Week 9 Preview: Pittsburgh Steelers vs Dallas Cowboysby Christopher Gallagher November 7, 2020 0 comments
A battle between two teams at very different points in their seasons, the Pittsburgh Steelers travel to Arlington to battle the Dallas Cowboys in the late game slot on Sunday. The only unbeaten team left standing in the NFL; the Steelers have enjoyed a resurgence this season thanks to the return of Ben Roethlisberger.
Top ten in the league in both points for on offense and points given up on defense, Mike Tomlin’s group is in the thick of the race for the coveted number one seed in the AFC playoffs. Trending in the opposite direction from the Steelers, the 2020 season has been a nightmare for the Cowboys. Without Dak Prescott after a gruesome ankle injury forcing him to miss the rest of the year, the team will turn things over to veteran quarterback Garrett Gilbert to try and provide a spark on offense.
Riding high after a victory over their divisional rival Baltimore Ravens in Week 8, the Steelers will look to remain unbeaten on the season with a win over the Cowboys. Forcing Lamar Jackson and company into multiple turnovers a week ago, Pittsburgh’s defense harassed the Ravens quarterback at every turn of the game, recording four sacks and numerous quarterback hits. One of the elite offenses in the NFL once again thanks to Roethlisberger’s return after an elbow injury forced him to miss 14 games a year ago, Randy Fichtner’s group remains top 10 in every major offensive category. With their third straight road matchup on deck, look for Pittsburgh’s offense to roll in this matchup.
Historically bad midway through their 2020 campaign, the Cowboys defense has allowed five teams to score over 30 points against them while ranking near the bottom in both third-down percentage and rushing yards per game. Unable to scheme up enough pressure to keep opposing teams off balance or possessing the defensive backs to hold up in coverage, the Steelers receiving core should have a decided advantage in this matchup. Leading the league in sacks per game with 4.3 quarterback takedowns per game this season, Pittsburgh’s defense remains one of the elite units in the league. Led by the pass-rushing duo of T.J. Watt and Bud Dupree, look for the group to have their way with an undermanned Dallas offense.
With Andy Dalton remaining on the Covid-19 reserve list, the Cowboys will turn to their fourth quarterback of the season in Week 9 with six-year veteran Garrett Gilbert getting the start for the team. Remaining just one game behind the division-leading Philadelphia Eagles despite losing their last three games, Dallas will need a strong performance from Gilbert if they hope to knock off the Steelers in this one. With just six career passes attempted in the NFL, look for Mike Mccarthy and the team’s offense to install a run-heavy gameplan with the hopes of keeping Roethlisberger and the Steelers offense on the sidelines for a large chunk of the game.
One of the league’s elite defensive units, the Steelers have been susceptible against the run at points through eight games. Allowing over 96 yards per contest on average, if Elliot and company are able to get rolling, it could spell well for Dallas in pulling off the upset on Sunday. Turning in their best defensive effort of the season in week 8, the Cowboys held the Eagles to just 222 total yards. Getting healthier with the return of linebackers Leighton Vander Esch and Sean Lee, Mike Nolan’s group will be in tough again Sunday. Completing over 70 percent of his throws on the season, Roethlisberger and the Steelers offense has put up 26 points or more in every game this season.
Date: Sunday, November 8, 2020
Start Time: 4:25 P.M. EST
Location: Arlington, Texas
Stadium: AT&T Stadium
TV Info: CBS
Betting Odds Sponsored by Jazz Sportsbook
Points Spread: PIT -14.5 (-110) | DAL +14.5 (-110)
Moneyline: PIT -1215 | DAL +715
Over/Under: O 44 (-110) | U 44 (-110)
Looking directly at the money line total for this matchup, betting a Steelers team that is sure to win is not smart money with 10 times your potential return at stake. With the spread holding steady at 14.5, swallowing the points is the smarter bet. Fifth in the league in scoring offense and sixth in the league in scoring defense, the Steelers should be able to easily cover the number against a struggling Cowboys offense that has scored a total of 22 points combined in their last three contests. While the Cowboys offense has struggled mightily the last few weeks, look for this one to go over the number of 44 points. A very low total, Pittsburgh should provide enough scoring to push this one over the number making Steelers -14.5 and the over good value for those looking to make money in this one.
A game once circled as a premier matchup of the 2020 NFL season, this one should be a multi-score victory for the Steelers. While Tomlin’s team could struggle early in their third road contest in a row, the Cowboys will not provide enough juice on offense to knock off arguably the best team in the league.
Prediction: Steelers 28 Cowboys 10