The Falcons are trying to earn their second win of the season against the Steelers. Will they? Read on to see our handful of staff predictions for the week.
Steelers 45 - Falcons 41
Perhaps I’m being a bit pessimistic here, but Atlanta feels like they’ve taken one too many lumps in the injury department to win this one. Getting RB Devonta Freeman back on offense is going to make this unit soar against the Steelers’ faulty defense, but losing DT Grady Jarrett might make Atlanta’s defense the worst in the NFL at the moment. When Jarrett is out, the numbers plummet in defensive stoppage. Pittsburgh just has too much offensive firepower and home field advantage. This one will be one of the highest scoring games in the season between two offenses known for igniting powder kegs against lacking defenders. If this were in Atlanta, maybe they pull it off. On the road? I worry 1-4’s the foregone conclusion right now.
Steelers 34 - Falcons 31
I try to be honest with myself about the Falcons, even if I’m a bit of an eternal optimist when it comes to this team. I’m being honest with myself this week after predicting the Falcons would win each of the last four weeks. They came close every time out, but they’re 1-3 and I’m tired of thinking they can overcome their injuries and ineptitude in the face of quality opponents.
Make no mistake, the Steelers are just that. Pittsburgh isn’t the best team the Falcons will face this year, and they’ve been disappointing thus far in 2018, but they have the weapons necessary to make this a very long day for a scuffling Falcons defense. Hopefully Atlanta will rise to the challenge, but at this point, I don’t think it’s a safe bet that they will.
Steelers 34 - Falcons 35
I don’t pretend to have my thumb under this team. I went into this season expecting the defense to frequently overshadow the offense. That hasn’t happened, and based on the last few weeks, that won’t happen. Not even close. The only thing I know is neither defenses should be important, and we are really looking at a battle of two offenses. Atlanta is free of the headaches, and has a significantly superior running game. The defense won’t let Atlanta get away with anything but a very, very minor win, but Atlanta deserves to pull off a pretty narrow W.
Steelers 41 - Falcons 38
I’m on vacation in the northeast. It’s cold and weird, and so will be the result of this game. Defense drops another.