The Pittsburgh Steelers very rarely go 0-2 in a season. Will they go 0-3? The Chicago Bears will have a chance to put one of the NFL’s steadiest and most successful franchises in a very deep hole. Pittsburgh’s offense will have to find a way to generate some meaningful production to cover the football spread.
Chicago Bears @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Sunday, September 22nd – 8:30 PM ET
Heinz Field – Pittsburgh, PA
NFL Odds: Bears -2
Why The Bears Can Cover The Spread:
They are playing an opponent that has lost its way, plain and simple. Watching the Pittsburgh Steelers these days, you would think you’re looking at the Cleveland Browns or Jacksonville Jaguars. That’s how far the Steelers’ offense has fallen. Jacksonville is the worst team in the league, and the Jaguars’ offense has scored nine points through two games. Cleveland has scored 16 points through two games. Pittsburgh – which scored a safety in week one (thereby not on offense) – has scored just 17 points on offense through two games. It’s startling to comprehend how an offense with Ben Roethlisberger can be so bad, but it’s true. One thing that has to be said right away is that the Steelers’ offensive line has been hammered by injuries. The Cincinnati Bengals’ defensive front had its way with the Steelers’ offensive line on Monday Night Football. Roethlisberger is a crafty and clever quarterback who is quite agile for his size. However, he is not a speed-burner of a quarterback in the mold of a Michael Vick, Cam Newton, or Colin Kaepernick. Roethlisberger needs initial protection on each and every pass. He can slither away once the pocket settles, but he’s a dead duck if he gets swarmed by initial pressure.
Chicago’s defensive line, which harassed Minnesota quarterback Christian Ponder last week and has shown the ability to force turnovers in concert with the Bears’ quality secondary, should be able to bother Roethlisberger to the extent that Pittsburgh’s offense will find it difficult to function.
Why The Steelers Can Cover The Spread:
Their opponent, though 2-0, has been much less than fully convincing. The Bears are unbeaten, but they barely beat two very inconsistent teams – Cincinnati and Minnesota – only because those opponents committed a lot of unforced errors. The Bengals and Vikings have been very mistake-prone early in the season. Had the Bears played two much more consistent and dependable teams, they might be 0-2 and not even 1-1. In particular, quarterback Jay Cutler has been wildly erratic through two weeks. He committed more than enough mistakes against Minnesota for the Bears to lose. Fortunately, his defense helped him out and kept the score close enough for Cutler to get one more shot in the final minutes. The Bears do not look like a strong team. They have a solid defense, but the offense is likely to lead them to a disappointing loss before too long. If Cutler continues to make bad decisions, a defense as good as Pittsburgh’s should be able to make him pay, and if Pittsburgh’s defense does overwhelm Cutler, the Steelers’ offense won’t have to do too much to win this contest.
The Steelers are really bad but the Bears do not give the impression that they are ready to take care of business on the NFL betting lines in their first road game of the young regular season. Take Pittsburgh to win outright.
Pick: Pittsburgh +2