Free NFL Picks Pittsburgh Steelers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers 9-26-10

September 23, 2010

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Pittsburgh Steelers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Sunday September 26th, 2010 1 PM EST

The Line: Pittsburgh -3

This game has surprisingly sparked a lot of intrigue across the league. This will be the Bucaneers’ first true test, as the two undefeated teams square off in week three. The battle tested Steelers have no consistency at the quarterback position, and will be forced to seek help from the rest of the team to come away with a victory. With the Buccaneers eager to prove to the doubters that the are a legitimate football team, this could get interesting.

The Steelers proved twice they can win with average to below average quarterback play. Take a look at the box score last week against the Titans. Charlie Batch was the team’s leading passer, netting a whopping 25 yards. Given that the Steelers came away with a victory, you might assume Rashard Mendenhall had a career day, but nothing could be further from the truth. Pittsburgh amassed a total of 106 rushing yards. The grand total of total offensive yards was 127. Special teams compensated for the struggling offense, accounting for all of the 19 points scored, including an 89 yard kickoff return from Antonio Brown and four Jeff Reed field goals. Pittsburgh has the ability to win with just about anyone under center. Their style likens Tampa Bay when they went to a Super Bowl with Brad Johnson. The Steeler defense came up big and put their offense in a position where they did not have to come back from behind to win. They kept Chris Johnson bottled up and forced Vince Young out of the game.

The Bucs have surely turned some heads by jumping out to an unexpected 2-0 start. I don’t want to take anything away from the Bucs, but their victories are less impressive than their opposition this week. Beating the Browns and the Panthers are two victories that command little respect. It is difficult to see the Bucs having any sort of success on offense. Chris Johnson is one of the most electrifying players in the NFL, and the Steelers did a great job of containing him last week. Josh Freeman is sort of a worse version of Vince Young. He is athletic, with above average leadership qualities who has a big arm and questionable accuracy. This should make the Steelers’ defensive game plan relatively similar to last week. If the Bucs have their running game smothered, Josh Freeman is going to be rattled from all of the blitz packages the Steelers hit him with. Pittsburgh proved they can find a way to win, even when they can’t get anything going offensively. Tampa’s defense is nothing like it used to be, so Mendenhall should find some room to roam free. As long as Pittsburgh wins the field position battle and the the offense never has to come from behind, they should come away with a victory.

Pick: Pittsburgh -3




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