Steelers Open As 2.5-Point Home Underdogs To Patriots In Week 15

The Pittsburgh Steelers will host the New England Patriots Sunday at Heinz Field and not surprisingly, the home team opened as 2.5-point underdogs to the defending Super Bowl championship, according to vegasinsiders.com.

This now now marks just the second time this season the Steelers have opened a week as underdogs as that previously happened back in Week 6 ahead of their road game against the Kansas City Chiefs. The Steelers wound up beating the Chiefs 19-13 on the road.

As for this Patriots, they’re fresh off of a surprising 27-20 Monday night loss to the Miami Dolphins. In that game, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady completed 24 of his 43 total pass attempts for 233 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. The Patriots offense also failed to convert a single third down against the Dolphins defense on eleven opportunities.

For the season, Brady, who remains a favorite to win the annual NFL MVP award once again, has completed 67.4% of his pass attempts for 3,865 yards with 27 touchdowns and just 6 interceptions. He has also been sacked 29 times in total this season.

The Patriots leading rusher entering Week 15 is running back Dion Lewis as the Pittsburgh product has 607 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 117 total carries. Lewis has also registered 20 receptions for 137 yards and a touchdown this season.

Tight end Rob Gronkowski, who sat out Monday night due a one-game suspension, leads the Patriots in receptions with 55 for 849 yards and 7 touchdowns. Wide receiver Brandin Cooks currently leads the Patriots in receiving yardage entering Week 15 with 924 yards and 5 touchdowns on 54 receptions.

Defensively for the Patriots, safety Devin McCourty leads the team in total tackles with 76 while defensive end Trey Flowers leads the team in sacks with 6 quarterback take-downs. Flowers, however, has missed the Patriots last two games with a rib injury.

Patriots safety Duron Harmon leads the team in interceptions with 3 while flowers and cornerback Malcolm Butler are tied for the team lead in forced fumbles with two each. Butler also leads the Patriots in passes defensed with 11.

Sunday’s game between the Steelers and Patriots is a rematch of last season’s AFC Championship game. The Patriots of course won that game 36-17 at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough. Since Mike Tomlin became the Steelers head coach in 2007 his teams are 2-6 against the Patriots and just 1-6 against them in games that Brady has played in. Those records include the one time the two teams have met in the playoffs which was just last season.

In 12 career games against the Steelers, of which three were playoff matchups, Brady has only been intercepted by a Pittsburgh defense a total of three times. He’s thrown 29 total touchdown passes against the Steelers during his career as well. Since 2007, however, Brady has thrown 22 touchdowns and zero interceptions in the seven total games he’s played against the Steelers, including that lone playoff game.

Should the Steelers beat the Patriots Sunday afternoon at Heinz Field they will clinch a first-round bye in the playoffs. Additionally, should the Steelers ultimately beat the Patriots and the Jacksonville Jaguars ultimately tie or lose their Sunday game against the Houston Texans, Pittsburgh would lock up home field advantage throughout the playoffs.

The over/under total point number for the Steelers Week 15 game against the Patriots opened up at 54.5.

 

  • Talyn Scarbrough

    I thought they played at Heinz field this year. The title says road underdgs?

    Edit * nvm I must’ve read it wrong originally.

  • StrengthOfVictory

    Honestly, I’m surprised the Steelers are that “favored.” This team has everything to prove, having seen what the Patriots have done to them in recent years. We’ll see early on if the defense has answers for Brady, Gronk, and the Patriots’ stable of running backs.

    I’m as curious as the next fan to know the answer.

  • TroymanianDevil

    I think you read it right and it was edited, the url link still says road underdogs and I could’ve sworn I read road underdogs too in the title

  • NinjaMountie

    And the Steelers should be underdogs. I expect them to lose because that’s what they do to the Pats. I will never think they’ll win until they start doing it.
    That being said, I think they’ll win. LMAO

  • 2winz

    that makes no sense lol you think they will win but you are expecting to lose? quite the contradiction, which 1 is it lol

  • gdeuce

    and we’ll see if their defense has an answer for Ben, AB, Bell, JuJu, maybe Bryant

  • Guillermo Garcia-Gomez

    Who do you think should be more scared, based on both this season and the past match ups?

  • NinjaMountie

    It depends on what second you ask me. Right now I think they’ll win….wait, there it just changed.

  • Chris92021

    With New England being favored in this game, this marks the 11th time that the Steelers were home underdogs since Mike Tomlin has been our head coach. Which ten times?

    2010 against Atlanta: +1.5 (opening week with Dennis Dixon at QB) (win in overtime)
    2011 against New England: + 3 (a convincing win)
    2012 against Baltimore: + 3 (Byron Leftwich started at QB) (lost on a Jacoby Jones punt return)
    2013 against Chicago: +2.5 (last Sunday night game we lost) (lost badly but we were in the midst of a 0-4 skid)
    2013 against Detroit: + 3 (won by 10)
    2013 against Cincinnati: +1.5 (the Terence Garvin-Kevin Huber game) (won by double digits)
    2014 against Indianapolis: + 4.5 (we scored 51 that day and won)
    2015 against Baltimore: +2.5 (Michael Vick’s first start and Josh Scobee biffs two 4th quarter FGs) (lost in OT)
    2015 against Arizona: +3.5 (Martavis Bryant scores two TDs with Landry Jones’s first action as a pro) (won)
    2016 against New England: + 7.5 (Landry Jones started this game) (lost)

    So our total record? 6-4 with 4-1 when Big Ben starts those home dog games. I am so happy that we are home dogs because past history has shown Big Ben as a home dog is really good.

  • Ravens Team Gynecologist

    Ugh. Why did you have to remind me of the Scobee game!?

  • BurghBoy412

    I believe this game will be more of the same. Once again we’ll see a Carnell Lake coached secondary be out coached and taken advantage of by inferior athletic Patriots. If this secondary gets torched again I believe it’ll be long past due to start calling for Carnell Lake to be let go. IMO it has been proven time and again that Lake lacks the knowledge to coach DB’s in a very different NFL that he once played. It is my belief that his coaching knowledge and technique that he teaches are outdated and vastly ineffective. It’s time for the Steelers to bring in a coached with more current knowledge of the game and techniques required to thrive in the modern pass heavy NFL.

  • Darth Blount 47

    Good. That just shows the disrespect. I LOVE it. Fuel for the burning, churning, fire of desire.

    Pats are so worried and nervous, they had to go out and sign Kenny Britt to a 2-year deal.

  • Marcel Chris Chauvet

    54.5 huh? I’ll take the over. Based on the way these 2 defenses played last week, I’d take the over if it were 60. Lol

  • Chris92021

    I wish I could erase that ^%#$ out of my head too!

  • Chris92021

    Britt is good for a late drop or three.

  • BurghBoy412

    Thanks for the research!

  • John

    I just don’t see how we can cover the Pats. We talk about playing man to man. But we have no one to cover the backs out of the backfield; we can never cover Gronk; and if Coty starts or plays they will pick on him all day. And that is just getting started. We have had no consistent pass rush in weeks except for blitzes and schemed rushes. Brady is far too veteran to be fooled much there. I see it being the usual Pats walking down the field with pitch and catch and then 5-8 yard surprise runs. We will need a blocked kick, a fluke fumble and something else to even have the ball enough to maybe win. That is what logic says at least. I realize the games sometimes go differently but is is hard to get one’s mind there. Let’s hope I am wrong. Maybe Brady will get hurt and leave the game.

  • DarthYinzer

    He Shalt Not Be Named!

  • Ichabod

    Can’t see us stopping Brady.
    That said, if O shows up, they won’t stop us.
    We must win or their dominance continues.

  • westcoasteeler

    We need to step on the gas peddle and not let up. Run Bell to keep Brady off the field. Score TDs not FGs. Our second halfs have been game savers. We need to put it away early. I’m nervous about our D.

  • Darth Blount 47

    I’d be shocked if he plays this game at all.

  • Dan

    I don’t think I’d bet anything on this game. So much at stake, so much emotion going on. Anything could happen. But yeah, seems likely they’ll blow way past 55.

  • Lucious Myers

    I expect to see a lot of runs in this game to protect Brady.

  • Jones

    Yeah, we should just call & forfeit to save them the flight…

  • Jaybird

    I’d be shocked if he contributes anything at all this year for them . If the Steelers signed this scrub along with an injured M Bennett, our fan base would be calling for Colbert’s head. They are just wasting cap space ( good) . But for some reason our fans think every player that goes to up there turns into an All Pro.

  • Ring4Shaz

    Jesse James really arrived on Sunday. If he can keep delivering like that, and with JuJu back, this group is going to be hard to stop.

  • SOV, you might recheck that…the Steelers ARE the underdogs–it’s the Patriots who are favored, and rightfully so [unfortunately].

  • Ring4Shaz

    So the only home underdog loss with Ben under Tomlin was the Chicago game in ’13? Looks like the 4 wins with Ben were all convincing.

  • Chris92021

    And I’ve come to the conclusion we are just flat out awful against the Bears. Then again, we did beat them in 2005 (the Jerome Bettis truck stick over Urlacher game) and 1995 (overtime game). But yes, all 4 wins by Big Ben while home dogs were decisive, including the 2011 game against Tom Brady and the Patriots.

  • We can be sure they’ll do whatever it takes on the back-end to limit AB as much as possible and negate his impact in key situations [as they did in last year’s AFC title game]. They’re the best in the league at negating a team’s offensive strengths. Meanwhile, the front seven will key on Bell and try to shut him down by matching his patience the way the Ravens and Bengals have tried to do for years…by not attacking the gaps and creating late-forming lanes for Bell to burst through but rather maintain gap integrity until he’s swamped in the wash of bodies.

    If these things happen, and I think they will as do the supposed experts, it’ll be up to Ben, Juju, MB, Outlaw [and/or McDonald if he can play] to consistently make the Patriots pay for their focus on AB & Bell. Ultimately, the game will rest on how well our non-stars perform.

  • Ring4Shaz

    It’s good to break it down like this. I want to review the Steelers games against Brady. Media keeps throwing around “2-10 record”, but I have a feeling a lot of those were not at equal strength, such as the 2016 Landry start. Be more interesting to see how they match up when they have a similar mix of healthy starters and injured starters. Right now, the Pats certainly don’t feel sorry for the Steelers injuries, with all their injuries on defense, O-line, wide receiver, and running back. They were using a 4th stringer on the O-line last night.

    Like last year’s title game, the Steelers lost Bell to a groin injury after 11 snaps, they were down to starting Cobi Hamilton at receiver, Cameron Heyward was on IR, and Tuitt was playing on a sprained knee. On the other side, the Pats were without Gronk.

  • Reader783

    Vick also missed WIDE open AB to put the game on ice before it even got to OT. That game stung badly.

  • heath miller

    thank you oddsmakers.. love being the dog at home … woof woof

  • Ring4Shaz

    Crazy to look at the box score from the 2011 game. The TDs were scored by AB, Mewelde Moore (retired), Deion Branch (retired), and Aaron Hernandez (dead after a murder conviction). Things change fast in this league, and past years’ games have pretty much nothing to do with the present.

  • The thing is…I’d LOVE it if we beat them this week, but it’ll only make me neurotic [more than I will be anyway;] re the rematch if we make it [and they do] to the AFCCG. After all, has any team ever beaten a Brady-led Pats team twice in one year with the second win in the playoffs? On the other hand, if we lose this week–especially if it’s a blow out–I’ll be even more despondent, more depressed, and more suicidal re our chances in a rematch. I HATE the Patriots and what they do to my mental health [I need a drink]!

  • Marcel Chris Chauvet

    I’ll tell you what Dan… You can bet that I’ll be cursing at my television while the game’s being played. That’s a wager I guarantee you won’t lose. Haha

  • Sam Clonch

    EFFING SCOBEE!!!!!! Had finally forgot!

  • Ring4Shaz

    Absolutely. Couldn’t ask for a better gift from Vegas.

  • Ring4Shaz

    If the Steelers win this week, Pats route to the AFCCG gets much rougher. J’ville can win out and bump them down to a #3 seed. Even at #2, they’d probably have to face the Ravens, KC/SD, or J’ville in the divisional round, all of whom match up pretty good with excellent d-line play. I’ll bet they will be desperate for a win on Sunday.

  • WB Tarleton

    Let’s not read much into one career game. In fact, when your career game is 92 yards, that says it all. Terrible YAC, YPC, and simply is just some unathletic guy out there who happens to be a terrible blocker as well.

    Kudos for making the catches but he benefited from the Steelers “taking what they were giving.” Any random TE would have had a good game.

  • FanInExile

    We also didn’t have our starting TE either (Ladarius Green). We were missing quite a few more key parts than they were. Things seem a bit more even this year, though the hole Shaz leaves is…well, the Raisins showed how big it is. We’ve got a healthy, fresh and hungry Deebo, though, so I’m hoping that will compensate a bit on passing downs.

  • FanInExile

    I hesitate even to bring it up, but stupid penalties – that we would deserve – could be a key factor here. Over 100 yards in penalties against another hated Conference (and Division) rival last week. This had better be a topic of discussion during meetings this week. If I see more than one personal foul on the Steelers, the whole neighborhood will know my displeasure.

  • Ring4Shaz

    Pats are down linebackers and DB’s right now too, however.

  • Ring4Shaz

    Just sayin’, it was a much more positive sign than his usual 1 catch on 2 or 3 targets.

  • PittShawnC

    Bell played almost the entire 1st Q. We were already down 10-0 when he left.

  • Dewayne Braxton

    Well the fact is we struggle some in the red zone. And this team cannot just line up and pound teams. I don’t think the Pats are worried. Because Brady has had his way with the defense I think they are looking forward this game. We just gave up 38 to one the worst offenses in the league.

  • PittShawnC

    In 7 of the 12 meetings with TB12, we’ve trotted a top 10 scoring offense out on the field.

    0-7
    16ppg
    We’re 8th this season

  • FanInExile

    The year before that, the Jets beat the Patriots in NJ in Week 2, got absolutely shelled by them in Foxboro in Week 13, and then beat them in the Division round in Foxboro six weeks later. They then lost to…yes, the Steelers the following week in the AFCC, who then two weeks later….sorry, never mind.

  • Dewayne Braxton

    John I see the same scenarios as you do.

  • FanInExile

    And they’re quite pi$$ed to have lost to a lesser(?) division foe, and also to have failed to lock up their division, last night. Their motivation levels will be incalculably high for this game. I hope the Steelers’ motivation is at least fractionally higher.

  • Ring4Shaz

    Steelers are playing for Shaz, you can tell it’s just pure, raw emotion at this point.

  • Danielsteelstrong81

    No Heyward, no watt, no juju, no bryant, no Haden… We have some good new players

  • Dan

    If the Steelers are going to win this week, they have to play 100% mistake free. No bad turnovers, no dumb penalties. The loss of Shazier hurts the defense something awful, and motivation can only cover so many holes. Go out and execute, guys. You will need near-perfection here.

  • PittShawnC

    Cool, thx for update I had no idea

  • Ken Krampert

    One huge advantage NE has will be gameplanning. Belichick and staff are always several steps ahead of Tomlin and staff. Brady will utilize the up tempo offense early and we will be on our heals. They will know we are struggling to get aligned defensively without Shazier. Special Teams will also be a huge advantage. They will kickoff short all game and control field position. I also predict several defensive breakdowns and Cooks will have a huge game. We also will miss multiple tackles on Meathead and he will score twice. Their RBs are going to kill us with the screen game underneath. This is going to be ugly and we won’t have answers.
    Reality sucks…

  • Richard Cetrone

    Hahaha

  • NinjaMountie

    LOL…..Welcome Debbie! I see you’ve taken more than your allotment of downers tonight.

  • NinjaMountie

    That’s way too harsh. As a person that hasn’t exactly been thrilled with James I would never call him unathletic. He’s actually not bad in that department. As far as his YAC goes, some of that can be attributed to how they’ve used him in the past.
    I’m not going to argue with you about his blocking, it’s definitely sub-par. However, he has good hands, not terrible speed and catches contested balls well.
    He showed in more than a few games he can move if you get him the ball in space.
    Give him some credit. He made a couple of very difficult catches, ones tht I don’t think any “random TE” would have. I know Vance wouldn’t.

  • Dan

    That’s been my routine the last several weeks. Can’t wait to have a lead throughout a game and win with more than a field goal.

  • Ken Krampert

    Ya, and you will be the first one whining like a little girl when it all comes true ninja turtle, or whatever your cute little fictitious name is…..

  • NinjaMountie

    Haha, and that comment shows how little you’ve been on this site.
    What’s the matter, Debbie. A little joke hurt your feelings? Toughen up.

  • Steve Johnson

    Typically, their Defense has done a far better job defending the Steelers. If Tomlin comes out trying to run that Tampa 2 Bull-Bleep, Shame On Him and Keith Butler. To be honest with you, I thought they would be double digit under dogs.

  • Steve Johnson

    The Steelers Secondary & Carnell Lake.

  • Steve Johnson

    No, the difference maker will be Gronk. And another thing, I’m so sick of Tomlin reiterating over-and-over during his press conferences how the Defense needs to clean some things up. Then Clean It Up!

  • gdeuce

    and our offence scored 39 against a much better defense than they have

  • Roberto Vaquero Bazán

    Wow, Oz The oracle has spoken!

  • Ring4Shaz

    Hate it when they go back on their heals. Although Haden and Shazier and Matakevich could use some heals, so maybe it’s not a bad thing.

    You forgot to mention the 7 TDs and 600 yards Ben is going to throw for by the way. So I guess the “ugly” part you are talking about is on the Pats side?

  • Ring4Shaz

    So you’re saying they’re due.

  • Dewayne Braxton

    In New England whenever scrubs fail to contribute they get rid of them, but the Steelers end up starting them ( Jonathan Scott-Antwone Blake).

  • Michael James

    Well, I don’t think it has much to do with disrespect. It’s not like the Patriots are 7-point favorites.
    I think the line is pretty accurate to be honest. Until Butler proves that he can put out a functional defense against NE (and not the joke plan that he came up with for the AFC championship game), I wouldn’t bet against Brady & Co.

  • Darth Blount 47

    It’s disrespectful because in a matchup of two “even” teams, the home team is supposed to have a built-in 3 point betting line advantage, historically. And since the Pats are favored by 2.5, that’s almost like saying they are 5.5 favorites, essentially, negating our 3 and giving them 2.5 credit, more.

    On top of that, WE are the 11-2 team. WE are the team that has an 8-game winning streak. And we are the team that therefore ISN’T coming off any loss.

    You can’t look at past rosters when determining what this entire season’s roster has shown it capable of. Honestly, I think Vegas knows what is up and this is just a way to make sure money comes in on New England. Most amateur bettors like to take the favorites. The public pounds NE, and when Pittsburgh wins, the books can sit back and laugh.

  • Taylor Williams

    It goes beyond just getting rid of Lake.
    The entire defense will need to be revamped.
    We are a cover 2 team and will continue to be a cover 2 team unless we get rid of Tomlin and co. That won’t happen

    I refuse to believe our DBs can’t play press man. Especially if hadens back. Burns has press corner abilities, he’s trash in zone because he can’t tackle. Even press zone could work if we mix it up. There’s no reason we should be getting destroyed by slot receivers. The only real threat should be gronk.
    Put Davis on him with Mitchell deep. Hilton should be able to handle those scrub slot guys.

    The pats will expect us to play zone and some man, it’s time for us to mix up the coverages and smack Brady with a 4-5 man rush.

  • 2winz

    lol I hope youre right, unless you change your mind :b but in all seriousness, I hope the Steelers use Bell more as a receiver once again this week much like they did last week and even more so like the dolphins did against the pats. Bell is better than drake, and he will be a matchup nightmare for those linebackers.

  • Quan Hurst

    This is going to be Haley v McDaniels

  • StrengthOfVictory

    Yes, I know. That’s why I put the quotation marks around “favored.” Because, to only open as 2.5 underdogs to the Pats, it feels like the Steelers are being favored. In other words, I’m surprised the Pats aren’t favored by more.

  • Ken Krampert

    Oh, poor ninja turtle sounding like the loserish Debbie downer…
    Toughen up buckaroo….

  • Ken Krampert

    Hey, don’t you have some video games to get back to in your mommy’s basement. Pop in Mutant ninja turtles in the VCR. You know….
    glory days…

  • Ken Krampert

    I hope you are right. But I live in the real world.

  • Ken Krampert

    You’re welcome

  • Steeldog22

    But Scobee eventually led us to Boz so all good.

  • Ichabod

    How is this for neurotic?
    Pats lose last week…can they lose 2 on a row
    Ben over 500 yrs and no ints…can he have 2 great games in a row?
    How many games in a row can “wizard of Box” hit the clutch one

    If we don’t beat them here, it’s hard to imagine us beating them in NE in the AFCCG

    A championship team can do this. We shall see if we have one…Here We Go!

  • Conserv_58

    IMO, the surest remedy for people suffering from sleep deprivation, watch a Bill Belichik interview.

  • Conserv_58

    This report is sponsored by the “Bill Belichick For President Committee”. 🙂

  • Michael James

    In all honesty, given the ass-whooping the Pats handed out to the Steelers in each of the past 4 games, I think the line is fair.
    Until the Steelers (especially Butler and his defense) show that they have at least some kind of a plan to stop them, we shouldn’t be complaining about being underdogs.

  • Kysteeler

    I really hope that the Steelers keep their foot on the gas all game, and get Bell going in the passing game.

    Interesting note, Brady has 5 turnovers in the last 3 games and the Pats are playing in their 5th road game in 6 weeks.

  • pittfan

    Reality! Great job of masterminding the Fins game!
    Bet the house on the New England Masters of The Universe.
    Cant lose!

  • ThatGuy

    Including their 3rd straight road game.

  • You’re right. If the Pats lose to us and the Jags win out, the Pats would most likely play the Ravens or Titans at home in the WC round, then go on the road to J-Ville and come to Pitts again for the AFCCG.

    HUGE game this week for us and them. If we lose we’d at least still control our fate re the valuable #2 seed. If the Pats lose, they fall to the #3 seed and have to pray the Jags lose another game, or they’re maybe facing the Ravens, Jags, and us.

  • Ken Krampert

    Low football IQs would think that. Line is down to 2 here in Vegas and i will be betting the Patriots. It will be money well lost if the Steelers can overcome what a bad matchup this team is for us, but unfortunately, I will just have to collect my winnings when it is all said and done.

  • Conserv_58

    Well, hopefully the Mike Hilton and Joe Haden affect will reap rewards that were not possible with the personnel they had in those positions last February.

  • Ken Krampert

    More like the “Belichick is a way better coach than Tomlin committee”.

  • Conserv_58

    The Steelers have Cam Heyward and Le’Veon Bell playing in this game and both were MIA for the AFCCG. They also have Mike Hilton and hopefully, Joe Haden starting in roles that they were not playing for the Steelers in that game. I’m Praying that Carnell was able to get Sean Davis to see the errors of his ways because Sean has got to play much smarter come Sunday, especially against Gronk. Mike Mitchell will still be dealing with his high ankle sprain. The obvious glaring issue on defense is attempting to solidify Ryans spot.

  • Conserv_58

    BAH! Remove Brady from that line up and it’s a whole different ball game. Brady’s talent makes Belichik look better than he is. The so called genius couldn’t fix the other teams he coached for.

  • Conserv_58

    Your first sentence is exactly what I think must be done. Mercilessly and relentlessly attack. Take no prisoners and keep on attacking. Don’t let ’em breath. If Brady goes no huddle then Ben can do the same. Hit Brady hard and often and make him afraid of his own shadow. Impose their will and they will prevail.

  • pittfan

    Bet the house! Don’t be all talk and no action!!

  • Ken Krampert

    Haha, “bet the house ” thats amateur talk. I will bet a nice sum. Unfortunately, The Pats have covered the last 4 times we played. All losses/wins for me. Id rather lose the money. I will give you 2 if you want to put YOUR money where your mouth is. I would rather take your money than the books based on your snotty attitude. Come on Action Jackson….

  • Darth Blount 47

    I’m not complaining, I clearly said: “Good.” I like being underdogs in a game I think we are gonna win.

  • pittfan

    Listen to Mr. Vegas here! Sorry, Wayne Newton, I’m not the one confused about the difference between facts and opinions .

  • Ken Krampert

    You could say that about any team that has a franchise qb. If you think Belichick is overrated, then your football IQ is at slow adult level…..Belichick with Hoyer beats Tomlin with Jones everyday…

  • Ken Krampert

    I think Wayne Newton is dead, but anyway, facts are that NE has covered the last 4 games while blowing us out. So I guess you are punking out on our bet? Haha, have fun with this later if we win. I will welcome the needling…..

  • WB Tarleton

    They use him in the only ways he can function. How many pole routes or seam routes do you see him run? Why? Because he is not athletic enough to do so. The ONLY aspect of JJ’s game that is superior, or even close to Vance’s is “hands.” Everything else is hardly debatable (unless you count durability). He makes tough catches because he cannot get open on his own.

    BTW, Vance had 52 yards in a fraction of the playing time before he got injured. This game was about the Ravens trying to make the Steelers beat them over the middle. It was the perfect game for the TE’s to shine. Kudos to Jesse for making the catches but that does not make him less of a below average TE.

  • pittfan

    I don’t need another bookie Wayne but thanks anyways. Since I’ve never claimed to be a high roller anyways I’ll lay my usual small bet on my favorite team. That way winning is double the fun and the biggest down side to losing is my team takes an L. Now winning will be doubly sweet because not only will I have a little more goofing money but I’ll also get the feed a heap of crow to the nattering neighbobs of doom. Can’t wait!!

  • Ken Krampert

    Good luck…..

  • NinjaMountie

    We’ll just have to agree to disagree when it comes to some things about J James.
    First, I don’t think he’s a seem busting TE. We don’t get to have All-Pros at every position. I hope QB, RB and WR is enough. He’s an ADEQUATE pass catcher.
    As far as his hands and Vance, there is no comparison. JJ has MUCH better hands.
    Is Vance a better TE? Certainly! When he’s healthy and catches the ball. I would never argue that.

  • Balok’s Plight

    sounds right

  • Dewayne Braxton

    Unless the pass rush improves Brady doesn’t have to worry.