NFL Week 2 Picks (Sun. Sept. 20, 2015)

September 20, 2015 on 4:53 pm | In NFL | No Comments

There’s no shortage of intriguing matchups for Week 2, beginning with New England traveling to Buffalo.  Two of the league’s most exciting receivers will square off when the Giants host the Falcons.  Meanwhile, San Diego visits Cincinnati, where the winner will be 2-0 and start to pick up traction as a team to watch out for in the AFC.

The second Sunday of the 2015 NFL campaign will come to a close on NBC with a re-match of last January’s NFC Championship game between the Seahawks and Packers, only this time it will come in Green Bay at Lambeau Field.

Week 2 got underway on Thursday night with Denver scoring two touchdowns in the final 38 seconds to go from behind seven at Kansas City to winning in improbable fashion.

Both yours truly and my father took the Chiefs to win that one, so it’s a 0-1 start, but we’ll try to turn things around on the rest of the games . . .

Records in Week 1:
Matthew Hatfield 11-5 SU (9-7 ATS) , 3-0 Locks, 1-1 Upsets
Mike Hatfield:  11-5

Week 2 Slate:

New England Patriots (1-0) at Buffalo Bills (1-0) . . . Rex Ryan and Bill Belichick have had some fascinating battles over the years, but this will be the first at Orchard Park.  Tom Brady threw four touchdown passes, three to jumbo tight end Rob Gronkowski, in New England’s season-opening triumph over Pittsburgh.  Brady notched his 161st victory as the starting QB of the Pats, the most ever by a player with one franchise.  The Bills bottled up Indy’s high-powered offense in a 27-14 win last week, and Tyrod Taylor connected with Percy Harvin for a 51-yard bomb through the air.  While the Pats try to slow down RB LeSean McCoy, the Bulls will try to get pressure with their front four and contain Gronk.  At home, their defense may be up for the task better than most.

Matt Says:  Buffalo 27-21 (BUF -1)
Mike Says:  New England

Houston Texans (0-1) at Carolina Panthers (1-0) . . . Coach Ron Rivera has to like what his Carolina defense did on the road last week in Jacksonville in a 20-9 win.  They’re getting contributions from a bunch of different players, not just LB Luke Kuechly – whose 480 tackles since 2012 are the most in the NFL.  CB Josh Norman (INT TD, FF, FR in Week 1), LB Thomas Davis, DE Charles Johnson and DE Mario Addison (2 sacks vs. the Jags) all are making plays.  Houston’s defense will have to show better than they did against the Chiefs.  Even with a QB change from Brian Hoyer to Ryan Mallett, the Houston offense has more big-play capabilities, thanks to WR’s DeAndre Hopkins and Nate Washington, than Jacksonville did.

Matt Says:  Houston 21-20 (HOU +3)
Mike Says:  Houston

San Francisco 49ers (1-0) at Pittsburgh Steelers (0-1) . . . It’s a homecoming of sorts for Niners Head Coach Jim Tomsula, who was born in Homestead, PA.  His San Fran team surprised many in the opener with a 20-3 rout of Minnesota in the second bill of an ESPN Monday Night Football double-dip.  Tailback Carlos Hyde, a standout at Ohio State, erupted for 168 yards and a couple of touchdowns on 26 attempts.  Pittsburgh’s defense struggled versus the pass in their 28-21 loss to New England.  Fortunately for them, they are better equipped to stop the run, got 351 yards passing from Ben Roethlisberger in that game, and DeAngelo Williams filled in for Le’Veon Bell with 127 yards rushing.  The extra few days to prepare and returning home ought to serve them well.

Matt Says:  Pittsburgh 24-8 (PIT -6.5)
Mike Says:  Pittsburgh

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-1) at New Orleans Saints (1-0) . . . Trends all point towards New Orleans winning and doing so by a wide margin.  Tampa Bay has lost seven straight in the series to the Saints.  While they were relatively close last season with the Saints prevailing 23-20 in Tampa and 37-31 at home in overtime, the Bucs had a hard time on defense in their 42-14 loss to Tennessee in Week 1.  Rookie QB Jamies Winston threw a pick-six on his first NFL pass attempt, becoming the first QB to have that happen since Brett Favre (now if only his pro career turns out the Favre’s did, he’ll be in great shape).  You know Drew Brees, who threw for 355 yards last week, is licking his chops about facing this Tampa secondary after what Marcus Mariota did to it a week ago.

Matt Says:  New Orleans 35-14 (NO -9.5)
Mike Says:  New Orleans

Detroit Lions (0-1) at Minnesota Vikings (0-1) . . . Three of the last four meetings have gone to the Lions and both games last year were relatively low-scoring.  Detroit won at home 16-14 behind 103 yards from scrimmage from Joique Bell and 11 tackles by LB DeAndre Levy.  In Minnesota, it was the Lions winning 17-3 with Tahir Whitehead intercepting a pass of passes.  The Vikings also scored three points in last week’s road loss to San Francisco.  Returning home, they should fare better, particularly RB Adrian Peterson, who’s probably looking to take out his frustration on the Detroit defense after being held to 31 yards on the ground on just 10 carries.  The Lions led early against San Diego before fizzling down the stretch, surrendering 483 yards in the 33-28 loss.

Matt Says:  Minnesota 21-16 (MN -2.5)
Mike Says:  Detroit

Arizona Cardinals (1-0) at Chicago Bears (0-1) . . . Coming off a 31-19 win at home over the Saints, this is a grand opportunity for Arizona to get two games up on Seattle in the division potentially since the Seahawks have to visit Green Bay and the Cards are favored here on the road against a Bears team banged up at wide receiver.  Chicago has won four of the past five meetings, though Arizona signal caller Carson Palmer is 3-0 in his career vs. the Bears with an 8-1TD/Int. ratio.  Led by Patrick Peterson (15 INT’s and 5 for TD’s since 2011), Tyrann Mathieu and Rashad Johnson, the Cards have more playmakers on the back end of their defense than the Bears, which could decide things if RB Matt Forte and TE Martellus Bennett don’t have stellar days for the home squad.

Matt Says:  Arizona 23-16 (AZ -2.5)
Mike Says:  Arizona

San Diego Chargers (1-0) at Cincinnati Bengals (1-0) . . . Rather quietly last week, Chargers QB Philip Rivers threw for 404 yards and two touchdowns in their 33-28 comeback win over the Lions.  I say quietly because you heard more about the play of other QB’s around the league like Tom Brady of New England, Tony Romo from Dallas and Tennessee rookie Marcus Mariota.  Rivers needs one touchdown pass in this one to pass Dan Fouts (254 career TD’s) for most in Chargers franchise history.  Although the Cincy defense held Oakland to just 246 total yards last week, they face a more dangerous offense with Rivers, rookie RB Melvin Gordon, WR Keenan Allen and company.  It might be up to the Bengals offense, which got a career day from TE Tyler Eifert last week, in order to get to 2-0.

Matt Says:  San Diego 20-17 (SD +3)
Mike Says:  Cincinnati

Tennessee Titans (1-0) at Cleveland Browns (0-1) . . . Titans rookie Marcus Mariota out of Oregon was sensational in his debut, completing 13 of 16 passes for 209 yards and four touchdowns in a road rout of Tampa Bay as he had a perfect quarterback rating.  There weren’t many positives to take out for the Browns in their 31-10 loss to the Jets in New York.  They finished -4 in the takeaway department and both QB’s, Josh McCown and Johnny Manziel, had passer ratings under 80.  Conventional wisdom says go with Tennessee, even on the road, but Mariota missing injured TE Delanie Walker is going to force the Titans offense to adjust.  Cleveland usually is better at home.  They started 4-1 at the Dawg Pound last year, including beating the likes of recent Super Bowl winners Pittsburgh and New Orleans.

Matt Says:  Cleveland 31-26 (CLE +2)
Mike Says:  Tennessee

Atlanta Falcons (1-0) at New York Giants (0-1) . . . Are there two more exciting wide receivers in the game of pro football than the Falcons’ Julio Jones and second-year phenom Odell Beckham from the Giants?  Jones simply dazzled in Monday’s victory over the Eagles, hauling in seven passes for 141 yards and two touchdowns.  Simply put, there’s not a defender with an answer for him one-on-one an entire game.  That being said, the Giants did rank #7 in the league against the pass last year and won’t want to let him and Matt Ryan play pitch-and-catch.  Beckham was quieter in his team’s loss to the Cowboys, though Atlanta knows he has a knack for amazing grabs and should be a focal point in this one.  The more desperate team is New York.  Being at home with an extra day to prepare will likely help, too.

Matt Says:   NY Giants 27-24 (NYG -2.5)
Mike Says:  NY Giants

St. Louis Rams (1-0) at Washington Redskins (0-1) . . . When these two squared off last December, it was all St. Louis as the Rams dominated to the tune of pitching a 24-0 shutout.  They recorded seven sacks as a defense, forced four turnovers – two on fumbles and two on interceptions – and Tavon Austin returned a punt 78 yards for a touchdown.  St. Louis got 122 yards from scrimmage from third-string running back Benny Cunningham in their 34-31 overtime thriller with Seattle in Week 1.  The Redskins blew a double-digit lead at home in a 17-10 loss to the Dolphins.  For Washington to spring the upset, it’s going to come down to their defense creating takeaways and establishing the running game with Alfred Morris against a tough St. Louis front.  With the way their schedule is set up, if Washington doesn’t win this game it could linger into a 0-5 or 0-6 type start.  They badly need a win at home.

Matt Says:  Washington 17-14 (WSH +3)
Mike Says:  St. Louis

Miami Dolphins (1-0) at Jacksonville Jaguars (0-1) . . . At home against Carolina last week, Gus Bradley’s Jaguars had very little offense to speak of with 265 total yards in the 20-9 loss to a pretty good defense.  Miami’s defense is nothing to sneeze at either with a formidable d-line that features Cameron Wake, Ndamukong Suh and rookie Jordan Phillips.  That probably doesn’t bode well for their young offensive backfield tandem of QB Blake Bortles and T.J. Yeldon.  Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill is 2-0 in his career against the Jags with a 98.3 passer rating and just one interception.  As long as Miami takes care of the football and doesn’t depend on Tannehill’s arm exclusively to win, they figure to be in good shape to move to 2-0, which is important in an AFC East that appears to be much stronger than in years past.

Matt Says:  Miami 28-17 (MIA -6)
Mike Says:  Miami

Baltimore Ravens (0-1) at Oakland Raiders (0-1) . . . Losing stud pass rusher Terrell Suggs for the season as the Ravens did in their narrow loss at Denver last week is a huge blow to that Baltimore defense.  That being said, they are still a solid favorite on the road to a Raiders team that went to its second quarterback, Matt McGloin, for an injured Derek Carr a week ago.  Carr is expected to go in this one, but the Oakland defense gave up 33 points last week to Cincinnati and Baltimore QB Joe Flacco could be poised for a huge day, even on the road.  For Oakland to drop the Ravens to 0-2, rookie receiver Amari Cooper will have to build on a 5-catch, 47-yard effort in his pro debut.

Matt Says:  Baltimore 24-14 (BLT -6)
Mike Says:  Baltimore

Dallas Cowboys (1-0) at Philadelphia Eagles (0-1) . . . Tony Romo engineered a tremendous comeback for Dallas on Sunday Night Football against the New York Giants, finishing 36 of 45 for 356 yards and three touchdowns.  He’ll now be without his most explosive weapon, Dez Bryant, for at least the next seven weeks as the wide receiver sustained an injury in that win.  Philly came out of the blocks too cold against Atlanta before seeing their rally fall short.  Look for Sam Bradford and that passing attack to hum in that one and for Jordan Matthews (10Rec. 102Yds.) to have a big day.  Tailback DeMarco Murray, who ran for only nine yards on eight carries against the Falcons, should fare better against his former team also.

Matt Says:  Philly 31-24 (PHI -5.5)
Mike Says:  Philly

Seattle Seahawks (0-1) at Green Bay Packers (1-0) . . . These two were the NFC favorites a year ago and might be once again this season.  Packers QB Aaron Rodgers hasn’t thrown an interception at home since 2012.  Though the Seattle secondary is equipped to make life harder on Rodgers and pick him off, they still miss safety Kam Chancellor, holding out due to contractual issues, and that showed in the 34-31 overtime loss at St. Louis.  Even though the Seahawks made a comeback in that game, one of their scores came on a 57-yard punt return by rookie Tyler Lockett, and the offense isn’t quite at a dominating form just yet.  The Seahawks will need a strong game from RB Marshawn Lynch to win on the road.

Matt Says:  Green Bay 28-20 (GB -3.5)
Mike Says:  Green Bay

New York Jets (1-0) at Indianapolis Colts (0-1) . . . It was not an opener that Chuck Pagano and his Indianapolis team would like to remember, losing 27-14 in Buffalo to the Bills in a game that really wasn’t even as close as the final score indicated.  Meanwhile, New York is coming off a 31-point win and benefitted from being +4 in the turnover department.  Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Jets offense will hope to take advantage of Indy’s secondary missing two key defensive backs, Greg Toler (neck injury) and Darius Butler (hip injury).  Quarterback Andrew Luck and the Colts rebounded from a 0-2 start last year by winning five straight.  That second loss came at home against the Eagles in a game that they led most of the way.  This is a similar spot, at home on a Monday night, and I’d expect them to play with a sense of urgency.

Matt Says:  Indy 30-13 (IND -7.5)
Mike Says:  Indy

Matt Hat’s Hits:
LOCKS –Indy -7.5, Pittsburgh -6.5, New Orleans -9.5, Arizona -2.5
UPSET SPECIALS – Houston SU & +3 and Washington SU +3

Matthew Hatfield & Mike Hatfield’s 2015 NFL Predictions!

September 13, 2015 on 5:48 pm | In NFL | No Comments

Each August for about the past 10-12 years, my father and me head to Shula’s 347 Grill in Norfolk (shameless plug… hopefully they see this and we get some kind of discount, right?) for an enjoyable meal to celebrate my birthday, but also make our NFL Predictions for the upcoming season.

Check out our division winners, who will be in the playoffs and Super Bowl picks.  Last year, I had Indy over Seattle – far better than my selection of Houston over Atlanta the year before – but just missed with the Colts falling the AFC Championship and Seahawks throwing an interception at the one-yard line against New England as the Patriots kept them from winning a second straight Lombardi Trophy.

So without further ado, here you go…

Matt & Mike’s NFL Picks for 2015

NFL Sunday Week 1 Picks (Sun. Sept. 13, 2015)

September 13, 2015 on 5:29 pm | In NFL | No Comments

It’s time for the first NFL Sunday of the 2015 season.  On Thursday night, things kicked off with the defending Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots holding off the Pittsburgh Steelers 28-21 behind four Tom Brady touchdown passes, three to tight end Rob Gronkowski.

Technically, the ‘line’ in Vegas ended up being 7 points in most places, making it a ‘push.’

Yours truly Matthew Hatfield and my pops, Mike Hatfield, will do our picks.  So far, I hold the 1-game lead by virtue of New England’s win over my dad.

Matthew Hatfield 1-0 (0-0-1 ATS)
Mike Hatfield 0-1 (0-0-1 ATS)

Week 1 Slate:

Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears . . . How much will the loss of wide receiver Jordy Nelson sting the Packers?  He was the go-to guy for QB and NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers, who will now look to Davante Adams and rookie Ty Montgomery to step forward in his absence and complement Randall Cobb.  Chicago ranked #30 against the pass a season ago, making that the main area new Bears Head Coach John Fox must improve for his team to be a playoff contender.

Matt Says:  Green Bay 28-17 (GB -6)
Mike Says:  Green Bay

Kansas City Chiefs at Houston Texans . . .
Led by the NFL Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt, the Texans have hopes of getting back to the playoffs after a two-year absence.  To start off 1-0, containing the Kansas City running game that features Jamaal Charles, who has rushed for 14 touchdowns in his past 13 games, will be imperative.

Matt Says:  Houston 17-14 (Hou +1)
Mike Says:  Kansas City

Cleveland Browns at New York Jets . . .
This will be the coaching debut of Todd Bowles, former Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator, as the New York Jets Head Coach.  It’s two unlikely starters at quarterback in Ryan Fitzpatrick for the Jets and Josh McCown for the Browns, but look for the defense that steps up and creates the most turnovers and makes more big plays to prevail.

Matt Says:  NY Jets 20-13 (NYJ -3.5)
Mike Says:  Cleveland

Indianapolis Colts at Buffalo Bills . . .
Former Baltimore Ravens backup Tyrod Taylor gets his first start at quarterback in Buffalo as he edged out Matt Cassel and E.J. Manuel in the preseason for the job.  A lot of people like Rex Ryan’s Bills as a darkhorse team for the playoffs with a defense that figures to be among the league’s stingiest, plus dynamic playmakers on offense in RB LeSean McCoy and WR Sammy Watkins.  Indy QB Andrew Luck is looking to make a run at MVP this season and get the Colts to the Super Bowl after losing to New England in the AFC Championship last season.

Matt Says:  Indianapolis 28-21 (IND -1)
Mike Says:  Indianapolis

Miami Dolphins at Washington Redskins . . .
Are the Redskins totally sure who they want to play quarterback for them this year, whether it’s Kirk Cousins, Robert Griffin III or Colt McCoy?  Cousins is slated to get the nod here, but will face a Dolphins defense that has two premier pass rushing threats in Ndamukong Suh and Cameron Wake, who is second in team history with 63 sacks behind Jason Taylor’s 131.  Miami QB Ryan Tannehill also is the only player in club history to pass for over 3000 yards in each of his first three seasons as remarkably Dan Marino did not accomplish that feat.

Matt Says:  Miami 23-13 (MIA -4)
Mike Says:  Miami

Carolina Panthers at Jacksonville Jaguars . . .
These two teams that were expansion squads about 20 years ago haven’t faced off since September 25, 2011 when the Panthers edged Jacksonville 16-10.  Another low –scoring defensive battle wouldn’t surprise us.  Remember, Carolina got off to a slow start last year and is going to try to avoid repeating that this year in their quest of a third straight NFC South division crown.

Matt Says:  Jacksonville 20-17 (Jag +3)
Mike Says:  Carolina

Seattle Seahawks at St. Louis Rams . . .
To me, this is an upset alert game for the two-time defending NFC Champion Seahawks.  Pro Bowl safety Kam Chancellor has decided to hold out due to contract issues with management, and going on the road to take on a St. Louis team with one of the toughest defensive lines in football could make it difficult for Marshawn Lynch to run the ball.

Matt Says:  St. Louis 21-14 (STL +3.5)
Mike Says:  Seattle

New Orleans Saints at Arizona Cardinals . . .
In two seasons, Bruce Arians has done a very good job in the desert, leading the Cardinals to a Wild Card berth last year before losing to NFC South division winner Carolina in the opening round of the playoffs.  Keeping QB Carson Palmer is a must, and despite the defense having to replace some key components, there are a lot of good pieces still in Arizona.  New Orleans has one of the most prolific passing games engineered by Drew Brees, but the Saints have traditionally been much better at home than on the road.

Matt Says:  Arizona 31-28 (AZ -2.5)
Mike Says:  Arizona

Detroit Lions at San Diego Chargers . . .
There were trade talks and rumors during the off-season regarding Chargers signal caller Philip Rivers, who has won four division titles and ranks second among active NFL QB’s with 36,507 passing yards.  Rookie tailback Melvin Gordon will try to bring some balance to a running game that ranked near the bottom of the league.  As for Detroit, the Lions boast one of the most feared passing combos with QB Matt Stafford and WR Calvin Johnson, but lost a significant player up front on defense in Ndamukong Suh to Miami.

Matt Says:  San Diego 27-16 (SD -3.5)
Mike Says:  San Diego

Tennessee Titans at Tampa Bay Buccaneers . . .
It’s the debut of the top two quarterback draft selections from this year, Marcus Mariota from Oregon for the Titans and Florida State product Jamies Winston with Tampa Bay.  Tennessee has won six of the past seven meetings in the series.

Matt Says:  Tampa Bay 19-16 OT (TB -3)
Mike Says:  Tennessee

Cincinnati Bengals at Oakland Raiders . . .
Jack Del Rio takes over as the Head Coach in Oakland, a team many think will be improved this year after a 3-13 finish last season.  Two second-year players to watch in this one are Cincy RB Jeremy Hill, who led NFL rookies in rushing yards last season with 1124, and Raiders QB Derek Carr, the league’s top rookie passer with 3270 yards.

Matt Says:  Cincinnati 26-18 (Cin -3)
Mike Says:  Cincinnati

Baltimore Ravens at Denver Broncos . . .
The last time the Broncs played host to the Ravens, QB Peyton Manning threw for 462 yards and seven touchdowns in the opener in 2013, avenging the playoff loss to Baltimore from the prior season.  Manning and the Broncos weren’t happy with their postseason loss at home to Indianapolis from this past January, so don’t be surprised to see them have a strong start, even if the Ravens end up having a better year in the long run.

Matt Says:  Denver 35-17 (Den -4.5)
Mike Says:  Denver

New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys . . .
Believe it or not, the Cowboys have won four straight in the series.  That’s hard to believe given the Giants’ success under Head Coach Tom Coughlin and QB Eli Manning, winning a pair of Super Bowls.  But Big Blue has missed the playoffs three straight seasons after winning their last Lombardi Trophy, something Dallas has its sights set on this year with one of the best offensive lines in football as well as the plenty of offensive talent in QB Tony Romo, WR Dez Bryant and veteran TE Jason Witten.

Matt Says:  Dallas 31-21 (DAL -6)
Mike Says:  Dallas

Philadelphia Eagles at Atlanta Falcons . . .
Ex-Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn takes over in Atlanta, a team with plenty of offensive firepower in the form of QB Matt Ryan and WR’s Julio Jones and Roddy White.  For some reason though, the Falcons have had some underachieving seasons, and they must work on a pass defense that ranked #32 – dead last – in the league last year.  Philly has a new QB in Sam Bradford, formerly of the Rams, as well as a new RB in DeMarco Murray, once of the Cowboys.  Getting a road win against a team with the passing game the Falcons have would be a major plus.

Matt Says:  Atlanta 30-17 (ATL +3)
Mike Says:  Philly

Minnesota Vikings at San Francisco 49ers . . .
It’s rare that a team like the Vikings, which has finished below .500 in four of the last five seasons, is favored on the road against a Niners squad not long removed from three consecutive appearances in the NFC Championship game.  But San Francisco saw some key players leave, multiple staples on the defense retire, and have a new Head Coach in Jim Tomsula replacing Jim Harbaugh (now at Michigan).  Meanwhile, Minnesota is a trendy Wild Card pick with RB Adrian Peterson back to support developing QB Teddy Bridgewater.

Matt Says:  Minnesota 14-9 (MN -2.5)
Mike Says:  San Francisco

Matt Hat’s Hits:
LOCKS – Green Bay -6, Denver -4.5 and San Diego -3.5
UPSET SPECIALS – St. Louis and Jacksonville

2015 NFL Season is Here! Steelers at Patriots Picks (Thurs. Sept. 10, 2015)

September 11, 2015 on 12:28 am | In NFL | No Comments

The 2015 NFL season is finally here!  No more talk about deflated fumbles, court cases or Commissioner Roger Goodell.  It’s time to get down to business – the real games.

Yours truly and my father, Mike Hatfield, will be doing our predictions each week… so let’s begin with the game kicking off this evening on NBC at 8:30 PM EST between the defending Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots and visiting Pittsburgh Steelers at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro.

Pittsburgh Steelers at New England Patriots . . . B ill Belichick’s squad has won four of the last six meetings with a 55-31 romp back in 2013 when tight end Rob Gronkowski finished with 143 yards receiving and a touchdown.  Quarterback Tom Brady has no shortage of motivation and Gronk will likely be his go-to target against a Pittsburgh defense that has some talented parts, but is inexperienced in spots.  Mike Tomlin’s group begins life without safety Troy Polamalu, such an indispensable piece of their success in recent years.

Pittsburgh should have one of the most potent offenses this year before everything is said and done with QB Ben Roethlisberger, RB Le’Veon Bell and WR Antonio Brown (the NFL’s leader in receptions and receiving yards last season).  However, Bell will miss the first two games due to suspension.  They’re also missing starting center Maurkice Pouncey, out with an injury.

Big Ben is making his 159th start in a Steelers uniform and that passes Terry Bradshaw for most in team history.  They’re going to have to pull the road upset on his arm, which can be done against a Patriots defense that was dealt some significant losses in the off-season, primarily in the form of CB Darrelle Revis (Jets) and DT Vince Wilfork (Texans).

At home, the Pats are tough to beat and appear better equipped to win a shoot-out than the Steelers.

Matt Hatfield’s Pick:  New England 27-24 (Pittsburgh +6.5)
Mike Hatfield’s Pick:  Pittsburgh 24-21

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