The Pittsburgh Steelers will make the trip west to Arizona for a key matchup against the Arizona Cardinals in week 14. For these two teams, the last four games of the season will have a different meaning as well as the approach they may both take in those contests. The Steelers are currently sitting at 7-5 on the season despite a string of injuries including losing pro bowl quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to an injury in the early stages of the season. Their recent string of wins has positioned them into the sixth and final playoff spot in the AFC and a NFL prediction no expert could have made after losing Big Ben.
Meanwhile, the Cardinals enter this contest losers of five straight after running off three straight wins to get over the .500 mark on the year. Over the course of the past five losses the team lost to a San Francisco 49ers team twice that had the best record in the NFC, the NFC South leading New Orleans Saints and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In addition, the team’s only three wins have come against three teams that have combined for a 6-30 overall record this season (New York Giants, Atlanta Falcons and Cincinnati Bengals).
As they prepare to meet in Week 14, this will mark only the third time these two teams have met since 2010, with the Steelers picking up wins both at home as well as in Arizona. Heading into Week 14, the Steelers are a 2.5 point favor playing on the road, while the over/under sits at 43. Here is an NFL Game Preview and NFL Prediction for the upcoming matchup between the Steelers and Cardinals.
Shutdown Kyler Murray and the Offense
As the Steelers try to find consistency on the offensive side of the ball, the team has relied on their defense to carry them for most of the season. The Steelers rank 5th in yards allowed per game (317.2) and 6th in points allowed per contest (18.8). On Sunday, the Steelers will continue to turn to their defense as they look to slow down Murray and the offense. Prior to his struggles last week, Murray had thrown for 715 yards and seven touchdowns in his previous three games.
Dial up the Pressure
Much like the Steelers need to slow down Murray, the Cardinals defense will need to put pressure on Devlin Hodges who will be making his second straight start after taking over for Mason Rudolph. In those two starts, the Steelers are 2-0 despite seeing Hodges throw for just 330 yards and two touchdowns. With his lack of experience and the Steelers struggles to run the ball, the Cardinals need to blitz the young quarterback early and often while forcing him to rush to make plays.
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Arizona Cardinals NFL Pick and Prediction
These two teams have had their shares of ups and downs this season leading into their head to head matchup in Week 14. After losing four of their first five contests to start the season, the Steelers have won six of their last seven contests. These ups and downs have led the Steelers to a 6-4-2 record against the spread overall and a 2-2-1 record against the spread on the road. However, the Steelers have covered the spread in three straight contests.
Over on the other side, the Cardinals despite posting just three wins this season has been one of the better NFL spread picks week against the spread including at home. On the year the Cardinals have covered the spread in seven of 12 contests including four of their six contests at home. However over their past three games the Cardinals have failed to cover the spread in each contests. Take the Steelers at -2.5 on the road as your NFL pick for Week 14.