Happy Friday one and all.
The Arizona Cardinals travel to the Steel City to take on the Pittsburgh Steelers, and we talked with Jarrett Bailey of Behind the Steel Curtain to get to know a bit more about this very interesting Steelers team.
1. The Steelers continue to chug along under Mike Tomlin. Is he the most underrated coach in the NFL still, or is it just outside of Pittsburgh he doesn’t get talked about enough?
He’s a great regular season coach. Fans around these parts want the playoff drought to end. The Steelers haven’t won a playoff game in seven years. But the fact that he always has them in it is impressive, which goes without saying.
2. Give us your thoughts and then what you think the fanbase thinks of Kenny Pickett at this point?
Last week was his most complete game as a pro. It’s not enough to make me think he’ll be the answer long-term, but it was positive to see. He has a low ceiling. I don’t think that’s a a very controversial statement at this point.
3. The Steelers defense is again a strength, what is it that makes them go?
They’ve been a bend don’t break unit this season. A lot of the raw numbers don’t paint them in the best light, but when your offense can’t sustain possessions, you’ll naturally give up more yards because you’re on the field more. But they are amongst the league-leaders in fewest points allowed, and sixth in the league in EPA/play. T.J. Watt leads the league in sacks, and Joey Porter Jr. is already one of the best man coverage cornerbacks in football. It’s been a healthy balance of veteran reliability and young guys stepping up.
4. The Steelers run game will be getting yardage at will on Sunday, but is there anyone else we need to know about on offense?
They rarely turn the ball over. Pickett just broke the franchise record for most consecutive passes without an interception, and they lead the league in turnover differential. So don’t expect them to give the ball to the Cardinals.
5. Why are the Steelers only -5.5 point favorites according to DraftKings Sportsbook and how high would you take them to cover? (Note, I would take them up to 10.5).
Because all of their wins have been decided by one score. The Steelers aren’t a good enough overall team to win convincingly. Their biggest win of the season has been by seven points. They play in a lot of low-scoring games, and don’t win by more than one score, so the spread feels about right for me. I personally think Arizona covers