ATLANTA @ PITTSBURGH | 10/07 | 1:00 PM EDT
WR Julio Jones is unstoppable sometimes, and Atlanta gets decent production from the rest of their getting group when Jones draws protective attention. Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman may be the NFL’s best RB combo: Both are fantastic receivers, patient runners and home-run threats outdoors field. Atlanta permitted only 28 points in two playoff game, including stymieing wunderkind Rams head coach Sean McVay. Former first-rounder edge-rushers Vic Beasley and Takkarist McKinley require to improve, though the secondary is among the league’s best with CBs Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford flanking S Keanu Neal. The front 7 is athletic however lost essential factors with DE Adrian Clayborn and DT Dontari Poe leaving in free company.
QB Ben Roethlisberger gets the ball out rapidly many of the time, with plenty of downfield bombs operated in. WR Antonio Brown remains the leading receiver in the NFL, and WR JuJu Smith-Schuster impressed as a rookie while rising to the No. 2 role. RB Le’Veon Bell is a sufficient pass-catcher to play WR, and his client running style behind a robust O-line enables the Steelers to pound with the running game when defenses concentrate on the pass. The Steelers’ defense was gashed in the run game and beaten with long passes frequently last season. Pittsburgh led the league with 56 sacks last year (12 by All-Pro DE Cam Heyward) and hope that previous Packers S Morgan Burnett and first-round draft pick S Terrell Edmunds can sure up the secondary. The line-backing unit will continue to battle without ILB Ryan Shazier, a player whose athleticism merely can not be changed.
The Under is 7-2 since the start of 2017 in games where the Falcons play outdoors, and they’ve been held to 17 points or fewer in four of those games, including in Week 1 against the Eagles. I like making the contrary play here with everyone expecting more fireworks in this game and the total sky high at 58. The Steelers defense has been better than you probably think this year, ranking just 16th in points per allowed per drive and 19th in DVOA. The Falcons offense won’t run as smoothly this week, and that keeps this game Under.