We have been solid overall in our NFL prop picks this season, but after a really bad Thursday night game for us and the Dolphins, I am poised to bounce back with one big play here for Sunday Night.
Even though this has not been confirmed by the team, a report earlier this morning from ESPN’s Adam Schefter said that Golden Tate thinks he can make a return tonight against the Steelers. It would be a big addition to the Lions’ receiving core against a strong defense, and considering Tate is a number one option, it’s going to send ripples through the rest of the Lions’ skill players.
The biggest hit might be to Theo Riddick, who was solid over the last two weeks before the Lions’ bye week. Riddick has 9 catches for 90 yards over his last two games, but I suspect that Tate will take at least two or three targets/touches away from Riddick, and maybe more.
The issue for Riddick is not just the return of his teammate. The Steelers’ defense has been up and down this season, but over the last two weeks they have looked sharp, especially against running backs.
Pittsburgh has allowed 87 yards on the ground over the last two weeks, and if it weren’t for big games for Chicago and Jacksonville against them in Weeks 3 and 5, the Steelers might be one of the best rushing defenses in the NFL.
Riddick obviously does most of his work through the receiving game, but the Steelers have been good in that area as well. They have allowed only 301 yards receiving to opposing running backs this season, which is an average of just 43 yards per game.
Even with this game being on the road for the Steelers, I see them using their momentum gained over the last two weeks to stifle the Lions and Riddick tonight in Ford Field.