I learned long ago that in the NFL anybody can beat anybody on any given Sunday. You just never know what will happen.
Last year, we learned that without Aaron Smith and Troy Polamalu in the lineup, the Steelers were capable of losing to some of the worst teams in the NFL. They went through an embarrassing 5-game losing streak just to prove the point.
With that in mind, it’s probably a good idea to not take the Carolina Panthers for granted. After all, the Steelers will be without Troy Polamalu and Aaron Smith as they take on one of the worst teams in the NFL. Sound familiar?
But despite last year’s losing streak against bad teams, the Steelers couldn’t have asked for a better opponent than the Carolina Panthers.
If the NFL Draft were to be held today, the 2-12 Carolina Panthers would be picking first. That’s right, they are the worst team in the entire NFL.
The Panthers have the 32nd ranked offense in the NFL (that’s last, for those who aren’t sure). They also have the 32nd ranked passing offense.
Panthers’ rookie quarterback Jimmy Clausen has a 59.1 quarterback rating, and he passes for a mere 118.5 yards per game. He’s thrown 7 interceptions, while throwing only 2 touchdown passes. Moreover, he’s been sacked 26 times.
Those are not scary numbers. Even without Troy Polamalu and Aaron Smith, those are not scary numbers.
Of course, the Panthers are not completely toothless. Their defense is ranked #12 in the NFL, and running back Jonathan Stewart has rushed for 460 yards in his last 4 games.
But despite that, the Steelers should still win this game. I predict a 31-10 final score.
If the Steelers are able to defeat the Panthers and their final opponent, the Cleveland Browns (5-9), then they will lock up the #2 seed in the AFC, regardless of what the Baltimore Ravens do in their remaining games.
So as the Steelers try to win their final two games and solidify their playoff seeding, the Carolina Panther may be just what the doctor ordered.
(If you enjoyed this article, please consider leaving a comment by clicking on the square at the top right of this article. Also, please subscribe to our blog by pressing the orange button below. You can also follow us on Twitter by clicking the bird doohicky below. Also consider following us on Facebook. Thanks.)