Patriots vs. Steelers; Week 7 Preview
Position-by-Position breakdown of this AFC matchup…
It’s no question here when it comes to who has the edge. You have potentially the greatest quarterback of all time going up against a back-up quarterback. Anyways, Tom Brady has astounding numbers over his two games back from suspension. Brady has posted 782 throwing yards just over the last two games, that is 269 more throwing yards than Landry Jones had in all of 2015 and he played seven games last season. Brady has also thrown for six touchdowns this season while Landry Jones was only able to muster up three all of last season. I could spill out more stats but do I really need to go on?
Le’Veon Bell is arguably the best running back in all of football this season. Bell averages 5.5 YPA and already has 263 yards through 3 games. He is also a huge duel-threat, posting 177 yards over 20 receptions (8.9 YPR). Bell has only played in three games this season and he already has put up these kind of numbers. DeAngelo Williams also sees some action for the Steelers backfield, and he has the same YPA (3.7) as LeGarrette Blount of the Patriots. The Patriots running back James White does indeed cancel out Bell’s ability to catch passes out of the backfield. He has produced 225 yards over 25 receptions. Anybody would be lying if they Bell is not the best running back of this bunch. His versatility alone can match both James White and Blount, while the Steelers still have Williams at their disposal.
When you talk about wide receivers, the Steelers may have the best in the league. Antonio Brown is by far the most talented receiver we will see playing in this game. He has put up 486 yards over 41 receptions. The next closest in terms of yards is Sammie Coates, another Steeler. With 421 receiving yards over only 19 receptions, he is a big deep threat for Pittsburgh. Julian Edelman of New England has been very quiet this season, having 261 yards over 28 receptions. The only “deep threat” the Patriots have right now is Chris Hogan, but he does not compare to Coates as he only has 275 yards over 13 receptions. Overall, the Patriots have put up 1678 receiving yards and 10 receiving touchdowns while the Steelers have 1593 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns. With a touchdown difference that big, this one has to go to Pittsburgh.
Tight End has been one of the most productive positions for the Patriots all season. The return of the double tight end set has made the Patriots prosper and accounts for a very large amount of their yard total this season. Many would agree that Rob Gronkowski is on pace to be the best tight end all of time by the end of his career. Along with Martellus Bennett, these two tight ends have put up an astonishing 644 yards over 39 receptions. Bennett’s Y/R is 21.7 and Gronkowski’s is 13.9. That means that each of them averages a first down every single time the ball is passed to them. With these ridiculous numbers, there is nothing Steeler’s TE Jesse James can do to cancel them out. James has only managed 141 yards over 20 receptions. Gronkowski bests him in yards and James has played two more games than him. It is clear who has the edge here.
Everybody knows a fantastic defense wins football games and when it comes to two offensive powerhouses in the Steelers and Patriots, defense may decide this one. The Patriots have allowed 552 and 11 touchdowns up to this point in the season while the Steelers have allowed a little bit more giving up 607 yards so far into the season to go along with 12 touchdowns. As two teams that are known for their offense, we may see a shootout with each defense being scored on. The Patriot’s pass rush led by Jabaal Shread, Malcolm Brown, and Dont’a Hightower, have racked up a total of 11 sacks on the season. The Patriots have 225 tackles total with two safeties and four interceptions. The team has also caused 12 fumbles and has been able to recover 10 of them. The Steeler’s pass rush, led by Vince Williams and Cameron Hayward, has a total of eight sacks on the year, Their whole team has accumulated 252 tackles, three interceptions, and seven fumbles which they have all recovered. It’s close when looking at the numbers, but the hit power and secondary from the Patriots gives them a slight edge in this one. Let’s not forget that Landry Jones is starting for the Steeler’s which gives a huge advantage to the Patriots.
It would be a surprise if the Patriots did not come out on top in this one. Landry Jones being in a quarterback may change the game. What was once supposed to be a shootout may now be a blowout. I see the Patriots winning this game winning 27-13. The Patriots will head to Pittsburgh this Sunday to take on the Steelers. Kickoff is set for 4:25pm.