For better or worse because of Covid-19, we have two Monday games in the NFL in Week 13. I prefer to go back to a time when things were normal, but we’ll take the Monday doubleheader in the NFL. For the Pittsburgh Steelers, this hasn’t been a normal schedule the past couple of weeks. They had to play the Baltimore Ravens on Wednesday afternoon, and then had this game against Washington pushed back to Monday. It gives us an extra game on Monday, but I’d rather teams be in their regular routine. Handicapping these altered schedules can cause things to be a bit difficult, though I’ve found it better in the pros than college.
This was all because of the Baltimore Ravens, who will be playing on Tuesday night. They had the Covid outbreak, which in turn, impacted the Steelers and their schedule. If I were the Steelers, I would have wanted the extra day off. Instead, the Ravens will play on Tuesday against the Dallas Cowboys.
In any event, all of these guys are professionals and have to be expected to be prepared for the task at hand. The Steelers are looking to remain perfect against Washington Monday. They are the only team in the league with an undefeated record. There might be some consensus out there that the Chiefs are the team to beat in the AFC. However, the Steelers are the No. 1 team in the standings.
Washington is alive and well in the playoff race in the NFC East. That’s a 4-7 team in contention for a playoff spot. With the New York Giants winning on Sunday, the Giants are currently ahead with a record of 5-7. A win for Washington and they’ll be knotted all up again in the division. The Eagles are nearby at 3-8-1, and Cowboys are still alive at 3-8.
If Washington had a really good quarterback, then the division wouldn’t be close. Dwayne Haskins can’t read a defense, and Alex Smith, while his comeback has been incredible, I wouldn’t put him in the really good category, especially in a season where the goal is to shake off a lot of rust and feel comfortable in the pocket again. It will be interesting to see where Smith goes from here into 2021. Head below for our free Washington vs. Steelers props for December 7, 2020.
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) December 7, 2020
Chase Claypool Receiving Yards
Chase Claypool might not get the most credit for this 11-0 season in Pittsburgh, but he’s provided another dimension to the offense in 2020. The rookie out of Notre Dame has developed into a go-to option for Ben Roethlisberger. The Steelers just have their fingers crossed that Claypool isn’t a flash in the pan. However, unlike a wide receiver like Kelvin Benjamin, who had a good season and then disappeared, Claypool appears to be a hard worker. We should expect to see Claypool working hard in the lab during the offseason.
Roethlisberger has passed for 25 touchdowns and 6 interceptions on 67.5% completions. If it wasn’t for Alex Smith, Big Ben would be a favorite for Comeback Player of the Year. He played in just one full game last season before leaving, and then the headache at quarterback started for the Steelers. Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges didn’t cut it for the Steelers.
Claypool has helped play a role in getting Roethlisberger back into form. He’s caught 45 receptions for 611 yards and 8 touchdowns. Since October 11 against the Eagles, Claypool has recorded at least 50 yards receiving in six of eight games. He’s gone over 51 yards in four straight games. He continues to get a lot of targets from Roethlisberger, who has plenty of faith in him in the offense. This total looks a bit too short. I’d have him at 55.5 yards on Monday. With that in mind, The OVER 51.5 is a good option.
Antonio Gibson Rushing Yards
Washington has had some hidden gems on their roster this season. Despite being in the divisional race in the NFC East, this hasn’t been a standout season for the Football Team. Some of the positives therefore haven’t been that obvious. Rookie running back, Antonio Gibson, has been breaking out in a way for Washington. He’s only a 22-year-old, but has already amassed 645 yards on the ground and 233 yards receiving.
Gibson has chipped in with a total of 11 touchdowns and 4.6 yards per carry. Selected in the third round, Gibson might be a bit of a steal for Washington. He was sharing the backfield earlier on in the season, but has taken on more of the workhorse role lately. Gibson received 10+ carries for the first time in his career over the last three weeks. He’s coming off the second 100+ yard rushing game of his career.
Gibson gained 115 yards and 3 touchdowns on 20 carries against the Cowboys. This coming after he rushed for 94 yards versus the Bengals. Gibson has had a touchdown in five straight games. The Steelers have been solid against the run, though nothing spectacular. They’ve conceded 105.7 yards a game for eighth in the NFL. I think Gibson should be able to get to at least 48 yards in this one.
Eric Ebron Receptions
Eric Ebron was vocal about not wanting to play on Monday after their game on Wednesday against the Ravens. Whether Ebron likes it or not, he has to play or would have had to forfeit his gamecheck. Money always wins out with NFL players, so that was an easy decision. Ben is going to appreciate that Ebron will be active.
He’s been looking his way often recently. Ebron was targeted 11 times last week against the Ravens. He made 7 receptions for 54 yards. A week earlier Ebron had 4 receptions for 36 yards and a touchdown. In the last two week, Roethlisberger has thrown towards Ebron a total of 18 times. That’s the most through two weeks for Ebron. He should have enough opportunities to haul in at least 4 receptions.