Defensive issues key to success in Pittsburgh

 
Steve Baumohl
Tennessee Titans v New York Jets
Tennessee’s Marcus Mariota is likely to have success (Source: Getty)

RedZone Sports’ Steve Baumohl with his best bets for this week’s NFL action

Tennessee Titans at Pittsburgh Steelers

Friday 1.25am

Both teams come into this game, having needed a late score to secure victory on Sunday. When I look at this matchup, I see two good offenses with questionable defenses.

Pittsburgh are improved from last year, but have enjoyed a friendly schedule and still keep making big mistakes - especially from their corners.

With their best corner, Joe Haden, now out for the foreseeable, I expect this secondary to be severely tested going forward.

Going up against this formidable Titans offensive line is no easy task, and they’re yet to face a group this highly ranked.

I envisage the Pittsburgh defense getting neutralized, and Marcus Mariota may just be able to find success against their secondary. On the other side, it’s safe to say that the Steelers’ offense haven’t quite come up to standard.

The Titans’ recent good defensive performances are slightly skewed since they have faced three of the bottom-five offenses.

The reality is that this Titans defense aren’t great at stopping the run, and their secondary doesn’t match up well with the Steelers’ receivers.

Los Angeles Rams at Minnesota Vikings

Sunday 6pm

I think this is the most interesting game on the board this week.

The Rams have performed a full 180, morphing from a team that the public loved to oppose last year to one they can’t get enough of right now.

The Vikings, meanwhile, continue to fly under the radar and although they’ve benefitted the most from Aaron Rodgers’ injury, they’re playing great football.

Their offensive line, which was ravaged by injuries last year, ranks inside the top three for sacks allowed and is one of the main reasons why Case Keenum is playing so well.

The receiving duo of Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen is probably the best in the league right now, and with Everson Griffen coming back from injury, their defense will be at full strength.

The Rams are exciting to watch and coach Sean McVay has done a great job with Jared Goff, but I think they are taking full advantage of an easy schedule.

They have two losses to their name – both to the Redskins and Seahawks and that’s when they were truly tested.

Atlanta Cardinals at Seattle Seahawks

Tuesday 1.30am

I have been one of the biggest Seahawks’ fans in recent memory. I loved Russell Wilson coming out of college and saw the potential of this secondary very early on.

They have been extremely consistent year-on-year, and Wilson just keeps getting better. This season, however, I’m now ready to put the fork in them.

The offensive line is really poor. Wilson is carrying this team single-handedly whilst running for his life every match.

The defense is trending downwards and, after seeing Richard Sherman rupture his Achilles, the Seahawks just lost one of their key cogs in the secondary. He’s so good that teams don’t dare throw in his direction.

Atlanta arrive in town with their efficient passing attack, and I fully expect Julio Jones and company to torture Seattle.

On the other side of the ball, I expect Atlanta to bring a lot of pressure to the Seattle offensive line and Wilson will likely have to play catch-up.

POINTERS

Pittsburgh v Tennessee – Over 44 points 10/11

Minnesota -2.5 v Los Angeles 25/27

Atlanta win v Seattle 13/10

City A.M.'s opinion pages are a place for thought-provoking views and debate. These views are not necessarily shared by City A.M.