NFL Preview: Steelers and Saints Meet in Clash of the Champions

Al Dannity | Updated Oct 04, 2017

New Orleans look to bounce back from last week’s defeat in a Sunday Night Football meeting with Pittsburgh.

Two powers collide The defending Super Bowl Champions host the winners of Super Bowl XLIII in the Superdome this Sunday. New Orleans enter this game still suffering from a Super Bowl hangover. While partying in the Big Easy will appeal to many a man, the Saints must have really gone overboard in the off-season. That’s the only reasonable explanation for their loss to the Browns last week. Cleveland picked off Drew Brees four times. Even the Saints of old, the team that was a laughing stock, wouldn’t have looked that bad against the Browns.

Now, somehow, the Saints are supposed to step up a level and challenge the Steelers. I don’t see it happening this Sunday. Drew Brees should execute better than he did against the Browns but he will have trouble using any safety valves against Pittsburgh. The Steelers are superb at closing down short routes. Don’t expect the Saints to do much on the ground either against the Steel Curtain. That means Brees will have to go long more often than he would like. New Orleans should have some success here but I also expect a few turnovers to result.

That should be all Ben Roethlisberger needs to secure a big road win for Pittsburgh. The Steelers’ passing game has come alive since the quarterback returned from suspension. NFL betting fans should expect a big day for Big Ben in the Big Easy.

Rams will make home advantage count After suffering an agonizing late loss in Tampa Bay last week, the Rams return home for a meeting with the Panthers. Carolina recorded their first victory of 2010 last Sunday but I don’t expect them to start a winning streak anytime soon.

The Rams are outperforming the Panthers in every key offensive category. On the ground St. Louis are gaining 16.7 yards more per game than Carolina, thanks in no small part to Steven Jackson’s continued good form despite the lack of a supporting cast around him. Run defense is a particular weak spot for the Panthers. Carolina are allowing a massive 128.5 yards of rushing per game. That simply won’t suffice against a St. Louis team which is growing in confidence every week. Neither of these teams will be playing in Dallas in February but the Rams do have a shot at making the playoffs. The post-season may be unlikely for St. Louis but while that carrot is still there, they will remain hungry for victory. Bet on the St. Louis Rams as -3.0 favorites with Sports Interaction.

XLVI: Gabriel Morency previews NFL and College Football for the Halloween weekend

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