If you follow this article on a weekly basis, you know I like to pick the Pittsburgh Steelers. I run this fine establishment, and I’m not about to hide my black-and-gold heart, but I also have a huge amount of faith and hope in this football team. While some see a team so full of drama and indecision, I see a team brimming with talent and poised to strike.
Nonetheless, picking the winner of inter-conference games like the Steelers vs. Packers in Week 12 is never an easy practice. The Steelers opened as 13.5-point favorites against Green Bay, and everything on paper says this is a slam-dunk pick.
I guess there’s a reason why the outcome of these NFL games doesn’t occur on paper, but on the gridiron.
In any case, the Steelers are by far the superior team from a talent and record standpoint, and one would hope the team will build off of the confidence gained in their Week-11 game win over the Titans and put the hammer down with the Packers missing their Most Valuable Player, Aaron Rodgers.
However, if the Steelers have shown fans anything this season, it’s that they can start games slow and allow inferior teams the chance to hang around far longer than they should. They also have shown, when given a long period of time off, they can come out of the gate at a slug’s pace.
But all of this is likely to change in Week 12 for several reasons.
First, they’re at home. A huge difference from the Steelers away from Heinz Field. Second, the game is under the bright lights of prime-time. Ben Roethlisbeger’s record is ridiculous at Heinz Field in prime-time, and if there’s one player who shines brighter on the biggest stage, it’s Antonio Brown. Lastly, the Steelers will be honoring the inaugural Hall of Honor class, and this matters to the current crop of players. Seeing the Hall of Famers walking around the facility will have the team focused and fired up.
After all of that, it should be clear who I think will win this Week-12 showdown on Sunday Night Football, but will it be close?
I fully expect Brett Hundley to make more plays this week than he did last week in a shutout loss to the Ravens, but the Steelers’ offense and defense will gradually warm to the task and prove worthy of victory.
My final score:
Steelers - 37
Packers - 17