Near Catastrophe in Week One
After a stress-filled weekend in Cincinnati that the Steelers somehow walked away with a win, they return home this weekend to take on Mac Jones and the Patriots. Before we preview that however, Defensive Player of the Year TJ Watt won’t be suiting up for the Steelers after suffering a torn pectoral muscle late in the week one win.
Luckily Watt and the Steelers avoided total catastrophe on Tuesday when they learned Watt would not need season-ending surgery via Adam Schefter. According to Schefter’s tweet, Watt could return in six weeks if everything goes right. This sets up the reigning DPOY to return against the Dolphins on Sunday Night Football in week seven. If Pittsburgh can somehow manage to keep their head above water to that point, maybe they let him heal up and return after the bye week in week 10 against New Orleans. Luckily, According to Coach Tomlin, Najee Harris and Mason Cole should be good to play this weekend as long as they can practice.
If you know anything about Coach Tomlin and the Steelers, you know its next-man-up mentality. Newly acquired Malik Reed will get his shot to get up to speed this week in practice in order to start on Sunday. Reed spent three seasons in Denver before being traded to Pittsburgh a few weeks ago. In those three years, Reed accumulated 124 total tackles including 74 solo and 50 assisted, and 15 sacks to go with three forced fumbles. Now, Reed, the 26-year-old finds himself with a chance to hold down the ship with Watt going to the injured reserve.
Week 2 Preview
Previewing the game against New England, they’re coming off a 20-7 loss to the division rival Miami Dolphins where they didn’t look overly impressive by any means. Mac Jones is battling back spasms but is still expected to make his first career start in Pittsburgh on Sunday. It’s the Steelers’ home opener, so Acrisure should be loud. Especially if the Pittsburgh defense can keep the momentum from week one rolling into this game. Pittsburgh forced five turnovers in week one, Playing with that black air force one energy in Cincinnati.
Pittsburgh opens as 1.5-point home underdogs via Fanduel Sportsbook. They’re 3-7 against New England in the last 10 meetings dating back to 2008, all of which were the Tom Brady-led Patriots. Both teams are now in a new era. With Mac Jones now at the helm for the Patriots and Mitch Trubisky under center for the Steelers, this is the first meeting between the two teams.
Jones is coming off a performance against the Dolphins where he went 21/30 with 213 yards and a touchdown. He was also picked off once and sacked twice. Jakobi Meyers led the team in targets, seeing six passes and gathering four catches for 55 yards. Defensively, New England was led by Ja’Whaun Bentley in week one. Bentley made seven total tackles with four solo and one tackle for loss and a sack. Matt Judon also chipped in and had a sack to go with his five tackles. On the ground, New England was led by Damien Harris who had nine carries for 48 yards, and Rhamondre Stevenson who gathered 8 carries for 25 yards.
Pittsburgh has a serious chance to start the season 4-0. These next few games against New England, Cleveland, and The Jets are all winnable if Mitch Trubisky and the offense can get settled together. The Patriots are no rollover though. You can never count out Bill Belichick and his team, but getting a win here would be a great start to this three-game stretch for Mitch Trubisky and company.