Thursday, November 8, 2018

Panthers Battle Steelers Thursday Night

Pittsburgh Steelers Football

Steelers and Panthers Playing Well Heading into Showdown



The Carolina Panthers and Pittsburgh Steelers will clash this Thursday night at Heinz Field in what will feel like a playoff game in Steel City. Both teams enter Thursday’s showdown with active winning streaks on the line. They both have first place in their divisions in mind.

It’ll be the first and only time Carolina and Pittsburgh meet this regular season, and just the second time Ben Roethlisberger and Cam Newton have faced each other. Newton will look to even up the all-time series this week.

TV: 8:20 p.m. ET, FOX, NFL Network.

LINE: Steelers -3.5. O/U: 51.

The Steelers started the 2018 season 1-2-1 with the team in a sea of controversy due to the hold-out of Le'veon Bell. Since then the Steelers have run the table, winning four straight games.

While it has been a team effort, the Steelers’ new starting RB, James Conner, has proven that the Steelers can win without Bell. Conner ranks third in the NFL in rushing yards with 599 yards. He has eclipsed the 100-yard plateau in each of his last four games.

WR JuJu Smith-Schuster leads the team in receptions with 53, receiving yards with 672, and 20-plus-yard catches with nine.

Ben Roethlisberger says he's not a fan of Thursday games, and he let his listeners know why on his weekly radio show this week. Roethlisberger has thrown seven touchdowns without an interception in his last two Thursday contests.

Antonio Brown has reeled in three scoring strikes in each of his last two such tilts. The 30-year-old Brown has flourished during games on other days as well, collecting eight touchdowns in his last six games overall. He found the end zone on two occasions to go along with 10 catches in his last encounter with Carolina.

The Panthers have surrendered the eighth-fewest rushing yards in the league this season. The squad will be called upon often to stop Conner. Pro Bowler Luke Kuechly and the Carolina defense may be the difference maker tonight. Kuechly leads the team with 64 tackles

Christian McCaffrey can give Conner a run for his money after totaling 157 scrimmage yards (79 rushing, 78 receiving) in Sunday's 42-28 win over Tampa Bay.

Tight end Greg Olsen made a twisting one-handed catch versus the Buccaneers to reel in a scoring strike for the third straight outing.

PREDICTION: Panthers 28, Steelers 24

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