The NFL is back once again this weekend, and in doing so, it returns with a vengeance as we prepare to witness some of the sport’s finest going head to head – although, the circumstances behind this match-up, in particular, are a little curious. The Pittsburgh Steelers and Atlanta Falcons are two legitimate playoff contenders who have spent the last decade or so either competing in the Super Bowl or coming within touching distance.
Alas, many fans prefer to look ahead to the future as opposed to focusing on the past, and with that, we arrive at why this is going to be such an intriguing showdown: both teams are positioned last in their respective divisions. It’s a rare position to be in but they don’t really have anyone to blame but themselves, and although there’s still a good chunk of the season remaining, it certainly feels as if this is a do or die scenario for Pittsburgh and Atlanta.
The Steelers kicked off their campaign this season in surprising fashion, with a 21-21 tie against the Cleveland Browns. That was the definition of a shock result if we’d ever seen one, and it highlighted why Pittsburgh should’ve focused more on plugging the gaping holes they have during the off season. They followed that up with a narrow yet entertaining loss at the hands of the Kansas City Chiefs, before finally registering their first victory of the 2018 NFL season against the Buccaneers.
It seemed as if they were finally starting to pick up some momentum, but the Baltimore Ravens put a dagger through those plans with a decisive win over the Steelers that continued to showcase their flaws. Atlanta, on the other hand, set the pace of their season in the very first game when they just missed out on the W against reigning Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles.
They bounced back with an impressive win against the Carolina Panthers, but from that point on it became evident that they were continually being drawn into these ‘shootout’ type of games that just don’t provide them with the kind of consistency they need. They fell to the Saints and Bengals in consecutive weeks, and now, they’re left with a major point to prove against Pittsburgh.
Both teams have strong offensive weapons but can’t seem to find consistency in defence, which means we’re probably going to be pretty entertained from the first minute until the very last. We’ll go with the Falcons winning this one, but only just.