Alan Saunders: 31-16
Mike Asti: 29-18
Parker Hurley: 29-18
Ron Lippock: 28-19
Mike Asti: 8-8
Parker Hurley: 9-7
Ron Lippock: 10-6
Alan Saunders: 11-5
Philadephia Eagles at Green Bay Packers
Hurley: Eagles, they are healthier than the past two weeks
Saunders: Eagles, just because weird stuff happens on Thursdays.
Washington Redskins at New York Giants
Asti: Giants, although I wouldn’t be shocked if Danny Dimes gets humbled.
Hurley: Giants, Danny Dimes rolls
Saunders: Giants? I guess.
San Diego Chargers at Miami Dolphins
Asti: Chargers. There’s no reason for anyone to ever pick the Dolphins.
Saunders: Chargers. Why would anyone pick the Dolphins?
Oakland Raiders at Indianapolis Colts
Hurley: Colts in a close one
Saunders: Raiders, but I could see this going either way. Not a believer of either team.
Carolina Panthers at Houston Texans
Asti: Texans, granted Kyle Allen is actually a nice boost for Carolina.
Hurley: Panthers, that offense looked better with Kyle Allen
Kansas City Chiefs at Detroit Lions
Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens
Hurley: Ravens roll as the Browns still try to find themselves
Lippock: The Browns will play the Ravens tough and this will be closer than some expect. The Ravens have one of the best run offenses and defenses, while the Browns are middle of the pack on both. The Ravens ability to establish the run game and make the Browns’ offense one-dimensional should create turnovers by Baker Mayfield that will be the difference in this game.
Baltimore 30, Cleveland 16
New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills
Asti:Patriots. Death, taxes and the Patriots beating the Bills.
Hurley: Patriots defense is too much for a young QB
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Los Angeles Rams
Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals
Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears
Hurley: Vikings, they have a better offense in a game with two great defenses.
Saunders: Vikings, in a game that might not reach double digits. Both strong defenses, good running games, miserable quarterbacks.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Denver Broncos
Asti: Broncos. Will Uncle Rico be at this game to cheer on Garnder Minshew?
Hurley: Broncos, Vic Fangio is coaching for his job four games in. He gets one at home.
Saunders: Jaguars. This is now a Garnder Minshew fan account.
Dallas Cowboys at New Orleans Saints
Hurley: Cowboys, The Kellen Moore offense in the Super Dome will be fun to watch
Saunders: Saints. Seriously underrated them last week. Won’t make that mistake again.
Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers
Asti: Steelers. As bad as it’s been for the Steelers, it’s been even worse for the Bengals. Pittsburgh has more talent and Rudolph appeared more comfortable as the game went on in San Francisco.
Steelers 26, Bengals 13
Hurley: This is a game the defense needs to win. With a poor offensive line and a new offensive scheme, if this young up-and-coming group cannot step up on a national stage at home against a division rival that they have typically owned, it is time to start questioning who is running the defense. The offense finds enough life in a sloppy Monday Night win highlighted by a rejuvenated defense.
Steelers 20, Bengals 17
Lippock: In this battle of the basement, the Steelers and Bengals represent 2 of the bottom 6 defenses in terms of points allowed and yards allowed per game. Not to be outdone, both offenses are in the bottom 8 in points per game as well. The difference? I see more upside in Pittsburgh – with the arrival of Minkah Fitzpatrick and the development of the young QB and WR’s on offense, there’s a hope and expectation of bigger and better things. I see just enough of that potential breaking through to give the Steelers their first win of the season.
Steelers 24, Bengals 16
Saunders: A week on film will help get Randy Fichtner and Mason Rudolph in sync. The defense has yet to put together a complete game, but keeps getting closer. Finally, the Steelers just don’t lose to the Bengals at home on Monday night football.
Steelers 23, Bengals 10
NFL Insider John Clayton: Steelers Out of Running for J.J. Watt
One of the league’s most prominent insiders believes the Steelers are out of the running for free agent defensive end J.J. Watt.
Joining The PM Team on 93.7 The Fan on Wednesday, NFL insider John Clayton said Watt will not be joining his brothers T.J. and Derek in Pittsburgh.
Clayton sees the Tennessee Titans, Green Bay Packers and Buffalo Bills as the favorites to land Watt’s services.
For a potential dark horse, Clayton says the Las Vegas Raiders as an outside-the-box candidate to sign the veteran pass rusher.
.@JohnClaytonNFL says JJ Watt won't be coming to Pittsburgh. Tennessee, Green Bay, and Buffalo are the 3 teams. Raiders as a dark horse.— Andrew Fillipponi (@ThePoniExpress) February 24, 2021
Watt leaves Houston as one of the greatest players in franchise history. He was selected to five Pro Bowls, named First-Team All-Pro on five occasions and earned three NFL Defensive Player of the Year awards.
A future Hall of Famer, Watt is the Texans’ all-time leader in sacks (101), tackles-for-loss (172) and forced fumbles (25).
Watt recorded 52 total tackles, 14 tackles-for-loss, five sacks, two forced fumbles and returned an interception for a touchdown in 2020.
NFL Hosting Women’s Careers in Football Forum
The NFL is hosting its fifth annual Women’s Careers in Football Forum from Feb. 24-25, the league announced in a press release Tuesday.
The event will be held virtually and “connect 40 women, 75% of whom are women of color, with leaders in professional football to help those women network and build relationships in the areas of coaching, scouting and football operations.”
Those participating in the event will join panel discussions, breakout sessions and have networking opportunities with industry leaders, such as head coaches and team executives. All portions of the event are aimed at building connections that will result in hirings and subsequent representation.
Since its inception in 2017, the two-day event has assisted in developing “a more diverse talent pipeline by connecting high-potential women to career opportunities in football.” According to the league, 118 opportunities for women in football have been created as a result.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and wife Jane Skinner Goodell will speak, as well as NFL Chief Football Administrative Officer Dawn Aponte. In addition, three owners, seven head coaches and six general managers will also join the conversation.
Sarah Thomas made history earlier this month becoming the first woman to officiate a Super Bowl. The champion Tamp Bay Buccaneers also had a record number of women on their coaching staff this past season.
Report: 2021 NFL Salary Cap Expected at $182-183 Million
The 2021 NFL salary cap is expected to be around $182 or $183 million, according to a report by Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.
That is just slightly above the bare-minimum figure of $180 million agreed to by the NFL and NFLPA last week, and aligns with Steelers Now sources that predict the cap will fall between $180 and $185 million.
The Steelers are one of several teams that will be significantly over the salary cap, regardless of what figure is.
According to Pro Football Talk, those teams have been lobbying to increase the 2021 salary cap at the expense of future years to minimize the impact the pandemic has had on NFL operations.
Doing so would essentially amount to an interest-free loan given by the owners to the players, something that some owners have balked at.
That final figure could still be impacted by the league signing new television contracts for the 2022 season before the salary cap is finalized, which is expected some time in March.
The new league year starts on March 17, which is the day that all teams must be under the new salary cap.