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Home / Sports / Pittsburgh Steelers Vs. Carolina Panthers: prediction, preview, stats for & # 39; Thursday Night Football & # 39;

Pittsburgh Steelers Vs. Carolina Panthers: prediction, preview, stats for & # 39; Thursday Night Football & # 39;



The issue of & # 39; Thursday Night Football & # 39; This week should be damn good. The 5-2-1 Pittsburgh Steelers are in action and again look like one of AFC's best teams. On Thursday night they play the 6-2 Carolina Panthers, who look like one of the best teams in the NFC.

Pittsburgh leads the AFC North and certainly wants to avoid a loss that could throw them back if the Bengals win on Sunday. The Panthers are still a match behind the 7-1 Saints and need a win to keep up with NFC South and possibly one or two home games in the playoffs.

Luckily for football fans, we'll see a lot of stars on either side of the ball, especially some of the best quarterbacks (Ben Roethlisberger, Cam Newton) running behind (James Conner, Christian McCaffrey) and wide receivers (Antonio Brown, JuJu Smith-Schuster) in the NFL. That's a lot of offensive talent on the field trying to play against some strong defenders who have played well lately.

How are things shaken on Thursday night (8:20 pm, NFL Network, Stream on fuboTV)? We are glad that you asked.

When The Steelers Have The Ball

Le & Veon Bell has still not reported the Steelers. The Steelers still have not missed him so much.

Pittsburgh ranks fourth in the NFL in yards per game, ninth in points per game, and eighth in efficiency in the DVOA by Football Outsiders. Last year, the Steelers ranked third, eighth and third in the same measurements. Bell's support, James Conner, was better this season than Bell's a year ago. In 201

7, Bell averaged 27.1 touches per game with an average of 4.8 yards per touch and 129.7 yards per game. This season, Conner has an average of 23.6 touches per game, with an average of 5.7 yards per touch and 135.6 yards per game. Conner has a total of 10 touchdowns in eight games, just a single less than 15 games in the last year. Conner has four separate games of more than 100 meters and two touchdowns on the ground, which is one more than Bell in his entire career. While the defense is not quite as "scared" of Conner as before Bell, but Conner was down the ground more effectively (4.7 yards per carry compared to Bell's 4.0 last year), despite being stacked boxes.

with more than eight defenders had a lot more frequent than Bell a year ago. According to NFL.com's NextGen Stats, 19.94 percent of Bell's stock came in 2017 against an eight-man box or more, while 30.46 percent of Conner broadcasts came against eight-plus-man boxing.

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Conner, however, was pitched this week against Carolina's defense for a hard night. It would be his first hard night for some time. The Panthers are in seventh place in the hurried defense DVOA among the football outsiders and were one of the toughest defensive mechanisms when it came to battling their backs in the passing game. They allowed 33 catches to run their backs, the sixth lowest in the NFL and only 217 yards to the third-ranked position. On the other hand, Conner was opening up a Baltimore defense that ranks among the best in the NFL, pulling back with 163 yards and two touchdowns. That was four days ago. Maybe he's just a match proof at this point.

The more interesting battle could come in passing. Ben Roethlisberger is one of the most protected quarterbacks in the country, but the Panthers are among the NFL leaders in the areas of haste (10th), hits (fourth), knockdowns (12th) and overall pressure (fifth), according to Sports Info Solutions , Non-pressurized quarterbacks, however, were able to succeed against the Carolina secondary. Overall, the Panthers have allowed opponents to complete more than 65 percent of their passes at an average of 7.2 meters per attempt. According to SIS, Panthers' defensive backs were particularly addressed in men's reporting.

Reporting Catch% YPA TD INT QB Rtg
Man 59.8 7.85 [19659909] 90 [19659909909]
Zone [19659019] 65.2 7.80 12 10 88.27

The Steelers, of course, have two of the best receivers in football and perhaps two of the best receivers. suitable to work against this Carolina secondary. JuJu Smith-Schuster is on the field for nearly 80 percent of the time. The Panthers were flamed by slot receivers all year long – especially lately. Tyler Boyd (6-132-1), Adam Humphries (8-82-0), Sterling Shepard (4-75-0) and Cole Beasley (7-73-0) are all leaking slot covers against the teams led by Captain Munnerlyn , Carolina has allowed 87 fishing opportunities for 988 yards and seven hits for SOCs. Meanwhile, Antonio Brown seems to see shadows of James Bradberry. Bradberry is one of the most targeted cornerbacks in the league as only Steven Nelson, the Chiefs, has been thrown more often. He was good, though not necessarily good at reporting, which allowed a rating of 86.1 passengers throwing in his direction. Bradberry does not travel often to the slot, so it's interesting to see how the cover changes when Brown moves in the formation.

Tight ends Vance McDonald and Jesse James could also play a significant role in the passing game. The Panthers have more catches in the current season than any team in football and 127.84 passers-by in the position – fourth highest in the league.

When the Panthers have the ball

The Steelers' ability to find great success in the absence of Le Veon Bell's was one of the biggest surprises of the season, but the rise of the Panthers as one of Funnest Violations in the NFL are also on this list. The appointment of Norv Turner as the offensive coordinator had in many circles been stalled in the last stoppages because of the lengthy nature of his offense, but Turner reinvented himself and was one of the few creative players in the league this season. Turner has discovered how Cam Newton, Christian McCaffrey, Devin Funchess and D.J. Moore, and Greg Olsen did an excellent job reintegration after the starry-eyed demise returned from a renewed injury to his foot injury that occurred in the first game of the season and put him out of action a few weeks later.

McCaffrey was a full-time timeshare last season, occasionally playing full games without influence. This was not the case this year as it was widely used as a true feature, averaging 19.8 touches per game. He also does not suffer from increased efficiency (12.3 attacks per game in the last year) and has an average of more meters per stroke this season than he did a year ago (5.6 per touch at 5.5 per touch). Pittsburgh are the number one goalkeeper in the DVOA ranking this season, according to Football Outsiders, and have only allowed 32 finishes for 195 yards, two touchdowns and a 45-th stake interception for the players at the position. The Panthers move McCaffrey throughout the formation, making touches for jet sweeps and screens for him, so it's possible he'll still be able to break a long-gainer if they find a way to use the aggressiveness of the Pittsburgh defense against it.

Conversely, the Steelers' defense fought hard against scarce targets, suggesting that Greg Olsen, who was being heated up, could queue for a big night. Olsen was quiet for a few weeks after returning from an injury. However, in the last two weeks he went for 4-56-1 and 6-76-1. His ability to stretch the field vertically fits Newton's playing style as it always has, and they have found a rhythm in the last two weeks. The Steelers ranked 26th in DVOA and allowed 53 catches for 584 yards and four touchdowns. They were dragged up the middle of the field, where Olsen usually eats.

On the edge, a duel between Funchess and Joe Haden took place most of the night. Funchess has his best NFL season, averaging the career highest for receptions (4.5) and yards (55.6) per game, as well as for the quota (65.5 percent). His seven-yard, 77-yard seasonal highs did not budge, but Newton could count on him when he needed a first down or drive extension game as 28 of his 36 holds had the first downs. via SIS. Of the 146 players with more than 25 goals, the first-down rate of 77.8 percent is in 15th place in the league.

Besides these three players, Newton does not have a specific goal that seems to give him a lot of confidence. Jarius Wright, Torrey Smith, rookie D.J. Moore and Curtis Samuel from the second year all had their moments, but so far, no one has yet found a regular place. Turner was able to find ways, in particular Moore and Samuel, to get into the open space, which is important for the players with their skills. It would be a wise idea against the Steelers to use the attention paid to McCaffrey and Olsen to give them a shot at a pop game.

Prediction: Steelers 27, Panthers 23


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