Week 1 of the 2022 NFL season was full of upsets. One of those upsets featured the Pittsburgh Steelers defeating the Cincinnati Bengals thanks to an overtime field goal by kicker Chris Boswell. Head coach Mike Tomlin's team finds itself in a similar situation for their home opener in Week 2.
The New England Patriots are slated as 1.5-point road favorites against the Steelers on Sunday, according to FanDuel Sportsbook's NFL odds. Yes, the same Patriots that only scored seven points in their Week 1 loss to the Miami Dolphins.
Here are three reasons why Pittsburgh will be able to earn another upset win.
Steelers vs Patriots Week 2
1. The Turnover Battle
NFL games can be decided by a single takeaway (or five of them in the Steelers' case). Pittsburgh racked up four interceptions in Week 1 and also recovered a fumble. Safety Minkah Fitzpatrick even took his first-quarter pick to the house and gave his team a crucial early lead. Meanwhile, quarterback Mac Jones was strip-sacked in Week 1, which resulted in a scoop and score for the Dolphins' defense. It's obviously much better to score points on defense than it is to give up points on offense. In a game expected to be close, look for a Pittsburgh takeaway to make a huge difference.
2. An Aggressive Defensive Line
There's no denying that the Steelers put on a defensive showcase in Week 1. They sacked quarterback Joe Burrow a whopping seven times and prevented Cincinnati's offense from finding a rhythm. Linebacker Alex Highsmith was a menace all day long, posting 3.0 sacks and one forced fumble by the time the final whistle blew. Keep in mind Pittsburgh also allowed only 3.9 yards per carry against a Cincinnati offense that torched them on the ground in 2021. Repeating that same game plan against the backfield of Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson would put Pittsburgh in a great spot to win the game.
3. A Shaky Mac Jones
This game will come down to the play of quarterback Mac Jones as much as it will the Steelers' tough defense. The 24-year-old looked shaky in Week 1, completing 21 of his 30 pass attempts for 213 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He goes from facing a divisional defense that he had been familiar with to a defense he has yet to face in his career. Winning a game like that in a rowdy road environment is always going to be a lot to ask. It's worth noting that Jones came out of Week 1 with a back injury as well. A couple of big hits in the pocket caused him to suffer back spasms.
Larry Rupp is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Larry Rupp also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username phillyfan424. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.