Friday, October 21, 2011

Cardinals: What are the Chances...?

The Steelers’ performances on the road thus far in 2011 have ranged from downright awful to barely adequate. So it’s something of a surprise that the Steelers are a four-point favorite at Arizona -- against a Cardinals team that has been competitive in all its games but one (a blowout loss two weeks ago at Minnesota). Of course, Arizona has the home-field advantage, and has also had two weeks to prepare, as the Cards are coming off a bye. So it would not surprise me if Arizona pulled off an upset, especially when one considers that Pittsburgh has shown a propensity for turning the ball over when away from home. It probably doesn’t help that the Cardinals’ coaches are intimately familiar with the Steelers’ schemes and much of their personnel. Yet the Steelers have been trending positive, while the Cards have been moving in the wrong direction. So the pick is the Steelers.

What are the Chances…? is 4-2 in 2011 and 63-28 all-time.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Jaguars: What are the Chances...?

The Steelers are a 12-point favorite against the struggling 1-4 Jaguars. Colt McCoy's first game against the Steelers aside, Pittsburgh usually makes life difficult for rookie QB's - and Blaine Gabbert's experience should be no different. Though Gabbert has tremendous upside, I doubt we'll see a strong performance from him today. The pick is Pittsburgh, though I don't necessarily believe the Steelers will cover the spread.

What are the Chances is 3-2 thus far in 2011 and 62-28 all-time.

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Saturday, October 08, 2011

Titans: What are the Chances...?

The Steelers are a three-point favorite against the Titans — surprising, considering how well Tennessee has fared this season and how shaky the Steelers have been. Pittsburgh’s problems are now compounded by the rash of injuries that have hit the team. Of course, Ben Roethlisberger’s foot is the most significant. Even if Big Ben plays on Sunday, one wonders how effective he will be while hobbling around behind his makeshift, banged up offensive line. And with James Harrison out of the lineup the Steelers will be without one their two big playmakers on defense. Perhaps Pittsburgh will be reinvigorated by its home crowd, but I wouldn’t count on it.

I do like the fact that the Steelers have brought back Big Max (Max Starks) to protect Big Ben’s blind side, though it seems like a daunting challenge for him to go from being unemployed on Monday to starting left tackle on Sunday. But Starks has come back from being out of favor before. Let’s hope he can do it this season, too.

At any rate, I’m picking the Titans to win. What are the Chances is 3-1 thus far in 2011 and 62-27 all-time.


Saturday, October 01, 2011

Texans: What are the Chances...?

The Steelers are a 3.5 point underdog against the Texans, and deservedly so. The Texans have the kind of talent on their defensive line that may further expose the Steelers’ weak and banged up offensive line. Meanwhile, on the other side of the ball, the Texans have one of the best offensive lines in the NFL, and could potentially gouge Pittsburgh’s run defense, which has been porous more often than not thus far this year. Bottom line: I like the Texans to win this one.

What are the Chances is 2-1 thus far in 2011 and 61-27 all-time.