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Colorcast Week 10 Pregame Report: Lions at Steelers

Colorcast Week 10 Pregame Report: Lions at Steelers

This pregame report is brought to you by Colorcast.

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After coming off their fourth straight victory, the Pittsburgh Steelers return to Heinz Field to take on the winless Detroit Lions in Week 10.  The Steelers currently sit at 5-3 and are primed to be atop the AFC North at the conclusion of Sunday’s games.  However, we’ve heard the phrase, “the hungriest dog fights the hardest” and the Lions are incredibly hungry for their first win.  Looking at records, the Lions are the worst team in the league, but have played up to better teams.  The Steelers are certainly in for a dog fight this Sunday afternoon.

Let’s take a look at some things we can look forward to.

 

 

MATCHUPS AT A GLANCE

Offense:  The offense has been improving week after week.  Starting with the offensive line, they’ve done a good job of protecting Ben Roethlisberger, opening holes for Najee Harris, and limiting penalties.  Harris has been consistent and continues to be an integral part of the offense and Roethlisberger is more and more efficient in his passes.  However, the wide receiver corps has taken a beating and will be without Chase Claypool (toe) this week, not to mention JuJu Smith-Schuster, who is out for the year.  Therefore, the Steelers’ top pass catchers will be Diontae Johnson and Pat Freiermuth.  With that said, the matchup I’m watching, and one I think that has been the secret to the recent success, is the Steelers’ running game versus the Lions rush defense.  Statistically speaking, Roethlisberger won’t need to necessarily have to throw 50 times for the Steelers to win.  The Lions rank 29th in the league in rush defense, allowing an average of over 134 yards on the ground to opposing offenses.  Harris is entering this week’s matchup with a hurt foot, so don’t be surprised if we see the likes of Benny Snell Jr., Kalen Ballage, and Anthony McFarland Jr. in the mix to help give Harris some rest.  Look for the Steelers to take advantage of one of the worst rushing defenses in the league.

Defense:  Although the records don’t indicate it, the Lion’s offense is very similar to the Steelers.  They play situational football, look to get the ball to elusive running back D’Andre Swift often, and incorporate big tight end T.J. Hockenson frequently.  To show how similar they are in offenses, the Steelers average just over 324 yards per game, where the Lions average just over 321 yards per game.  Coincidently enough, Swift and Hockenson are big contributors to that, so clearly those are two players the Steelers’ defense needs to watch.  The Lions lost some depth at running back this week with Jamaal Williams sitting out due to an injury, but Swift is used both in the run and pass games.  Although quarterback Jared Goff hasn’t had as much production with the Lions as he did with the Los Angeles Rams, he knows if he gets the ball to his playmakers, good things will happen.  But if the Steelers take away the run game and force Goff to throw, that will be the Steelers’ key to success on defense.  On a final note, the Lions are -4 in turnover differential, so although the Lions and Steelers have almost identical offensive numbers, the Lions have shown recurrently they give the ball away on offense.

 

 

PREDICTION

As I indicated earlier, this game is going to be closer than what people think.  The Steelers are currently listed as 8-point favorites, but I think that’s a bit optimistic.  After watching the Miami Dolphins take down the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday, don’t be surprised if we see something similar on Sunday.  But with that said, I think the Steelers will find a way out of this contest with a win.  Prediction, 27-26, Steelers.

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

Opposite of what we saw versus the Chicago Bears, head coach Mike Tomlin has never lost against the Lions.  All-time, the Steelers are 17-14-1 against the Lions and the Steelers have won the last 5 games with the most recent being in 2017.  Roethlisberger has also never lost against the Lions.  When playing in Pittsburgh, the Steelers are 11-2-1 against the Lions.  In November, going back to 2010, the Lions are 17-27, where the Steelers are 29-14.  One final fun fact, not only has Tomlin never finished with a losing season, but he’s never had a losing record in the month of November as a head coach.

 

What are you watching for on Sunday?  What do you think the final outcome will be?  Let us know in the comments below!

#SteelerNation

Growing up in Pennsylvania, the Steelers played a major role in my life. I have watched every game since 2001 and have an entire closet solely dedicated to Steelers jerseys. You can find me on Twitter at @TheBenSauce_duh and Instragram at @benmic_alien. I now live in the Charlotte branch of Steeler Nation. I can't wait to share my passion for all things Steelers with you!

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