Thursday, December 10, 2009

Thursday night NFL pick

(Home team is in caps.)

Steelers (-10.5) over BROWNS

The Steelers (6-6) have lost four games in a row and haven’t looked very good since a dominating Week 9 win in Denver in early November. And even though any team can go through a bad stretch of football, the Steelers have struggled against rather mediocre teams. Of Pittsburgh’s six losses, only two of them have come against what many would call a "very good" team: the Bengals (9-3). The other four losses are to the Bears (5-7), Chiefs (3-9), Ravens (6-6), and Raiders (4-8). The Steelers usually put those teams away handily, but this season they've lost each one of those games by three points.

Fortunately for Pittsburgh, the Browns (1-11) are one of the worst teams in the NFL and don’t have much to play for -- other than to keep losing to secure getting the No. 1 pick in the upcoming draft. As of right now, Hines Ward is "very questionable" and Troy Polamalu is out for the game and may not play again this season. But against Cleveland, Pittsburgh should be fine without those two and can attack the Browns’ 27th-ranked defense (25.8 points per game).

The Steelers aren't out of the playoff picture just yet, but they can't afford to lose again this season.

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