Pittsburgh at Philadelphia
Sunday, 1:30 pm PT - CBS
CRIS Opener: Pittsburgh -3.5 O/U 46.5
CRIS Current: Pittsburgh -3.5 O/U 46
Yes, the Eagles are 2-0 to open the season. But those two wins came against Bottom 5 competition, with both the Browns and Bears losing at truly dismal seasons. This is a major step up in class for a team playing on a short week, a mediocre (at best) squad who is feeling pretty good about themselves right now.
Make no mistake about it. Carson Wentz has looked pretty good, with a QB rating of 94 through his first two NFL starts. He’s yet to throw an interception and he’s only been sacked four times in 75 dropbacks. But Jordan Matthews is the only receiver with 100 yards. Despite the success of the passing game, Philly is only averaging 3.5 yards per carry. And they’ve only faced bottom tier defenses thus far, with the Browns at the very bottom of any defensive rankings and the Bears suffering a barrage of in-game injuries that left them without five defensive starters in the second half. Pittsburgh’s defense isn’t truly elite, but it’s a good notch or two better than anything Wentz and the Eagles offense has seen before.
Philly has looked good defensively against RG3 (who may never start another NFL game) and Jay Cutler (who, if Chicago wasn’t paying him a fortune, might never start another NFL game). The Steelers offense is another animal entirely. Two time Super Bowl winner Ben Roethlisberger ranks in the upper echelon of NFL quarterbacks. Antonio Brown is the most dangerous receiver in the NFL. Sammie Coates has emerged as a deep threat on every drive. DeAngelo Williams leads the NFL in rushing yards through the first two weeks. The Steelers hung 24 on a top notch defense in lousy weather last week, and there’s no reason to think that Philly’s defense will be able to stop them or that Philly’s offense will be able to trade points. Expect a comfortable win from the road favorite. Take the Steelers.