NFL (10-star or 10-unit)
(242) Minnesota -3 (NFLx Game of the Week)
*Minnesota is glad to see last year fade into the sunset after all the drama around Adrian Peterson. As a result, the team finished with their 4th losing season in 5 years! Zimmer and Company return for their 2nd consecutive season and are ready to bring this team to the next level! Despite their losing record last season his defense improved dramatically in many major statistical categories. The team continued their commitment to improving the defense by using their first 3 draft picks on 3 key players with tremendous size, speed, strength and athleticism, all have the potential to start and make an immediate impact. Offensively, QB Bridgewater takes over at the helm and looks eager and ready to be the franchise leader! He has a great line protecting him and a solid ground game with a lot of depth! Despite their 7-9 mark last season I still consider the season a smashing success given the adversity and distractions they had to overcome!
Pittsburgh returned to the playoffs last year and finished above .500 the past 2 seasons. Despite losing longtime safety Polamalu to retirement the team remains optimistic about its future and moved quick to replace him by using 2 of their first 4 draft picks on talented corners. Offensively, there seems to be a lot of preseason hype around this unit and I’ve been scratching my head wondering why. Despite making the playoffs last season this unit ranked average or below average in many key statistical categories and did little to improve in the offseason. Despite having a career season last year Big Ben only had 1 elite lineman protecting him and this put him in some of the most uncompromising situation at times, running for his life and taking big hits! Pittsburgh did little-to-nothing in the offseason to fix this so it’s hard to imagine Ben repeating last season’s performance! Injuries also plagued this team early last year so expect Coach Tomlin to be more focused on staying healthy than winning games this preseason.
Tonight I give the clear motivational edge to Minnesota and a second year coaching staff who is highly motivated to get started in the win column! And it helps knowing we have a 29-0 ATS preseason trend going against certain XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX teams (PIT), if they are facing a team who XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX. I can’t remember the last time I lost an opening night HOF game and tonight I fully expect to kick things off with another huge win!
FINAL: MINNESOTA 14 PITTSBURGH 3
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