Thursday, December 23, 2010

Thursday Night Preview: Not much to say..

It's the final night of Thursday Night Football... Too bad it won't be much of a game..


There's not much to say about tonight's match up between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Carolina Panthers. They are two teams heading in the opposite direction.

A key stat that reveals how this game could turn out is that Carolina currently has the league's worst offense (13.1 pts/g) while the Steelers are tied with Green Bay for the league's best defense (15.7 pts/g).

Don't expect Jimmy Clausen, Jonathan Stewart and company to put up the kind of performance they did last Sunday against lowly Arizona.

The Steelers have already clinched a playoff spot and the Panthers have clinched spots on the couch in January. So, it may not be much of a game but both teams actually do have something to fight for in this game.

The Steelers could clinch a first round bye and the AFC North title with a win and a Baltimore loss. Pittsburgh can't afford a loss and it doesn't look like they'll have to worry about that. Their next two games - including tonight's - pits them against two teams with a combined 7-21 record.

The Panthers on the other hand have absolutely no reason to want to win this game. It was surprising that they even tried to get a victory against Arizona. If the Bengals hadn't also won that day they could have fallen in the upcoming draft.

If the season ended today, Carolina would receive the first overall pick in the NFL draft. However, every victory keeps them further from that potentially franchise changing pick. The Steelers can't afford a loss, but the Panthers can't afford a win.

Expect Pittsburgh to handle Carolina in a game that is close early but turns into a rout.

Pittsburgh over Carolina (28-7)

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