Steelers (-6) – Despite starting the season 1-4 and losing their QB last season, the Steelers fought back to an 8-5 mark before dropping their final 3 games. The big reason for that was their great defense that ranked #5 in the league in points allowed at 18.9 points per game. The defense is projected to be tough again this season. The Steelers also get Roethlisberger at QB who is coming back from shoulder surgery. He said earlier this week that he will be a little nervous at the beginning of this game. Lucky for him, this Giants defense ranked #30 out of #32 last season so he couldn’t really ask for a better matchup to come back to. Danny Dimes started his career 3-9 and threw 12 interceptions and fumbled 6 times. Tough to win when you turn the ball over at that rate. The Giants have a new coaching staff highlighted by former Cowboys coach Jason Garrett as the offensive coordinator. I think another bad season of growing pains is in store for the Giants and it starts tonight.
Result – Winner – Steelers 26 Giants 16 – The Steelers defense was dominant in this game and 10 of the Giants 16 points came due to a muffed punt where the Giants got the ball inside the Steelers 5 yard line and a bad pass interference call on 3rd and long which led to a touchdown pass for the Giants on the very next play. Benny Snell Jr. had a great game and allowed the Steelers to control this game. Big Ben threw for 3 touchdown passes.
Titans (-155) – The Titans made it to the AFC Championship last season and had a 10 point lead before blowing it to the Chiefs. The core of that Titans team is back and they will be tough again this season. They will lean on running back Derrick Henry who just signed a big contract in the offseason. Henry ran for a career best 1,540 yards last season. The Broncos will be without Von Miller who is the playmaker of this Broncos defense. They will have a tall task to slow down Henry tonight even though they held him to 28 yards last season. The Broncos will also be without their #1 receiver tonight due to injury. Despite the fact that the Broncos beat the Titans 16-0 last season. There’s more uncertainty with the Broncos and I like the Titans to feed Henry and lean on their defense that held opponents to 20 points per game last season. That game in Denver last season came before this Titans team found their identity and finished the season by going 9-3 over their final 12 games. TITAN UP!
Results – Winner – Titans 16 Broncos 14 – This one came down to a last minute field goal from Stephen Gostkowski for us to get the win. It wouldn’t have come down to that if he didn’t miss 3 field goals and an extra point earlier in the game! You could see it on his face that he did not look confident going into the final kick but it was such a chip shot he was able to hit it for us.
Derrick Henry Total Rushing Yards Over (98.5) – Henry went over 100 rushing yards in 5 of the final 6 regular season games last year and 2 of the 3 playoff games. He ran for 188, 159, 149, 103, 211, 182, & 195 in those games which blow away the number that the line is set at 98.5 tonight. There’s no reason for the Titans to change up their game plan of feed the rock to Henry since that got them to the AFC Championship last season. Denver shut him down last year but I’m expecting Henry to go over 98.5 tonight.
Result – Winner – Henry 116 rushing yards – The Denver defense was tough on Henry and he was stood up on many of his carries. However, as expected, the Titans handed the ball off to him 31 times and he was able to go over his player prop of 98.5 rushing yards for us. The over came on the late last minute, game winning drive. This was a fun one to watch!