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Pittsburgh Steelers (0-1-1) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-0) at Raymond James Stadium

NFL Week 3:8:15 ET on Monday, September 24, 2018

Two teams with serious playoff aspirations take to the field on Monday Night Football when the Pittsburgh Steelers travel to Florida to take on the undefeated Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This is a series that has been dominated by Pittsburgh since the two teams faced each other for the first time in 1976. The Steelers are 8-2-0 in their previous 10 meetings, but Tampa Bay won the last meeting between these two teams, a September 2014 affair, 27-24.

Chiefs Win Battle of Quarters over Steelers, 42-37

The Kansas City Chiefs and Pittsburgh Steelers played in one of the most entertaining contests of Week 2, as the Chiefs defeated Pittsburgh, 42-37. That came courtesy of one of the most unusual contests as Kansas City dominated the first and third quarters and the Steelers the second and fourth, but Pittsburgh was unable to complete the comeback.

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Kansas City jumped out to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter, courtesy of three touchdown passes by Patrick Mahomes. Three different receivers benefited, as Chris Conley made the first just 1:55 into the contest on a 15-yard touchdown reception. Travis Kelce had a 19-yard score and running back Kareem Hunt scored from 5 yards out to give the Chiefs a commanding lead early on.

The Steelers battled right back, as quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw three touchdown passes of his own. The first came on a 26 yarder to Jesse James and the Steelers quarterback then found JuJu Smith-Schuster for a two-yard touchdown pass where the extra point was missed. With 18 seconds left in the half, Roethlisberger connected with James Washington for a 14-yard touchdown reception and, after the two-point conversion attempt was good, the game was tied.

The Chiefs dominated the third quarter, outscoring Pittsburgh, 14-8. Mahomes connected with Kelce for the second time in the game, a 25 yard touchdown pass that put Kansas City back on top. James Conner then scored from 1 yard out to tie the game. Mahomes threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to DeMarcus Robinson to put Kansas City back on top once again.

In the fourth quarter, the Chiefs would extend their lead to 14. Mahomes threw his sixth touchdown pass of the game, a 29-yard completion to Tyreek Harrison to make it 42-28. The next time Kansas City had the ball, running back Kareem Hunt was tackled in the end zone for a safety. Pittsburgh would then score a touchdown when Roethlisberger scored from 3 yards out to pull the Steelers within five with a little under two minutes left in the game. However, they would get no closer.

Roethlisberger made 60 pass attempts, completing 39 for 452 yards and three touchdowns. The Steelers ground game was held to just 33 yards.

Ryan Fitzpatrick Leads Buccaneers to 27-21 Victory over Eagles

In the great battle of the backups, Ryan Fitzpatrick outdueled Nick Foles to lead the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a 27-21 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. Fitzpatrick threw for 402 yards and completed 81.8% of his passes. He also threw four touchdowns to help lead Tampa Bay to a 2-0 start.

This was a game that was dominated by the Buccaneers. They would take the lead on the first play from scrimmage when Fitzpatrick found streaking DeSean Jackson for a 75-yard touchdown pass just 11 seconds into the game. Philadelphia would tie the score at the 4:51 mark of the second quarter, but Tampa Bay would dial up the big play again as Fitzpatrick found O.J. Howard for a 75-yard touchdown passes 12 seconds later to give the team a six-point lead. With 42 seconds left in the half, the Tampa Bay quarterback tossed an 8-yard touchdown to Chris Godwin to give the Buccaneers a 20-7 lead heading into the half.

They would extend that lead to 20 when Fitzpatrick connected with Mike Evans for a 4-yard touchdown six minutes into the third quarter. Just before the third quarter ended, Philadelphia would get a 2-yard touchdown run to pull within 13 and would add a 2-yard pass from Foles to cut the deficit to six, but they would get no closer.

DeSean Jackson made four catches for 129 yards and a score. The Tampa Bay defense recorded three sacks.

Trends:

Pittsburgh:

  • 1-4 ATS in their last five September games.
  • 1-7 ATS in their last eight games overall.
  • 0-6 ATS in their last six games on grass.

Tampa Bay:

  • 4-0 ATS in their last four games overall
  • 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games following an against the spread victory.

The Winner Prediction

The Steelers offense is looking good this season, but their defense has looked pathetic. This is a team that got scorched by a second-year quarterback last weekend and things do not look positive for them as they enter this contest against Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers would love to make it a sweep over the Pennsylvania teams after defeating Philadelphia last weekend.

Pittsburgh is favored in this contest but, until they can prove they can shut down an opposing offense, there is no reason to put your faith in that team.

The Pick: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+1), (-105)

The Total

The one thing that is neglected in Tampa Bay’s victory from last weekend is that Philadelphia has a solid defense, much better than what we see in Pittsburgh. This game is clearly going over as both teams should have success moving the ball.

The Pick: Over 54.0 (-105)

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