The Pittsburgh Steelers had to be feeling excited about facing the New England Patriots at Heinz Field. Tom Brady vs Ben Roethlisberger in the spotlight late afternoon game. But wait, Roethlisberger will not be playing against the Patriots in Week 7. I was looking forward to this one as well, in fact, when I saw the schedules released several months ago, I was already looking forward to this one. Now with Brady back from suspension, Roethlisberger had to go and get injured. Big Ben is reportedly out until late November due to a knee injury. In place of Roethlisberger, Landry Jones is going to get a chance to prove himself. Jimmy Garoppolo was able to do it when he had the opportunity, and now it’s Landry’s turn to step up. It’s an important start for Jones, who needs to show some kind of success or he will find himself out of the league.
Jones has been given chances in the past, whether it was the preseason or filling in for Roethlisberger on spot duty. He has never really made people think he should be a starter in the NFL. No team has called up the Steelers inquiring about the availability of Landry Jones, I can guarantee that much. He has proven that he can be an okay backup and that’s about it. Okay is being somewhat generous, but there are worst options out there.
Jones saw action in six games last year and threw for 513 yards with 3 touchdown and 4 interceptions. Nothing he did was particularly exciting and he had issues reading opposing defenses. At Oklahoma it was pretty easy playing pitch and catch against bad defenses in the Big-12. There are receivers open all over the field in that conference, just check out Oklahoma-Texas Tech from last night, wow. Antonio Brown has said that there will be better chemistry between him and Jones. I will believe it when I see it. Jones is not going to be allowed to get eased into the starting role, against a bad team like the Browns or something. Right off the bat he has to contend with the hungry Patriots and Tom Brady.
New England Patriots vs. Pittsburgh Steelers NFL Betting Odds:
vs. Steelers +7.5(-105)
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
Patriots vs. Steelers Pick:
The Patriots survived the Tom Brady suspension and are looking like a team primed to make yet another run at the Super Bowl. They went 3-1 without Brady, including a tricky opener in Arizona on the road. Their only failure was a dud against the Buffalo Bills a few weeks ago. Luckily for the Pats, it was their final game without Brady. New England also had to deal with an injury to Jimmy Garoppolo. Since his return, the Patriots have gone 2-0 in convincing fashion. The Patriots have scored over 30 points with 33 scored against the Browns and 35 on the Bengals.
Brady has passed for 782 yards and 6 touchdowns with no interceptions. He hasn’t made a mistake yet, and the Steelers are hoping they can do it this week at home. However, the Steelers are going to be shorthanded on defense. Not only is Roethlisberger banged up, but they’re dealing with an important injury to defensive end Cameron Heyward. In his place will be Ricardo Mathews. Heyward to Mathews is a pretty big leap down. The Steelers need all of the pressure they can get on Brady, but they will have to do it without one of their best outside pass rushers.
Markus Wheaton will also be absent for this critical matchup against the Patriots. He’s been contending with a knee injury for the majority of the season. Offensive tackle Marcus Gilbert is going to be absent as well. This isn’t exactly what the Steelers envisioned going into Week 7 against the Patriots. The critical injury is of course to Roethlisberger. Jones better look better than he has in the past, because if he brings that kind of effort to the equation the Patriots are going to be able to put this game on cruise control. Bill Belichick is notorious for getting after inexperienced quarterbacks. I can’t see this one being much different. Brady is on a mission and will pummel the Steelers this afternoon. Patriots take advantage of no Big Ben and come out with a win and cover.
PICK: PATRIOTS -7.5 (-115)