Storming out of an unexpected Bye Week, the Steelers welcome the Philadelphia Eagles to town. Whichever team you root for, our expert analysis will help you win the day!
Spread: Steelers -7
Flaunting one of just six perfect records in football, the Steelers enter Week 5 confident in their odds. A Tennessee-heavy outbreak of COVID-19 granted the team a surprise Bye Week, giving them even more time to prepare for the downtrodden Philadelphia Eagles. In the name of journalistic integrity, let it be known this Steelers vs Eagles article is written by a Philadelphian.
On that note, let’s consider just how ugly the Eagles roster is: they are marching out their third string left tackle (an Australian rugby player only two years removed from never having played football), their backup guards on both sides, Lane Johnson is questionable at right tackle, and Jason Kelce is expected to start at center, the only healthy lineman on an otherwise top tier line. As if it couldn’t get worse, they have one receiver on the roster who is both healthy and has NFL experience. The injury bug bit Philly, and it bit hard.
The Steelers meanwhile are putting up lights out numbers on both sides of the ball. They are currently on track to break the 1985 Bears’ record for sacks in a season (albeit just three games in), while finally enjoying a healthy Juju Smith-Schuster, James Conner, and Ben Roethlisberger. If ever they were to feast against an NFL roster, Week 5 will be the time.
Heading into Sunday’s matchup, Las Vegas is projecting an Over/Under for Steelers vs Eagles at 47.5. So far this season the Eagles have combined scores of 44, 45, 46, and 56, the last of which being a clear outlier in a blowout loss to the Los Angeles Rams. The Steelers, meanwhile, have had matchups at 42, 47, and 49. In other words, with the exception of a clear outlier, these teams have only broken the 47.5 line once this season.
On Pittsburgh’s side of the ball, they have been remarkably consistent. Despite facing a diverse set of defenses, they have put up 26, 26, and 28 points this season. The Eagles defense, meanwhile, has allowed every opponent to score at least 20 points. Pittsburgh should have no problem finding the endzone, though Philadelphia’s strong defensive line could hinder Conner’s production.
Meanwhile the Eagles trot out an offense no more intimidating than A Christmas Carol‘s Tiny Tim. Against an equally (if not more so) banged up San Francisco defense, the Eagles could only put up 11 until the 5:50 marker in the fourth, at which point a on-in-a-million 42-yard touchdown and the easiest pick-6 in NFL history put them over the top. The Eagles had fewer rushing yards, passing yards, yards per play, and first downs.
The Steelers’ defense is… a little better than the 49ers’ third stringers.
Bet the under with confidence — the league is seeing higher scoring than ever before after refs have been told to swallow the whistle, but the Steelers’ propensity to come just shy of 30 points paired with a miserly Philadelphia offense will fall short of 47.5.
As for the spread, Philadelphia should expect a blowout. Their offensive pieces are weak, their offensive coaching is one-dimensional, and their offensive health is… offensive. Steelers by PLENTY more than 7.5. And again– this is an Eagles fan speaking.
Featured Image via Mitchell Leff, Getty Images