The 8-5 Steelers face what's essentially a playoff game heading into Week 15. Needing to strengthen their grip on the slippery AFC wild-card spots (they're currently the fifth seed in the AFC), as well as to put themselves in position to leap over the Cincinnati Bengals atop the AFC North (Cincinnati has led the division from the start of the season and plays at Cleveland on Sunday), they'll take on the 5-8 Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome in Week 15.
In that game, the Steelers could see their prolific wide receiver/running back combo of Antonio Brown and Le'Veon Bell set a few individual milestones.
Bell, at 1,924 yards from scrimmage, could become the second Steelers running back to eclipse the 2,000-yard mark. In fact, Bell is set to top Barry Foster's club record of 2,034 yards from scrimmage, a mark set in 1992. At the pace he's on, it would seem likely he'll break it sometime during the third quarter. Bell is the second player in NFL history to have 200 yards from scrimmage in three consecutive games.
Brown is the only player in the league so far to top 100 catches (105), and he just lost possession of the lead on the receiving yards list to Julio Jones. With his next 25 receiving yards, he'll break his own club record of 1,399, set last season. With only an average day (eight catches), he'll tie Hines Ward's franchise record of 113 catches.
Both players should be considered likely for average performances, at least, against Atlanta in a neutral weather environment. Atlanta, after taking the brunt of the Packers' offensive onslaught in Green Bay on Monday night, are last in the NFL in pass-defense, surrendering 287 passing yards per game. They're 21st in run defense, giving up 122.9 yards per game.
This would suggest the Steelers have a significant advantage, but it's the same advantage they held over Tampa Bay, Jacksonville the Jets and the Saints earlier this year, only to get middling performances, at best.
The key difference between the Steelers team that wins and the one that loses has been the consistency of the offensive line. The Steelers may get right tackle Marcus Gilbert back for the Falcons game after missing the last two weeks with a concussion. Mike Adams as been sub-par as his replacement, but the rest of the group played very well against the Bengals in a Week 14 win.
Bell and Brown should pace the Steelers in this game and should be beneficial to your playoff Fantasy team, or in any Fanduel format.
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