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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