NY Giants (8-3) at Pittsburgh (6-5)
When: Sunday, December 4th 2016
Where: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA
Time: 4:25 ET | TV: FOX
Two quarterbacks with a combined four Super Bowl rings will battle in a pivotal game as the Pittsburgh Steelers host the New York Giants on Sunday afternoon. New York quarterback Eli Manning and counterpart Ben Roethlisberger were both first-round picks in the 2004 draft and each have guided their teams to a pair of championships. They also have terrific number one targets to throw to as Odell Beckham, Jr. has caught fire of late for the red-hot Giants. Beckham has multiple touchdowns receptions in three of the past six games while Manning has 15 scoring passes and six interceptions in that span. New York has won six in a row and are in great position for a Wild Card spot, but they also have their sites set on Dallas (11-1) in the NFC East. New York’s defense was among the worst in the league while going 6-10 last season, but one of the biggest reasons for the turnaround is safety Landon Collins, who was named the NFC Defensive Player of the Month on Thursday. Collins had three of his five interceptions in four games in November to earn the Giants’ first monthly honor since Jason Pierre-Paul in 2011. Pierre-Paul has re-emerged as well with 5.5 sacks over the past two weeks. New York has recorded 21 sacks during the winning streak.
Roethlisberger has his own weapon on offense, and that’s Antonio Brown, who is two yards shy of his fourth consecutive 1,000-yard season, leads the NFL with 82 receptions and caught three touchdown passes last week to match his total from his previous six games combined. Pittsburgh also has what New York wishes they did, and that’s solid running game. Le’Veon Bell has scored in each of the last three games and has rushed for 266 yards in the past two while Roethlisberger is coming off his sixth game with at least three touchdown passes. Bell tops the NFL with an average of 142 scrimmage yards per game. Pittsburgh’s weakness is on the other side of the ball as they are ranked 19th in total defense, but they allow an alarming 263.5 yards a game through the air. The Steelers are in a battle with Baltimore in the AFC North and are currently tied heading into Week 13. They will be in Buffalo next week before closing out the season with the rest of their division including the Ravens on Christmas Day.
Roethlisberger came alive last week, but he’s still short-handed at wide receiver as Brown will get plenty of attention from the Gaints secondary. New York is on fire right now and they’re getting almost a touchdown. I can’t pass up on those points with an 8-3 team.
Pick: Giants +6