Pittsburgh Steelers to win at Seattle Seahawks
Pretty much everyone had expected the Seahawks to recover from their poor start to the season by now, but here we are in week 12, and last year’s runners up are facing a serious scrap for a wildcard. After being fed to SuperCam’s Panthers, Pete Carroll must have been thankful to have the 49er’s in the schedule. Two of the five wins for Seattle have come against their divisional rivals, including one last Sunday by 29 – 13. They coped well in CenturyLink in the absence of Marshawn Lynch, Thomas Rawls rushing for over 200 yards and a touchdown, but he’ll need another good performance against Big Ben’s Steelers.
The Steelers are looking to catch the Cincinnati Bengals at the top of the AFC North, or at least to cement a wild card spot. Coming in fresh off a bye, Mike Tomlin will have one eye on a clash with the Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium in two weeks. WR Martavis Bryant has 5 TD’s in 5 starts, Antonio Brown with over 906 receiving yards when paired with the QB. Up against a weakened Legion of Boom, if Brown and Ben can link up, it spells trouble for Seattle.
- The sides have met 16 times, clocking up 8 wins each
- The Seahawks have been shut out by the Steelers defence on the last occasions
- Both Russell Wilson and Roethlisberger have thrown 7 interceptions, but it’s Big Ben that has a better yards per attempt % despite playing less games
Denver Broncos to beat New England Patriots
Yes, the Patriots are 10-0 for a reason. Tests by the Colts, Jets, and Bills have been passed so far by Tom Brady and co, but it was two weeks ago against the Giants when the Pats really got out of jail. A potential game winning Odell Beckham Jr touchdown was ruled out which caused confusion at the line, allowing the Boston side to send over a last minute field goal.
These battles have taken their toll on the offense however, with injuries to Dion Lewis, Julian Edelman, and now Aaron Dobson. Danny Amendola is questionable for Sunday. It gives the #1 defence in the NFL the chance to stifle what remains. Expect Gronk to be double covered.
And then it all comes down to the Denver offence. Having broken Brett Favre’s record for all time regular season pass yardage, Peyton Manning has been subsequently benched. The pressure of unlocking New England falls on Brock Osweiler. The 25 year old impressed on his NFL debut last weekend against the Bears, but with all the talk of the offence, people seem to have forgotten about the mean Broncos defence, who lead the league for sacks, yards given up per play (4.4) and passing yards.
Get past the Broncos, and New England should see out the unbeaten season. But with focus on the opposition, can Denver spring a surprise?
- Tom Brady has been sacked 22 times so far
- Broncos have lost 20 of their 25 games against the Patriots, but won against them in Colorado last season
Atlanta Falcons -1.5 vs Minnesota Vikings @
After being upset by the Green Bay Packers last week, the Minnesota Vikings once again have the opportunity to stamp their authority at the top of the NFC North. Teddy Bridgewater was sacked six times in that loss, so expect the pass protection to be a little better.
All the pressure is on Matt Ryan’s Falcons. Having gone 5-0, the Atlanta side lost 4 of the next 5, leaving them now with a 6-4 record after three losses on the bounce. Falcons fans will be quick to point out that the combined margin of those three losses was seven! With two games against the Panthers still to come, the Falcons need the win just a little bit more