For the first time since the 2004 season, the Pittsburgh Steelers are preparing to play (almost) an entire season without quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Third-round draft pick Mason Rudolph has been handed the reigns of the Steel Curtain as Pittsburgh travels west to face the 2-0 San Francisco 49ers this week.
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Event: (485) Pittburgh Steelers +6.5 at (486) San Francisco 49ers (o/u 44)
Date/Time: Sunday, September 22 at 4:25 p.m. EDT
Jimmy Garopollo will get all the headlines in San Francisco, but the defense has been the star of the show after two road games. The 49ers defense has forced five turnovers in victories over Tampa Bay and Cincinnati, which has taken the pressure off Jimmy G as he shakes off the rust from last year’s knee injury. In order for Pittsburgh to have success in this game, they have to find a run-pass balance that works. Andy Dalton threw the ball 42 times last week compared to 17 carries from Joe Mixon and Giovani Bernard. In the previous week, Jameis Winston threw the ball 36 times compared to 21 carries for Ronald Jones and Peyton Barber. Cincinnati and Tampa Bay abandoned the running game too easily and put the ball in their quarterbacks’ hands. Pittsburgh can’t let that happen this week.
A few trends, courtesy of The Gold Sheet:
- Dating back to last season, the Steelers are 2-7 against the spread in their last nine games.
- The Steelers were 0-4 against the spread as a road favorite last year, but went 4-0 against the number as a road underdog.
WagerTalk TV Preview: Pittsburgh Steelers at San Francisco 49ers
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