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Are Pittsburgh Steelers Walking Into Another Trap?

The Pittsburgh Steelers had a terrible Week 13, falling to the Arizona Cardinals and losing QB Kenny Pickett in the process. The Steelers against the 2-10 New England Patriots on Thursday is shaping up to be similar.

I saw several other writers give their NFL expert picks on this game, but they mostly favored the Steelers. While I’m not counting Pittsburgh out before it starts, especially as betting favorites, this scene is eerily similar to Sunday’s loss to the putrid Cardinals.

Are the Pittsburgh Steelers Walking Into Another Trap?
Diontae Johnson #18 of the Pittsburgh Steelers | Joe Sargent/Getty Images/AFP

Potential Steel City Meltdown

The Steelers suffered a messy loss to the Cardinals, who ran all over Pitt with RB James Conner exacting revenge on his former team. Now, heading into Week 14, the Steelers are again up against a “bad” team, with the NFL spread hovering around a touchdown in their favor.

For some, this suggests a bounce-back game is in order, but for me, I see another trap in Pittsburgh’s future.

Let’s start with the obvious issue: the injury to Pickett. While I believe in “Big Ken,” he hasn’t exactly been the picture of consistency or production. But Pickett was doing something right because the Steelers were 7-4 with him healthy. With Mitch Trubisky under center, things could go South in a hurry.

In contrast to Pickett, I’ve never had faith in Trubisky at the NFL level, and so far, he’s done nothing but prove me right. He’s got more interceptions than touchdowns since 2021 and a quarterback rating of 71.2 in three appearances in 2023. He said he will be aggressive, so prop better consider his INT total to go over.


Pickett isn’t the only injury the Steelers are dealing with now. Both inside linebackers Kwon Alexander and Cole Colcomb are hurt, so the Steelers reached out to a retired Myles Jack, who was busy as owner of a minor league hockey team in New Jersey, of all things. That helped, but Week 13 saw Elandon Roberts go down, further thinning the Steelers’ LB core.

Interestingly, former Steeler RB Conner led the charge with a 100+-yard game against his former team in Week 14. This interests me because Pittsburgh faces another former member in WR JuJu Smith-Schuster. Smith-Schuster hasn’t been as impressive, but this would be a great chance for him to prove the Steelers wrong for giving up on him.

It’s a storyline inside a bigger story, but not one we should ignore. Conner got his revenge last week, and Smith-Schuster may get his in Week 14.

NFL Bet: New England Patriots +6 (-110)

NFL Lean: New England Patriots +225 to win

 

 

Questions of the Day

Are any key player injuries or other factors affecting the teams?


Steelers starting QB Kenny Pickett underwent successful surgery to fix a high-ankle sprain. He will not play on Thursday night. Just another reason why the Patriots are among our best NFL bets Thursday.

Which game is considered the Trap Game of the Week?


The Steelers at home against the Patriots is our NFL betting trap game for Week 14

 

The odds and predictions in the article are based on the time of writing and publication. They may differ as to when the actual event takes place.

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