Both teams have surprised this year. The Steelers were expected to dominate the AFC and challenge the Patriots for the AFC crown, but they’ve gotten off to a rough start. In Week 1, the Steelers tied 21-21 with the Cleveland Browns, who hadn’t won a game since the 2016 season. The next week, both the offense and defense sputtered against the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs got off to a 21-0 start in what seemed like an instant, and while Pittsburgh eventually tied it at 21, the Chiefs got rolling again and the Steel Curtain couldn’t keep up with Pat Mahomes and the Chiefs’ high-octane offense.
To make matters worse, the Steelers have faced a lot of drama with their struggles. Star running back Le’Veon Bell has been in a holdout since the offseason, and rumors have come about this week that the Steelers are fielding trade offers. On top of that, All-Pro wide receiver Antonio Brown has been visibly frustrated with the offense, even skipping a practice this week.
The Bucs have been the complete opposite. Expectations were low going into the season, and with starting quarterback Jameis Winston suspended for three games, expectations fell even lower as journeyman quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick manned the helm. Fitzpatrick lit the league on fire, however, becoming only the third quarterback in league history to throw for four touchdowns and 400+ yards in back-to-back weeks. On top of that, he leads the league in total QBR going into Monday night’s matchup. Most importantly, he’s doing it with swagger.
Ryan Fitzpatrick is done with your Harvard stereotypes. pic.twitter.com/arCAyBZKi3— Jeff Eisenband (@JeffEisenband) September 16, 2018
With the Steelers’ defense bleeding and Ryan Fitzpatrick on fire, expect a high scoring and very entertaining game tonight as we watch to see if the Fitzmagic continues.
What do you want to see tonight? Can the Steelers defense step up? Will James Conner put the nail in Bell’s coffin with the Steelers? Will Ryan Fitzpatrick seal the deal and win the starting job? Let us know that and anything else on your mind in the comments section.