New England Patriots @ Pittsburgh Steelers Matchup Preview - September 18th, 2022
The Pittsburgh Steelers come in as 2.5 point home underdog as they play the New England Patriots at Acrisure Stadium Sunday. It was quite the blowout the last time these two teams played. The road Patriots won by double digits, defeating the Steelers 33-3 in Week 1 of 2019.
Pittsburgh's primary advantage has been their defense, which has allowed a scant 317 yards per game -- #6-best in the NFL. They've succeeded in large part due to their pass defense, which has held opposing air attacks to the #4-least yards per game: 199. The Pittsburgh Steelers pass defense has had the most success in covering opposing tight ends, who have managed just 24 yards per game against them (#32-least in football). Pittsburgh's best coverage unit has been their safeties, which grade out as the #3 unit in the NFL in this regard. Pittsburgh's pass rush has been led by their linebackers who, ranking as the #10 unit in the NFL, have given opposing quarterbacks fits. When it comes to their offense, the Steelers check in at #10 in football when it comes to total yards per game. Their passing game has compiled 257 yards per game (#12 in football). Their run game has ranked #8 with 4.5 yards per attempt on the ground.
New England's biggest strength has been their defense, ranking #6 in the league while allowing just 317 yards per game. Much of their success has been in locking down the pass game, holding opposing QBs to the #4-least yards per game: 199. The Patriots have done the best job shutting down opposing tight ends, holding them to 24 yards per game (#1-best). New England's best position group in coverage has been their safeties, which rank #3 in the league in locking down route-runners. New England's pass rush has been strong this year, led by their linebackers, which check in as the #10-best unit in terms of getting to the passer. In terms of their offense, the Patriots have ranked #10 in the league in total yards per game. They've passed for 257 yards per game (#12 in football). On the ground they've ranked #8 with 4.5 yards per carry.
New England Patriots Insights
THE BLITZ projects this game to see the 4th-smallest volume of plays run out of all the games this week at 121.6 plays, given the tendencies of each team and game dynamics.
The New England Patriots safeties project as the 3rd-best collection of safeties in the league since the start of last season in covering pass-catchers.
The New England Patriots have gone no-huddle on just 2.6% of their plays outside the two-minute warning since the start of last season (4th-least in the league). This deadens the pace, leading to less volume and stat accumulation.
Pittsburgh Steelers Insights
The Pittsburgh Steelers O-line profiles as the 8th-best in the NFL since the start of last season in pass protection, which has a positive impact on all passing attack statistics across the board.
Pat Freiermuth's pass-catching effectiveness has gotten a boost this season, notching 7.92 yards-per-target vs just 6.87 figure last season.
THE BLITZ projects Pat Freiermuth to notch 0.24 receiving TDs in this week's game, on average, putting him in the 88th percentile among TEs.
The Pittsburgh Steelers have hit the Moneyline in 9 of their last 17 games (+5.25 Units / 23% ROI)
Najee Harris has hit the Carries Over in his last 6 games at home (+6.00 Units / 87% ROI)