Each week, the Steelers Now staff is picking each NFL game.
Alan Saunders: 57-32
Parker Hurley: 52-37
Mike Asti: 49-40
Ron Lippock: 49-40
Mike Asti: 6-7
Parker Hurley: 5-8
Ron Lippock: 6-7
Alan Saunders: 9-4
Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos
Asti: Chiefs. The real Kansas City has to stand up eventually and Denver just isn’t that good.
Hurley: Broncos, Chiefs are banged and traveling on a short week
Lippock: Chiefs. Standard good offense versus good defense matchup – and Denver is tough at home. I just think Denver’s offense is too poor to keep up with what the Chiefs can muster on offense.
Saunders: Chiefs, with the usual Thursday night caveats.
Los Angeles Rams at Atlanta Falcons
Lippock: Rams. Poor Falcons defense is the perfect remedy for the Rams. Rams will bounce back.
Saunders: Rams in a perfect bounce-back game.
Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills
Asti: Bills. I just can’t ever pick Miami.
Lippock: Dolphins. I’m going on the ledge with my upset special here. I’m not a believer in the Bills — especially with such a poor offense. They keep too many teams close and some Fitzmagic does them in.
Saunders: Bills continue to pile up weak wins.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Cincinnati Bengals
Lippock: Bengals. 2nd upset special. Bengals have played teams close and the Jaguars offense is bad enough to stay close and eek out a win at home.
Saunders: Jaguars. Remember what the Steelers running game did to the Bengals? Now imagine Leonard Fournette.
Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions
Asti: Vikings. Detroit needs this game more. It’s very evenly matched and could go either way.
Lippock: Vikings. Two nearly identical teams here but give the Vikings the slight edge with a better defense.
Saunders: Vikings. Torn by this pick. I like both teams.
Oakland Raiders at Green Bay Packers
Lippock: Packers. Two teams going different directions.
Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts
Lippock: Texans. Two different teams – Colts rely on defense and low scoring offense and the Texans are somewhat of a mirror image. Watson is the difference maker here.
Saunders: Texans. I can’t figure out how the Colts keep winning
Arizona Cardinals at New York Giants
Lippock: Cardinals. Two awful defenses but a better offense in Arizona is the difference.
San Francisco 49ers at Washignton Redskins
Asti: 49ers. There’s no way the Redskins can deal with the San Francisco defense. Washington will be lucky to score at all.
Lippock: 49ers. Easiest call of the week.
Los Angeles Chargers at Tennessee Titans
Hurley: Titans, we learn that beating the Chargers and Bengals may not be all that impressive.
Lippock: Chargers. Titans offense is just too poor to keep up on the road.
Saunders: Chargers. Titans are a mess.
New Orleans Saints at Chicago Bears
Hurley: Bears, their defense shows up off of a bye
Lippock: Saints. Two very good defenses but Saints offense is marginally better.
Saunders: Saints, but this will be a tough test for Teddy Bridgewater.
Baltimore Ravens at Seattle Seahawks
Lippock: Seahawks. Home field advantage and suspect defense in Baltimore gives Seattle the edge.
Saunders: Seahawks, though the loss of Will Dissly could be a big blow.
Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys
Lippock: Cowboys. Second-best offense in Dallas versus middle of road defense in Philly.
Saunders: Eagles, because no one should have to pick a team coming off a loss to the Jets.
New England Patriots at New York Jets
Asti: Patriots. Death, taxes and the Patriots beating the Jets.
Lippock: Patriots. Number one defense versus worst-ranked offense.
Cam Heyward Named NFLPA Community MVP for Week 1
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.
Congrats to @camheyward on being named Week 1 #CommunityMVP for installing his first Little Free Library. The book-sharing boxes provide 24-7 access to literacy for underserved Pittsburgh communities while honoring the legacy in education of his late grandfather. pic.twitter.com/uKwbnz28A1— NFLPA (@NFLPA) September 18, 2020
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.
Report: Titans to Allow 7,000 Fans for Game Against Steelers
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.
NFL Announces Seven Positives in Last Round of Testing
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.
Latest NFL-NFLPA COVID-19 testing results show seven new confirmed positives from Sept. 6-12 — including two players — out of 40,479 tests. pic.twitter.com/UY7QXfU1YK— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) September 16, 2020