NFL Week 15: Pittsburgh Steelers at Carolina Panthers Game Preview

"Carolina Panthers FanFest" by James Willamor is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are set to travel to Bank of America Stadium to take on the Carolina Panthers in a week fifteen matchup. The Steelers come into the game with a record of 5-8 and are currently tied with the Cleveland Browns for last place in the AFC North. On the flip side, the Panthers also enter the contest with a record of 5-8, however, they are tied with the Atlanta Falcons for second place in the NFC South. These are two teams who are in the process of a rebuild, while this season has not gone quite gone their way, this should be a very competitive game that comes down to the wire.  

Pittsburgh Steelers Look to Bounce Back After Tough Divisional Loss

The Pittsburgh Steelers are coming off of a tough 16-14 point loss to the Baltimore Ravens. The game got interesting as Pittsburgh was forced to play their second string quarterback while Baltimore had to play their third string. Steelers backup Mitchell Tribisky had a very poor showing and turned the ball over three times. The Steelers will have starting quarterback Kenny Pickett returning to the lineup this week after the concussion he suffered against the Ravens.

Along with this, this is a much more favorable matchup for the Steelers. While Pickett is a step up from Tribisky, Pittsburgh will still need a big day from Najee Harris and their defense to get out of week fifteen with a win. With T.J. Watt officially back and playing back at an elite level again, this should not be a tall task for the defensive unit. Although Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold put together a solid performance last week, it is unlikely he will be able to replicate it against a defense like Pittsburgh’s. 

Carolina Panthers Hope to Continue Win Streak After Upsetting the Seattle Seahawks

The Carolina Panthers are coming into this game fresh off of a big win against the Seattle Seahawks. Carolina game into the game as underdogs, however, they came out of the gates hot and took care of business. They defeated the Seahawks by a final score of 30-24. The key to this win was the elite play from the defensive unit. Although they gave up three passing touchdowns to Geno Smith, they also forced him to throw two interceptions that put the Panthers in incredible positions to score.

Despite having a very adequate scoring day, no player really took over and led for the Panthers. It was a very balanced team effort with no player having more than a single touchdown on the roster. The Panthers will need to have another great showing by their defense if they hope to bring home another win this week. Kenny Pickett is still a very inexperienced quarterback and has shown a tendency to turn the ball over. If Carolina is able to take advantage of that and force him to throw a couple of picks, and get their running game going again this week, they could make a late push for the NFC South.