The Patriots visit the Pittsburgh Steelers at 4:25 p.m. for their 12th matchup of the Bill Belichick era.
All22: Patriots 34, Steelers 20
New England is averaging 34 points per game with Tom Brady under center. The Pittsburgh Steelers are without Ben Roethlisberger and will play the 30th-ranked pass defense against Belichick’s high-flying offense. The Patriots should go up big early, with Antonio Brown catching his first touchdown not thrown by Ben Roethlisberger in garbage time.
ESPN.com: Patriots (Eight of 9 experts)
CBS Sports: Patriots 34, Steelers 17.
“This was supposed to be a battle of Ben Roethlisberger against Tom Brady. But with Roethlisberger out, it’s Landry Jones against Brady. That’s a mismatch. Brady lights up the Steelers defense.” – Pete Prisco
Pro Football Talk: Patriots 34, Steelers 20.
“The team that scratched and clawed its way through four games without the starting quarterback now get a break when going to one of the few places where they could have lost.” – Mike Florio
Sporting News: Patriots 30, Steelers 17.
“Ben Roethlisberger won’t be playing no matter what his backup is saying. Pittsburgh can rebound from losing with Landry Jones and without Roethlisberger for one game, but its season would be totally lost if Big Ben suffers further knee injury. Bill Belichick’s defense will have no sympathy for the shorthanded Steelers. The Patriots can focus on containing Le’Veon Bell with Antonio Brown not being the same threat. Tom Brady also won’t need to worry about getting into a shootout — picking apart Pittsburgh’s defense with his tight ends will be good enough.” – Vinnie Iyer
Foxsports.com: Patriots 30, Steelers 17.
“Well, this isn’t what it was supposed to be when the schedules came out in April. I think Pittsburgh will put up a good effort at home, but Landry Jones isn’t beating Tom Brady. Ever. And congratulations to new grandfather, Bill Belichick. I hear his new granddaughter is sneaky athletic and can run routes across the middle and underneath. Already!” – Peter Schrager,
NFL.com: Patriots 30, Steelers 16.
“What was once the darling game of the Week 7 schedule took a major hit this week when Ben Roethlisberger was forced to go under the knife. And with Ryan Shazier questionable, Pittsburgh could be hurting on both sides of the ball. Look forJames White to excel if Shazier is indeed absent. He’s a nice receiver out of the backfield who has caught 12 balls (and scored two touchdowns) since Tom Brady returned — after logging 13 grabs and zero TDs in the first four games of the season. When it comes to the Steelers’ offense, well, it’s important to note that backup quarterbacks are 14-47 against the Belichick Patriots, averaging less than 20 points per game on offense.Important, as in, Pittsburgh loses.” – Elliot Harrison
Globe staff: New England -7
It was unanimous.
Pittsburgh Post Gazette: Patriots, 27-20
“Tom Brady is completing 76 percent of passes for 742 yards and no interceptions in his two games back from suspension. Rob Gronkowski has enjoyed the reunion, catching 12 passes for 271 yards and a touchdown in those two games. The Steelers are without Ben Roethlisberger, who has 22 TD passes in his past six home games. Uh-oh.” -Gerry Dulac.
1) Patriots win by 14-17 points (+600).
New England opens that day as -7 point favorites. The Patriots have won their two games with Tom Brady under center by an average of 19 points. Pittsburgh is fresh off a 15-point loss to the Miami Dolphins and fell to the Philadelphia Eagles by 31. When the Steelers have lost this season, they’ve lost in dramatic fashion.
2) LeGarrette Blount first player to score a touchdown (+600)
The Patriots’ bruising back has scored in every game for New England this season outside of the team’s 16-0 loss to the Buffalo Bills. He’s second in the NFL with 6 touchdowns on the year and the Steelers have allowed the third-most rushing touchdowns this season.
3) Tom Brady over 370 passing yards.
The Steelers rank 30th in the NFL in allowing 297.3 passing yards per game. Brady has totaled 370 yards in each of his first two games. Inertia.