The New England Patriots will unveil Their Own Super Bowl LIII banner when they host the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday Night Football, exclusively live on Sky Sports Action and Main Event.
Here is what to expect…
Pittsburgh (9-6-1 last year ) are considered a steady franchise. They stick together with their trainers (Mike Tomlin is entering his 13th year ), draft nicely and do not generally make massive splashes in free agency and the trade marketplace.
So when Le’Veon Bell made a decision to sit out a year for much more money, and Antonio Brown contended with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, skipped practices and was benched in Week 17 final season, the Steelers thankfully moved – although every player is considered as one of the very best at their positions.
What comes next for Pittsburgh once they hardly missed the playoffs last season?
Bill Belichick and Tom Brady’s Patriots (11-5) won the Super Bowl, however potential Hall of Fame tight end Rob Gronkowski retired, and they are without centre David Andrews indefinitely after he had been diagnosed with blood clots, plus they needed to put a broad receiver N’Keal Harry on Injured Reserve.
However, it is that the Patriots. Brady and Belichick and rosters that were much-changed got their first of six Super Bowl wins and were playing every season. They have to be thought of favorites for yet another year.
Following the departures of both Brown and Bell, expect tremendous seasons from James Conner – that already stepped in and handled 973 yards and 12 touchdowns in his first season as rookie – and also JuJu Smith-Schuster, who’s in line to get a huge bump.
Already on 166 aims around, Smith-Schuster handled 111 captures, 1,426 yards and seven TDs with Brown. All of those numbers could go up. Or we may see taking attention just how significant Brown was.
Together with Gronkowski projected rookie Matt LaCosse restricted in practice and gone, would Ryan Izzo be the best tight end in Week One of New England? He did not find the field (he had been IR) after being drafted in the seventh round a year, however Brady might be forced to look his way.
Then there’s the much-maligned Josh Gordon, who’s missed the vast majority of his profession due to suspensions. It has been a long time because he had among the largest receiving seasons ever in 2013 (87-1,646-9 in just 14 games for Cleveland).
After missing additional time , he is back, reinstated and also good to go. At 28he should be entering his prime as a receiver, but will he measure up and become a goal that is trusted for Brady?
When the Patriots dropped two of the first 3 games last year, they seemed rusty. In these games, they gave only managed 511 of their own and up 894 yards. How fast can Pittsburgh begin?
The Steelers have been the last team to beat New England (a 17-10 win at Heinz Field in Week 15) in order that they are definitely built to battle the champs, but they need to get themselves on top from the opening kickoff.
While Sony Michel had been limited to just 59 in that match, Pittsburgh handled 142 yards. If the Steelers can control the ball and then generate long drives to keep the ball out of Brady’s hands, it will operate in their own favor.
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