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Steelers Gameday

Steelers-Patriots Pregame Primer: Keys to Victory, Bold Prediction



Pittsburgh Steelers wait to run out of the tunnel against the Tennessee Titans on Nov. 2, 2023. -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Steelers must reverse their course after a disastrous Week 13 loss to the Arizona Cardinals, and they must do it quickly, with the New England Patriots coming to town on Thursday Night Football, representing another lesser light that ought to be an easy win — but we all know how that went last time.

Gameday: Pittsburgh Steelers vs New England Patriots 8:15 p.m.

KEY TO VICTORY: Give Mitch The Keys, and Hope He Doesn’t Crash

Mitch Trubisky is no stranger to being a starting quarterback, and the Steelers will be hoping their investment on the backup quarterback position this offseason will pay off with a solid outing from their former starter.

They’re going to need it. The New England Patriots defense is absolutely nasty against the run, and especially with Najee Harris banged up, the Steelers should not expect to be able to run the ball down their throats.

That will mean a lot of passing for Trubisky, and his results haven’t been so different than Kenny Pickett’s that the Steelers should shy away from that game plan. But the one

OVERLOOKED MATCHUP: Mike Geisicki and Hunter Henry vs. Steelers LBs, Safeties

The biggest issue for the Steelers defense in Sunday’s loss to the Cardinals was their seeming lack of preparation for tight end Trey McBride, who tortured them over the middle of the field. McBride, a 2022 second-round pick is a budding star at the position, but the Patriots have two bona fide talents in Mike Geisicki and Hunter Henry.

Who plays will mean a lot here, as Elandon Roberts is still questionable at inside linebacker, but the Steelers will have to find a way to come up with a better matchup against more dangerous tight ends this time around.

BOLD PREDICTION: Steelers Defensive Finds Gold

The Steelers painted their end zones in the classic gold color scheme from Three Rivers Stadium this week, and that news came with many jokes on social media that these two offenses might not ever use them,

That might be true, but I think the Steelers defense will. The Steelers had some bad luck on Sunday, as three fumbles bounced right back to Arizona Cardinals. With an unsettled situation at quarterback, Bailey Zappe will be looking to prove himself for the Patriots on Thursday, and that might mean taking more chances than he ought to. Even though Minkah Fitzpatrick has his hand in a cast, the rest of the Steelers defensive backs should be licking their chops at this matchup.


Even with Trubisky at helm, this should be an easy win. The Pats aren’t even really trying at this point.

Steelers 20, Patriots 9

Last week: Steelers 27-20 (L)
Season: 7-5

Steelers -6 (-110)

Under 30.5 (-Even)

Mitch Trubisky over 180.5 yards passing (-115)

Last week: 0-3 (L Steelers -6.5, Over 41.5; Harris longest rush over 14.5)

Season: 21-15