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NFL Picks Week 12

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Each week, the Steelers Now staff picks each NFL game.

STANDINGS

Alan Saunders: 107-51
Mike Asti: 97-61
Parker Hurley: 97-61
Ron Lippock: 96-62

LAST WEEK

Mike Asti: 10-3
Parker Hurley: 10-3
Ron Lippock: 10-3
Alan Saunders: 10-3

THURSDAY NIGHT

Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans

Asti: Texans, but could go either way. The Colts seasons has gone downhill since the loss in Pittsburgh.
Hurley: Texans
Lippock: Texans
Saunders: Colts, I suppose. Not a confident matchup.

SUNDAY EARLY

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons

Asti: Falcons. Atlanta is finally playing up to their talent level and Winston is a walking turnover machine.
Hurley: Bucs
Lippock: Falcons
Saunders: Falcons

Denver Broncos at Buffalo Bills

Asti: Bills
Hurley: Broncos
Lippock: Broncos
Saunders: Bills

New York Giants at Chicago Bears

Asti: Bears
Hurley: Bears
Lippock: Bears
Saunders: Bears

Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals

Asti: Steelers, 19-6. Even with as bad as the Steelers looked against Cleveland and the fact they may have been more lucky than good in some recent wins, there’s just no way the Bengals can score enough without making critical mistakes against the Pittsburgh defense. Cincinnati is so bad they will hell the Steelers get the win, regardless of how Mason Rudolph and the offense plays.

Hurley: Steelers, 13-10. This is going to be an ugly game. Mason Rudolph has not shown progression and is now on the road without his top weapons. The Steelers defensive line should dominate the Bengals offensive line, and the Steelers will likely rely on another defensive dominated performance. Still, do not be surprised if the 0-10 Bengals are competing into the fourth quarter against the wounded Steelers offense.

Lippock: Steelers, 20-13. A conservative game where each offense tries to make as few mistakes as possible knowing the other offense isn’t going to run away with the game. Betting on the Steelers defense to cause 1-2 more turnovers to make the difference.

Saunders: Steelers, 21-9. This defense against Ryan Finley? Could score more than they give up. Steelers offense needs to get the running game going to make this a laugher. Benny Snell will help, but that’s probably still a week or two (and James Conner and Maurkice Pouncey) from happening.

Miami Dolphins at Cleveland Browns

Asti: Browns
Hurley: Browns, do not be surprised if they get caught in a look-ahead spot, as they have worried about the Steelers all week and play them next week. This game will be closer than some think.
Lippock: Browns
Saunders: Browns. Defensive absences could make this interesting, but Cleveland has so much more talent.

Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints

Asti: Saints
Hurley: Saints
Lippock: Saints
Saunders: Saints

Oakland Raiders at New York Jets

Asti: Jets. This is mostly just a gut feeling.
Hurley: Jets, the progression of Sam Darnold could be on display.
Lippock: Raiders
Saunders: Raiders, but wary of this pick. They aren’t as good as their record. Long road trip against a lackluster opponent makes this a trap game. Raiders could look ahead to next week’s matchup with Kansas City, as well.

Detroit Lions at Washington Redskins

Asti: Lions
Hurley: Lions
Lippock: Lions
Saunders: Lions

Seattle Seahawks at Philadelphia Eagles

Asti: Seahawks
Hurley: Seahawks
Lippock: Seahawks
Saunders: Seahawks, as the Eagles’ leaky defense continues to let them down.

SUNDAY LATE

Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans

Asti: Titans
Hurley: Titans
Lippock: Titans
Saunders: Titans defense is underrated. Nick Foles still shaking the rust off.

Dallas Cowboys at New England Patriots

Asti: Patriots
Hurley: Patriots
Lippock: Cowboys
Saunders: Patriots

SUNDAY NIGHT

Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers

Asti: Packers
Hurley: 49ers as long as they have Kittle and Sanders
Lippock: Packers
Saunders: Packers. Was unimpressed by the 49ers a week ago and Aaron Rogers is usually his best in prime time.

MONDAY NIGHT

Baltimore Ravens at Los Angeles Rams

Asti: Ravens
Hurley: Ravens
Lippock: Ravens
Saunders: Ravens take a classic strength vs. strength matchup. Lamar Jackson is the truth.

NFL

Cam Heyward Named NFLPA Community MVP for Week 1

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Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Cam Heyward has been named NFLPA Community MVP for Week 1.

Heyward was honored for installing his first Little Free Library, a book-sharing box placed in underserved communities around the Pittsburgh area.

Little Free Library is a non-profit organization that “inspires a love of reading, builds community, and sparks creativity by fostering neighborhood book exchanges around the world.”

The installation of the book-sharing boxes marks the launch of the Rufus and Judy Jordan Literacy Project, a new initiative of the Cameron Heyward Foundation that will work to promote children’s literacy and honor his late grandparents, both of whom were lifelong educators in Pittsburgh.

Drafted in first round of the 2011 NFL Draft out of Ohio State, Heyward has spend his entire career in Pittsburgh. He is a three-time Pro Bowler, and has twice received First-Team All-Pro honors.

Heyward and the Steelers agreed to a four-year, $71.4 million contract extension on Sept. 6 that will allow him to retire in Pittsburgh and make him the highest-paid defense player over the age of 30 in NFL history.

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Report: Titans to Allow 7,000 Fans for Game Against Steelers

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The Tennessee Titans will reportedly announce Thursday that they will be able to have 7,000 fans in attendance for their Week 4 matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers, according to Outkick.com’s Clay Travis.

The Oct. 4 meeting between the two AFC sides will be the first game with fans inside Nissan Stadium, with the total gradually increasing over the following weeks. Approximately 8,600 fans are planned to be in attendance Oct. 11 against the Buffalo Bills and then 10,400 are expected the following week when the Houston Texans visit on Oct. 18.

Nashville Mayor John Cooper is expected to make a formal announcement this afternoon, Travis reports.

While the Steelers have already ruled out fans for their first two home games against the Denver Broncos this Sunday and the Texans on Sept. 27, the organization has not yet announced a decision on fan attendance for the remainder of the season.

The Jacksonville Jaguars were the only team that played in front of fans this past weekend, with seating capped at 25% capacity inside TIAA Bank Field for their season-opening win against the Indianapolis Colts.

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NFL Announces Seven Positives in Last Round of Testing

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The NFL and NFLPA continue to release encouraging COVID-19 testing data, and Wednesday was no different.

In a press release Wednesday, the parties announced just two positive tests among players and five from other staff members from their last round of testing.

Spanning from Sept. 6 to 12, the league reported just two positive tests among all players, five among staff members.

40,479 total tests were administered to 7,437 players and staff across the league.

While the NBA and NHL have had no issues in the restart of their seasons over the last few months, the NFL is proving that professional sports leagues can operate successfully and suppress COVID-19 outbreaks. With the opening weekend already in the books and an extremely low positivity rate, optimism has to be high that the league can continue rolling through the 2020 season.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have had no COVID-19 issues since running back Jaylen Samuels was removed from the Reserve list a month ago on Aug. 13.

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