The Pittsburgh Steelers will host the Carolina Panthers in a Thursday Night Football contest to kick off week 10 of the NFL season. This is a matchup of two of the hottest teams in the NFL, and both teams look like playoff teams in their respective conferences. With two dynamic offenses on the field in this game, this could be a high scoring affair.
The Carolina Panthers have won three straight games to improve their record to 6-2 on the season. Carolina still trails the New Orleans Saints by one game in the NFC South, but they are the top Wild Card team at the moment in the NFC. Pittsburgh has won four straight games to vault to the top of the AFC North standings with a 5-2-1 record. The Steelers are a four-point favorite over the Panthers in this game.
Pittsburgh Offense Scoring Points
The Steelers come into this game averaging 28.1 points per game which is the ninth best scoring average in the NFL. Without Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh is getting the job done with Ben Roethlisberger and the passing attack this season. Roethlisberger has racked up 2,560 passing yards already this season while throwing for 16 touchdowns. Wide receivers Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster should be able to find gaps in the Panthers defense in this game.
Pittsburgh was expected to struggle defensively this season, but they have limited opponents to just 23.5 points per game. That number has improved to just 18 points per game in the Steelers recent four game win streak. The linebacker core of T.J. Watt, Jon Bostic, and Vince Williams have been the key this season. Watt leads the team with seven sacks, while Bostic and Williams have combined for 91 tackles.
Panthers Love to Run
The Carolina Panthers have been one of the best surprises in the NFL this season, in large part thanks to their running attack. The Panthers are averaging over 143 rushing yards per game this season, which is second only to the Los Angeles Rams. Christian MccAffrey is averaging 4.6 yards per carry out of the backfield, and quarterback Cam Newton is always deadly with his legs. The Panthers will try to get their ground game going in this one.
Linebacker Luke Kuechly leads a solid Panthers defense in 2018. Kuechly leads the team with 64 tackles and has also recorded one interception so far this season. Mario Addison has recorded 7.5 of the team’s 21 sacks this season. If Carolina is going to have success in this game, they will need to get plenty of pressure on Ben Roethlisberger.