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Pittsburgh Steelers 2014 Season Game Predictions

The 2014 NFL season will get underway Thursday night and before I release my predictions for what I believe will happen around the league this year, here is my game by game prediction for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Week 1 – Cleveland Browns (home) – Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has owned the Browns over the years and he has played very well in regular season openers to boot. While there are many legitimate concerns about the Steelers defense to start the season, the Browns lack of offensive weapons and uncertainty at quarterback is a bigger deal. Baring a huge amount of turnovers by the Steelers offense, there’s no reason to think they will start the 2014 season 0-1.

Prediction: Win

Week 2 – Baltimore Ravens (away) – The Steelers young team will have a short week to prepare for their second consecutive divisional game with this one being on the road against the Ravens. The Steelers offense will more than likely be asked to win this game that figures to be close. Being as these two teams are likely to split their meetings this season, I give the nod in this one to the Ravens even with them being without the services of running back Ray Rice.

Prediction: Loss

Week 3 – Carolina Panthers ( away) – The Steelers will have extra time to prepare for a second consecutive prime-time game on the road and that should serve them well. The 2014 version of the Panthers is a far cry from the team that went 12-4 last season and I suspect they will have some problems scoring points on offense this year as a result. Give the Steelers this one in a close one.

Prediction: Win

Week 4 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers (home) – The Steelers will return home in Week 4 to host the Buccaneers and while it shouldn’t take new head coach Lovie Smith a lot of time to get his team moving back in the right direction, he won’t be able to do it in one season. I give this one to the Steelers, which hopefully should make the 2-0 at home.

Prediction: Win

Week 5 – Jacksonville Jaguars (away) – Will young Blake Bortles be the Jaguars starter by Week 5? Many are comparing him to Roethlisberger and with good reason. Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau has a spell over rookie quarterbacks, so if Bortles is indeed the starter by then, he figures to be in for a long game. If Chad Henne, however, is still the starter by the time this game rolls around, it still shouldn’t matter. The Jaguars defense is way ahead of their offense, but that won’t be enough.

Prediction: Win

Week 6 – Cleveland Browns (away) – I expect that Johnny Manziel will be the starter in Cleveland by the time these two teams meet for a second time. While the Browns defense should be in sync by Week 6, their continued lack of weapons on offense, combined with a rookie quarterback, still won’t be enough to beat the Steelers.

Prediction: Win

Week 7 – Houston Texans (home) – By the time the Texans visit Pittsburgh, I fully expect that Ryan Mallett will be under center as Ryan Fitzpatrick simply isn’t the answer. The Texans defensive front will be a big test for the Steelers offensive line and I see this game being close as a result. The Texans have legitimate weapons on offense and that could cause the Steelers defense some problems late. I give this one to the visitors.

Prediction: Loss

Week 8 – Indianapolis Colts (home) – The Colts offense could potentially give the Steelers defense a lot of problems in this game. On the flip side, the Steelers offense should be able to move the ball on the Indianapolis defense. In the end, I just don’t like this matchup for the Steelers so this one goes to Andrew Luck late in a high-scoring contest.

Prediction: Loss

Week 9 – Baltimore Ravens (home) – The Steelers will retire the number of Joe Greene at halftime of this nationally televised game and thus there will be more than enough motivation to win this game. Somebody on defense will make a big play late to put this one away for the home team and make Mean Joe proud.

Prediction: Win

Week 10 – New York Jets ( away) – I don’t believe that Geno Smith is the real deal, nor do I believe that the Jets have enough weapons surrounding him on offense. Can you even name the Jets top three wide receivers? While the Jets defensive front is strong, their back end will likely be susceptible to the big play this season and that’s exactly how I see the Steelers winning this road game.

Prediction: Win

Week 11 – Tennessee Titans (away) – It sure seems like the Steelers play the Jets and Titans every season. As long as Jake Locker remains the Titans starting quarterback, there’s always going to be questions about their offense. Defensively, the Titans will have their struggles converting to a 3-4 and it will likely be very noticeable in their secondary that no longer has cornerback Alterraun Verner. Roethlisberger should have a big Monday night.

Prediction: Win

Week 13 – New Orleans Saints (home) – If only this game were a few weeks later as a lot of snow and sleet could certainly make a difference. Saints quarterback Drew Brees still has plenty of weapons on offense and the Steelers defense will be hard pressed to keep them out of the end zone. The New Orleans defense could be one of the best in the league this season, so I give this one to the visiting Saints.

Prediction: Loss

Week 14 – Cincinnati Bengals (away) – The Steelers will be hard pressed to sweep the Bengals this season, so being as this first meeting is on the road, I will give it to the home team in a close one.

Prediction: Loss

Week 15 – Atlanta Falcons (away) – Falcons wide receivers Roddy White and Julio Jones are going to put up a ton of points this season and if the Steelers front seven can’t put pressure on quarterback Matt Ryan in this game, Roethlisberger is going to have to have a fantastic game in order to win it. This will be another close one, but I have the Falcons winning it at their place.

Prediction: Loss

Week 16 – Kansas City Chiefs (home) – I’m just not a big believer in Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith and I think they made a big mistake when they gave him a big contract. With this game being played in Pittsburgh late in December, the defense should only have to focus on shutting down running back Jamaal Charles. Stay out of Smith’s way and let him lose this one with a pick 6.

Prediction: Win

Week 17 – Cincinnati Bengals (home) – There’s nothing like closing out the season at home against a team that you might have to beat to win the division. The Steelers will do just that.

Prediction: Win

2014 Summary – While I have the Steelers going 10-6 this season, I think it’s more of a reflection on the teams they have on their schedule. Their defense will likely struggle this season at times, but when comes down to quarterback play, the Steelers will have the advantage in several games because they have Roethlisberger. If Roethlisberger remains healthy all season, this team should win no less than nine games. I will give them one more than that. Back to the playoffs they go after back-to-back 8-8 seasons.

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