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Panthers vs. Steelers: Who Wins The Thursday Night Thriller?

The Panthers are scary. They have been red hot. But what’s been just as scary is that the Steelers have won 13 of their past 14 prime-time games.

Pittsburgh Preseason First Quarter > by Matthew Paulson is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Panthers vs. Steelers: Who Wins The Thursday Night Thriller?

Estimated Reading Time: 3 Minutes

Panthers at Steelers (Thursday Night @ 8:20 PM ET)

The Panthers are scary. They have been red hot. The Carolina offense has put up 33 points per game in their past three games. Newton is having a big year and Christian McCaffery has been an absolute monster.

But what’s been just as scary is that the Steelers have won 13 of their past 14 prime-time games. Big Ben is at home, where the Steelers have put up 31.25points per game this season. The Steelers are hot too, and their defense is playing much better recently.

But perhaps the scariest thing of them all, is Le’Veon Bell’s FAIRwell tweet.

Come on. I mean, really? Then I wonder if Le’Veon is actually really bad at spelling, or is this a cryptic message asking for a FAIR deal from the Steelers? Hmmm… I think I’ll go with the former. Also, WHERE WAS THE AUTOCORRECT ON THAT ONE?!

And this is a guy who values his health and wants the best deal he can get considering the risk of injury at the running back position. Yet, he’s playing pick-up basketball at an LA Fitness? Are you f***ing kidding me? I tore my ACL when I was a senior in high school. You know how I did it?

Flag football.  

Not even real football, but flag football. My doctor told me – and I’ll never forget it – but he told me that these injuries occur often when you are doing something “silly” or something that you would not expect would result in an injury as serious as an ACL tear. He’s absolutely right. It’s stupid shit like FLAG football in a PE class that can give you the worst of injuries. So, when I see Le’Veon Bell playing pick-up basketball, my heart and stomach drop to the floor, because as a Steelers fan the very last thing I want to see is Bell out for a year because of a stupid injury in pick-up basketball with people who probably can’t even play well, which makes it even riskier because people don’t know what they’re doing – that’s the worst. We’re talking about an LA Fitness here; not a Rucker Park in Harlem.


Carolina’s young secondary will be tested by Big Ben and his weapons, and the Panthers defense has not fared well recently in the red zone. If Pittsburgh really wants to win this game, they must contain McCaffrey and challenge Newton to get the ball downfield. But with Ryan Kalil as a game-day decision at center, Newton will be challenged by the Steelers D-line in getting the ball out quickly.  The Panthers are actually just 25th in the league in passing offense. Carolina likes to run the ball, or aka let Christian McCaffrey run loose. If McCaffrey runs loose, it could be a long night for the Steelers.

This will be a thriller of a game which could have a lot of scoring. But at the end of the night, I think the Steelers being at Heinz Field will help, and the Steelers have a Christian McCaffrey of their own: James Conner, who has posted at least 100 yards rushing in his past four games and 150+ total yards from scrimmage in his past two games. Le’Veon Bell can take his time coming back, and I’ll take my Steelers in a close one.

Steelers win 34-31.

Stay tuned this week for my Sunday and Monday Night picks! Enjoy thegame!

Matt lives in Newnan, Georgia but was born and raised in Upstate New York. He is a fan of the New York Yankees, New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Boston Celtics. At the collegiate level, he is a Notre Dame and Syracuse fan (yeah he can root for both, and what?!) He must, however, find a soccer team to root for. So him out there. All suggestions are welcome. You can catch Matt on the Turf mostly covering NFL, NBA, MLB, College Football and Basketball, and Horse Racing (that is not a typo, he practically grew up on a racetrack). It's nothing's strictly sports.

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