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Steelers facing another defensive battle with Jets

Dec 7, 2004 4:00 AM

With the majority of the college bowl games a couple weeks away, I will concentrate on the NFL.

It seems like every week it’s the usual suspects — Steelers, Eagles, Colts, Patriots and the surging Chargers. The Steelers looked to be on the verge of defeat but rookie QB sensation Ben Roethlisberger drove his team down field in the closing seconds for a game winning field goal.

Big Ben looked like an old pro with his pinpoint sideline passes or was it the Jaguars prevent defense that prevented them from halting the Pittsburgh win streak? Whatever, the Steelers have now won 10 straight since Big Ben has taken over at QB.

The bigger picture is Dick LeBeau and the Steelers defense, which has now played five straight games under the total. During that span, opponents are averaging a meager 10 points a game.

Taking a look at the others, the Eagles have won and covered four straight since their loss at Pittsburgh. New England has won and covered five straight since the setback at Pittsburgh. The Colts have taken five straight, going 4-1 ATS and averaging 42.6 points per game. Indy did sneak an "under" in those five games (against Detroit) when the starters were pulled in the fourth quarter.

And how about Marty Schottenheimer’s Chargers! Under the direction of QB Drew Brees, they are 8-1 SU and 8-0-1 ATS in their last nine outings. It’s no wonder the books are having a hard time with the NFL this year. Will these guys slow up a little this week?

Bengals (+10½) at Pats (43½): These two teams have met three times in the last 10 years with Cincinnati winning once, but covering on each occasion. This looks like another loss and cover. Bengals off big win over the Ravens and played Pittsburgh tooth and nail three weeks ago, losing 19-14. BENGALS.

Colts (-10) at Texans (56): The Colts won first meeting in Indianapolis, 49-14. The Texans have played some good ball this year, but just don’t see them matching points with Indy. COLTS.

Jets (+5½) at Steelers (36½): Steelers continue to win, but have been relying on their defense to get the job done the last two weeks. The offense has only scored 19, 16 and 17 in the last three games with no covers in the last two. The Jets defense has given up 7, 3 and 7 in the last three games, winning and covering all three. The "under" is 3-0 during that span and we see it continuing. JETS, UNDER.

Bucs (+5½) at Chargers (42½): We all know how good the Chargers are, but the Bucs can play some defense. Those points look very good in a game that looks to be decided by a field goal. Tampa Bay coming off a 27-0 shutout of Atlanta. Bucs 4-2 both SU and ATS in the last six games, with five going "under" the total. BUCS, UNDER.

Last week: 0-0

Season: 12-13