The Steelers evened their record last week over the Niners while the Rams were shocked by the Redskins. Let’s review the NFL odds and look for opportunity to cash in our NFL picks this Sunday.
Pittsburgh Steelers (1-1 SU, 1-0-1 ATS)
Pittsburgh rebounded from their Week 1 loss to the Patriots by dominating the San Francisco 49’ers at Heinz Field and sent the fans home happy after their 43-18 victory. Big Ben, DeAngelo Williams and Antonio Brown shredded the 49’ers with Roethlisberger ringing up 369 passing yards including three touchdowns, Brown accounting for 195 yards of those 369 with a pair of trips into the endzone while Williams set a team rushing record with three touchdown carries of his own. It was a breathtaking offensive display that clearly had San Francisco reeling from the opening kickoff to the final gun.
What made it all the more impressive was that it was accomplished without the services of one of the premier running backs in the league in Le’Veon Bell and talented wideout Martavis Bryant. Bell will be returning to the gridiron this week when the team travels to St. Louis while Bryant will sit for two more games of his league mandated suspension. The key will be integrating DeAngelo Williams with superstar Bell who may be a bit rusty after missing the first two contests.
St. Louis Rams (1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS)
All the signs were there for a letdown in DC after the Rams shocked the Seattle Seahawks in a divisional battle held in St. Louis in Week 1. The NFL odds had St. Louis as a four-point road favorite headed into that one with the Steelers looming in Week 3. The Rams were run over by the tandem of rookie Matt Jones and veteran Alfred Morris who combined for 182 rushing yards while the Washington pass protection of Kirk Cousins held stout. On the flipside the Rams rushing game was held in check as they managed only 67 yards on the ground and the offense combined for three turnovers.
The Rams should be able to gain more traction against the Steelers who have a defense that nobody would argue is even close to the league’s best. Nick Foles will also need to ramp up his game if he is going to trade touchdowns with Roethlisberger. Foles was a pedestrian at best 17-of 32 for 150 yards through the air. Kenny Britt was the only target that scored a touchdown as he hauled in a pair of passes for 44 yards. Wideout Jared Cook led all Rams’ receivers with five catches for 45 yards. It was a day the team would sooner forget but can they rebound at home and play like they did against Seattle in front of the fan friendlies?
There is no doubt that St. Louis will have plenty of more opportunities to score as Pittsburgh’s defensive line can be porous as is their secondary. However the Steelers simply have too many talented weapons to be slowed down and even if their defense can step up as they did last week against the 49’ers when they were in their bend-but-don’t-break defense as Colin Kaepernick threw for 335 yards and was sacked on five occasions. The Niners only rang up 18 points as two of their long drives translated into only three points.
St. Louis defeated Seattle because they could contain their offense well enough to stay even with them throughout until they ended the game in overtime courtesy of a Greg Zuerlein 37-yard field goal. But I don’t believe they can trade scores with Pittsburgh and if the Steelers defense can rise to the occasion once again this road favorite will be cashing in our NFL picks on Sunday.
NFL Pick: Steelers -1 at TheGreek