The Atlanta Falcons and Pittsburgh Steelers clash for a Week 2 preseason tilt at Heinz Field for a 4:00 pm Eastern kick-off. Let’s take a closer look at the game as well as Sports Interaction’s NFL Preseason odds.
Atlanta Falcons at Pittsburgh Steelers
Point spread: Falcons -2.5
Date: Sunday, August 20, 2017 @ 16:00
Location:Heinz Field, Pittsburgh.
Mike Tomlin Used to Care About the Preseason
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin has a career 23-20 (.534) record in the preseason. That record was built up during Tomlin’s first 6 years in Pittsburgh where he went a stellar 19-6 (.760). Over the last 5 years including last week’s 20-12 win over the Giants, Tomlin is 4-14 (.222). Tomlin’s counterpart Dan Quinn is 5-4 (.555) in 3 years in charge of Atlanta. The visiting Falcons are set as 2.5-point favourites with the total currently sitting at 39.5.
Falcons vs Steelers Odds and Betting Analysis
The Falcons opened the preseason with a 23-20 loss to the Dolphins in Miami while the Steelers picked up a 20-12 in New Jersey against the Giants. The key to this game is the playing time of Atlanta’s Matt Ryan as the QB looks to repeat his 2016 MVP season, this time without offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan. Falcons coach Dan Quinn says Ryan will have more playing time in Week 2 against a Mike Tomlin team resting its starters. The Falcons are 2-13-1 all-time against the Steelers.
You won’t see running back Devonta Freeman in Pittsburgh on Sunday because he’s been ruled out due to concussion. We should see some playing time for wide receivers Julio Jones and Taylor Gabriel, who sat out last week’s loss to the Dolphins. That gives quarterback Matt Ryan a chance to gel with his top WR’s as the MVP continues to get accustomed to new offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian’s system.
The Steelers will be missing a big piece of their offence as running back Le’Veon Bell will not play Sunday because of a contract dispute and has yet to report to the team. That’s the bad news, the good news is that wide receiver Martavis Bryant will play against Atlanta after being re-instated by the NFL. Don’t expect quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to take any snaps. “Big Ben” only played a few snaps in Week 3 of the preseason last year. Keep your eye on TJ Watt who had 2 sacks and 3 QB hits against the Giants in his debut.
Falcons vs. Steelers Prediction
Falcons 27 Steelers 20