady. Well, Brady has been upright in six out of the seven games. And I look for the Patriots not to run the ball, but to continually spread it out, throw the football and hope Pittsburgh gets in a track meet with them.
Gresh & Zo Whiteboard: Slowing The Steelers
Pittsburgh’s offensive line struggles are going to hurt Ben Roethlisberger, who is already nicked up, and they don’t have the go to one-two punch running game they have had in the past.
I like the Patriots big in this game by possibly 11 points.
Dan Roche, WBZ-TV
This one is a bit of a mismatch “on paper” which makes it a bit scary. The Patriots have gone 4-2 under Bill Belichick against the Steelers and Tom Brady has been even better.
Brady is 4-1 in the regular season vs Pittsburgh and 2-0 in the play-offs. In each of the 5 regular season games he has thrown the ball no fewer than 41 times with 12 TD passes and only 3 interceptions. The Pats spread the ball out against the vaunted Steelers defense and it’s worked perfectly. Meanwhile, LB James Harrison is out with an eye injury so that helps too.
Defensively, the Pats will have their hands full with QB Ben Roethlisberger. Big Ben threw only 3 TD passes in his first 4 games, but has picked it up lately tossing 9 in their last 3 games. Look for the Steelers to throw a lot against a Pats secondary that won’t include Leigh Bodden, who was cut by the team Friday.
Finally, Pittsburgh is 5-2 but the teams they beat(Seattle, Indy, Jacksonville, Tennessee, and Arizona) all have a record below .500 and are a combined 8-24 this season. The teams the Pats beat are 15-16 with only Miami having a record below .500 at 0-6.
I like the Patriots 38-24.
Rochie and Levan Break Down Patriots-Steelers
Levan Reid, WBZ-TV
Here we go. I feel like I need to pick the Pats to lose this game because all points say they are going to win. Brady is 6 and 1 overall against the Steelers and he just shreds that Pittsburgh defense.
This season the Steelers have gotten their 5 wins against Jacksonville, Indy, Minnesota and some of the rest of the lower teams in the league. Simply put, they haven’t beaten anybody.
Plus they are banged up. The Pats should win this game even though my gut says Steelers. Pittsburgh wide receiver Mike Wallace will give a scare but the Pats and Belichick should come out of the bye week with a victory.
Walt Perkins, WBZ NewsRadio 1030
The Patriots travel to Pittsburgh to face the Steelers on Sunday. Generally, this is one of the better match-ups of the season.
I don’t think that will be the case this year.
Sure, the Steelers have won three straight but those victories came against three teams with a combined record of 6-13. They will also be without linebacker James Harrison. Love him or hate him (as most non-Steelers’ fans do), that is a significant loss to that defense.
Meanwhile, the Patriots are getting healthier and better. Sure, their pass defense still has a long way to go before it would be considered solid and you can expect Ben Roethlisberger to try and go deep to Mike Wallace (20.3 yards per catch) often. But it won’t be often enough or successful enough to matter.
Tom Brady owns a 6-1 record against the Steelers. Brady says he has no spell over Pittsburgh and that it is a matter of execution. Expect Brady to execute again on Sunday. Early and often.
The two will put some points on the board. The last time the Patriots and Steelers did not combine for at least 40 points was 1998.
I like the Patriots on Sunday, 38-24.
Tune in to the Patriots-Steelers on 98.5 The Sports Hub and WBZ-TV on Sunday at 4:15pm. Pregame coverage begins Sunday morning at 11:30am on WBZ with Patriots Gameday, with coverage on The Sports Hub kicking off at 1pm. After the game, tune in to the Patriots Postgame show on 98.5 and Patriots Fifth Quarter on MY TV38.