Thursday Night Football Preview: Pittsburgh Steelers vs Carolina Panthers

Two of the hottest teams in the NFL will kick off week 10 of the NFL season with a match up on Thursday night. The 5-2-1 Pittsburgh Steelers will host the 6-2 Carolina Panthers in what should be a high-scoring affair. Pittsburgh comes into this game riding a four game win streak, while the Panthers have won their last three contests.

The four straight wins by the Steelers have propelled them to the top of the AFC North division. After winning just one of their first four games, Pittsburgh now holds a slim lead over the Cincinnati Bengals. The Carolina Panthers still trail the New Orleans Saints in the NFC South, but they are keeping the pressure on. The Pittsburgh Steelers are -6.0 over the Panthers on Thursday night.

Steelers Throwing the Ball

The Pittsburgh Steelers have adjusted to life without Le'Veon Bell, relying on the arm of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Roethlisberger has thrown for 2,290 yards this season and has thrown 14 touchdowns. Pittsburgh is averaging 318.1 yards per game through the air this season, which is the second best mark in the NFL. JuJu Smith-Schuster and Antonio Brown have each caught 46 passes this season to lead the team.

The Steelers defense was a mess to begin the 2018 season, but they are starting to play well. Pittsburgh is giving up 24.6 points per game so far this season, but hasn't allowed an opponent to score more than 21 points during their four game win streak. T.J. Watt has recorded seven of the team's 24 sacks this season. The Steelers will face a tough test against Cam Newton and company in this game.

Panthers Running Over Opponents

While the Steelers like to throw the ball, the Panthers have been getting the job done on the ground so far this season. Carolina has ran for 138.9 yards per game this season, which is the second best average in the NFL. Christian McCaffrey is averaging 4.6 yards per carry this season, and leads the team with 423 rushing yards. Quarterback Cam Newton has four rushing touchdowns on the season and is always capable of making big plays with his legs.

The Panthers defense is just outside the top-10 in points allowed this season, giving up just over 21 points per game. Donte Jackson and and Mike Adams have each picked off three passes this season, and they will need to play well in this matchup with the Steelers. Carolina will try to get pressure on Roethlisberger in this game to limit his ability to find his top targets.

Pittsburgh Wins Fifth Straight

This should be one of the better Thursday Night Football games of the season, with both teams looking like playoff contenders. In a contrast of styles, it will be interesting to see what team is able to play to their strengths in this game. Cam Newton has been playing well this season, but he will need to be more accurate throwing the ball in this game. The Steelers just have too many offensive weapons, and Roethlisberger is playing at a high level. This should be an exciting game, but the Steelers will come away with their fifth straight victory by more than a touchdown. Take the Steelers -6.0 in this game.