Steelers Open As 3-Point Road Favorites Over Lions In Week 8

The Pittsburgh Steelers will go back on the road in Week 8 and play the Detroit Lions on Sunday Night Football. The 3-3 Lions are coming off their bye week and probably still stinging a little bit from their 52-38 road loss to the New Orleans Saints in Week 5. Not surprisingly, the 5-2 Steelers opened as 3-point road favorites this week over the Lions, according to vegasinsider.com.

After opening their 2017 season with wins over the New York Giants and Arizona Cardinals, the Lions have lost three of their last four games with their only win coming against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 4. Their .500 record aside, the Lions have averaged 26.8 points scored per game in their first six contests of 2017.

The Lions offense is led by veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford, who enters Week 8 with 12 touchdown passes and 4 interceptions. He’s completed 60.4% of his pass attempts so far this season on his way to throwing for 1,428 yards. Stafford, however, has been sacked 23 times so far this season.

The Lions have two experienced wide receivers in Golden Tate and Marvin Jones. Tate leads the team in both receptions (36) and receiving yardage (363), while Jones enters Week 8 with 20 receptions for 280 yards. The two players have combined to catch five touchdown passes from Stafford. Tate, however, is still recovering from a shoulder injury that he suffered in the Lions loss to the Saints and he’s reportedly still wearing a sling as of Monday afternoon. It will now be interesting to see if he’s ultimately able to play Sunday night against the Steelers.

The Lions rushing attack is led by running back Ameer Abdullah. He enters Week 8 with 342 yards rushing and a touchdown on 90 total carries. Abdullah also has 10 catches on the season for 68 yards.

Defensively, the Lions enter Week 8 with 13 sacks on the season. Defensive ends Anthony Zettel and Ezekiel Ansah are tied for the Lions team lead in that statistical category while linebacker Tahir Whitehead currently leads the team in total tackles with 38. As a team, the Lions have registered 14 total takeaways on the season with 9 of those being interceptions. Cornerback Darius Slay leads the team in interceptions with 3 while safety Glover Quin is close on heels with 2.

Against the run so far this season the Lions defense has allowed an average of 94.3 rushing yards per game and an average yards per carry of 3.75 yards.

The Steelers are 8-1 in their last 9 games that they’ve played against the Lions with their only loss coming on Thanksgiving Day in 1998. I’m sure I don’t need to remind you about what happened during that 19-16 overtime loss at the old Pontiac Silverdome.

In the one and only game that Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has played in Detroit against the Lions he threw for 277 and three touchdowns in a 2009 28-20 win. He was also sacked three times in that game and threw one interception which ultimately was returned 38 yards for a touchdown by then-Lions cornerback William James.

The Steelers will have their bye week following Sunday’s game against the Lions and it would be nice to see them enter it on a winning note and thus enter the second half of their 2017 regular season with a 6-2 record and as the No. 1 seed in the AFC.

  • Darth Blount 47

    This game sets up so perfectly for us, it is almost like a dream. The Lions Bye week did come at a good time for them, though, so I am a bit nervous. However, I’m definitely laying those 3 points and feeling good about it. Their run game is not scary, as they haven’t had a 100 yarder rusher since the Clinton administration. Their best WR has an AC joint sprain and will likely be missing. Stafford is banged up. Their O-Line struggles to protect him. And though their D is opportunistic, all we have to do to counter that, is not give them an opportunity.

    Ben plays exceedingly well in domes in his career. And the fast track, out of the weather, is exactly what the doctor ordered for our Offense. Honestly, I’m so excite that we get to watch this game on Sunday Night Football. I think we are due for a real explosion. And 6-2 is well within our sights. To be that, going into our own Bye week, atop the AFC, with all we’ve had to endure as a fanbase/organization, would truly be dreamy.

  • nutty32

    Lions the king of the furious multi-score comebacks. DB’s aka Artie Burns better not go to sleep until the clock strikes 00:00.
    Lions new uniforms look pretty cool. That fat stripe on the helmet makes them look like F150’s out there.

  • pittfan

    I’ll give the 3 now before it gets bigger.

  • Rocksolid20

    The games seems very similar to the Bears game earlier
    this season ?!

  • derp_diggler

    Two things:
    1) I was at that game back in ’98. Sitting up in the nosebleeds, even I heard Bettis say tails!
    2) Ben has played one other game in Detroit , back in early 2006. It was kind of a big game as I recall 😉

  • Darth Blount 47

    There are quite a few big differences. The Bears running game with Howard and Cohen and their O-Line, is vastly superior to Detroit. And comparing Stafford to Glennon is hilarious, except that in that context, you are certainly right that we should be much more afraid of Stafford. Playing in the dome versus outside on that terribly suspect field in Chicago, also changes the element. And speaking of elements, no wind, no rain, and no oddly spooky historical record of us being 1-12 against the Lions like we are the Bears, in Chicago.

    I will say that the defenses are quite similar, except the Lions live a bit more of off INT’s than do the Bears. But less off of sacks. Because of that, Ben should stay fairly clean, and have a real opportunity if he is accurate with his throws.

  • JT

    Discounting weird “Sunday Night Football Broadcasts” on Thursdays, this team hasn’t lost on SNF since the great Chicago dumpster fire of 2013. This is a prime time team.

  • Darth Blount 47

    Ah yes, I was at that game. I still believe there may be a lingering stench in some of my clothes, from the vomit that I unleashed in the parking lot after that game. The smell of gin, sadness, and regret.

    Down 17-0 after the first quarter. 5 Turnovers. Us starting Johnathan Dwyer. Ben fumbling 3 times. Giving up 2 defensive TD’s. A furious comeback that was entirely short-lived. Ben throwing for 400 yards in a total losing effort. Sending us to 0-3 and the Bears to 3-0.

    But hey, who can really recall? I do love how we have decidedly bounced back in prime-time ever since.

  • JT

    I’ve gone so long without thinking about Dwyer. What a refreshing gulp of Listerine having Bell in the backfield has been.

  • CountryClub

    Tate is supposed to be out for a few weeks. I doubt he makes it back by Sunday.

  • Jason Vancil

    Ugh. On the road against a team off the bye, after a Division Home game win. Probably like a 25% proposition for the Road team. I expect to be 5-3 after this week. Ansah will terrorize Alejandro.Hope I’m wrong.

  • Jon Hartman

    you must be fun at parties, party pooper. relax. the stillers will win this game before bye week. they know they have to win this game.