Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Washington Redskins
Date and Time: Monday, September 12, 2016, 7:10 p.m. ET
Location: FedEx Field, Landover, MD
Week 1 NFL Odds at BookMaker.eu: Steelers -3, O/U 50
Steelers vs. Redskins TV Coverage: ESPN
The Steelers will try once again to win high scoring games in 2016 but they may not be as good on offense as they are without Martavis Bryant who is suspended for the season and they will be without Le’Veon Bell for the first three games.
Pittsburgh will no longer have Heath Miller who retired but they are hoping that Ladarius Green will be ready for Week 1 and pick up the slack for the loss of Miller.
Pittsburgh still has Roethlisberger who threw for nearly 4,000 yards last season in just 12 games and they have Brown who has become the top receiver in the league. Pittsburgh also has a very good backup running back in DeAngelo Williams who filled in nicely when Bell was out of the lineup last season.
On the other side, the Redskins should find success on offense with Kirk Cousins throwing to a plethora of targets led by Reed who had 11 TDs last season. Cousins will be throwing the ball against a Pittsburgh defense that allowed the third-most passing yards in the league. The Steelers did take Artie Burns and Sean Davis in the draft as they look to shore up their back end but rarely do rookies make a huge difference in the secondary.
Washington upgraded their defense in the off-season getting Josh Norman but the Redskins are still not considered one of the best defenses in the league. Washington was well below average overall last season in total defense as they ranked 28th in the league.
Matchup to Watch
It will be must see TV on Monday night when Brown goes up against Josh Norman. Brown is considered the top receiver in the game while Norman is arguably the best cornerback. Brown had 136 receptions for 1,834 yards and 11 touchdowns last season.
Norman allowed more than 50 yards in a game just once last season while with the Panthers. Pro Football Focus has Washington’s cornerback duo of Norman and Bashaud Breeland ranked as third best in the NFL. Teammate DeSean Jackson said that Norman is ready to take on top receivers.
“He’s known to be a top corner in this league so everybody is supposedly like, ‘He’s supposed to stop whoever it is that’s coming out there,’” Jackson said, “But it’s challenging on both sides. As far as his intangibles, his length, his arms, he’s got some great intangibles with his game. He’ll be ready for the season.”
If the Redskins are to win this game then Norman has to keep Brown from having a big night.
Steelers vs. Redskins Free Picks
The Steelers opened as 3-point favorites in this contest and the line has not moved. The total on this game opened at 50.5 and has dropped down slightly to 50. This should be a high scoring game as both teams have potent offenses and weak defenses. The Steelers were awful against the pass last season and Washington was not much better. Pittsburgh allowed 271.9 passing yards per game last season while Washington allowed 258 passing yards per contest.
The trends are a bit concerning to betting the over as the Steelers have gone under in their last four road games and the last five meetings in this series have gone under the odds at BookMaker.eu.
Regardless of the trends, both teams have potent passing attacks going against weak defenses so I will take this game over the total.
Steelers vs. Redskins Week 1 ATS Pick: Over 50 at BookMaker.eu
Steelers vs. Redskins Score Prediction: Steelers 31 – Redskins 30