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Game Predictions: Expert picks for Patriots vs. Steelers

20190906-ExpertPredictions-PDC

Experts share their picks for the Patriots Week 1 matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Mike Reiss, ESPN:

Pick: Patriots 27, Steelers 24

Tom Brady faces the Steelers' pass rush, which tied for an NFL-high 52 sacks last season, with backup center Ted Karras stepping in for David Andrews (IR, blood clots in lungs) and 2018 first-round pick Isaiah Wynn (IR as a rookie/torn Achilles) making his first career start at left tackle. How the Patriots' offensive line protects him might be the difference.

Jeremy Fowler, ESPN

Pick: Steelers 27, Patriots 20

The Steelers' improved defense will intercept Brady inside Gillette Stadium for the first time ever. Pittsburgh feels it finally has the playmakers in the back seven to match wits with Brady, who has never lost to Pittsburgh at home.

Mike Golic, ESPN: Patriots

Seth Wickersham, ESPN: Patriots

Mina Kimes, ESPN: Patriots

Dan Graziano, ESPN: Steelers

Trey Wingo, ESPN: Patriots

Louis Riddick, ESPN: Patriots

Gregg Rosenthal, NFL.com

Pick: Patriots 19, Steelers 17

Tomlin's group is flying high after a productive camp where rookie Devin Bush emerged, Pittsburgh's strong defensive line stayed healthy and the team's young secondary talent stepped up. The Patriots should be similarly optimistic about their defense's prospects with a potential hotshot new play-caller named Bill Belichick and the deepest linebacker group and secondary since Willie McGinest patrolled the field. The Patriots love to accumulate information and find advantages within. Week 1 has the smallest body of work to learn from. Those were the many reasons the Steelers are dangerous, yet picking against Brady in Foxborough remains a fool's errand.

Pete Prisco, CBS Sports:

Pick: Patriots 30, Steelers 23

The Steelers are a new-look team with Antonio Brown gone and the Le'Veon Bell mess behind them. They will be a good team, but opening at New England is a problem. Tom Brady is 11-3 with 31 touchdown passes and five picks in his career against the Steelers. Make it 12-3.

Jason La Canfora, CBS Sports: Patriots

Will Brinson, CBS Sports: Patriots

Dave Richard, CBS Sports: Patriots

Ryan Wilson, CBS Sports: Patriots

Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk:

Pick: Patriots 27, Steelers 24

Two years ago, the Patriots lost to the Chiefs on the night they hung a banner. Bill Belichick won’t let that happen a second time.

Michael David Smith, Pro Football Talk:

Pick: Patriots 31, Steelers 21

The Steelers won’t miss Antonio Brown off the field, but they’ll miss him on the field. The Patriots, on the other hand, are well-equipped to adjust to the absence of Rob Gronkowski. I like the Patriots to win this one with their passing game.

Paul Perillo, Patriots.com:

Pick: Patriots 27, Steelers 13

Defense holds it together while offense works to find its rhythm.

Mike Dussault, Patriots.com:

Pick: Patriots 17, Steelers 13

Pats squeak it out in a sloppy defensive struggle.

Erik Scalavino, Patriots.com

Pick: Patriots 27, Steelers 17

At the moment, both teams appear stronger on defense than offense, at least theoretically. That leads me to conclude this will be a lower-scoring affair than it might otherwise have been with Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger facing off. New England doesn’t get all its points on O, either. Defense or special teams chips in with a TD, perhaps in the fourth quarter.

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