Cam Newton and the red-hot Carolina Panthers (6-3) take Norv Turner’s revamped rushing attack into Pittsburgh, where the Steelers (5-2-1) are looking for their fifth straight win without holdout Le’Veon Bell.
Thursday Night Football broadcasts tend to get knocked for airing an inferior match up. However, the Panthers/Steelers game is the biggest game on Week 10’s schedule. It’s definitely the most exciting Thursday Night game of the season thus far with two of the hottest teams in the NFL facing each other.
Carolina Panthers (5-3) at Pittsburgh Steelers (5-2-1)
Kickoff: 8:20pm ET
Location: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA
Point Spread: Pitt -4
The Panthers offense is coming in red hot thanks to offensive coordinator Norv Turner. The offense generated 78 points over the last two games. Cam Newton is looking as good as ever completing nearly 70% of his passes with 15 touchdowns and only 4 interceptions. In addition, Newton rushed for 4 more touchdowns.
The combination of Newton and McCaffrey produced the second most effective running games in the NFL averaging 153 rushing yards per game.
RB Christian McCaffrey has become a dangerous hybrid back than can beat you on the ground or as a receiver. McCaffrey saw the endzone five times this year with 880 yards of combined offense, including 49 receptions.
James Conner has been Mr. Consistent over the last four weeks. In those victories for the Steelers, Conner rushed for 100+ yards in every game.
This season, Conner’s contributions have been vital to the success of the team. Through nine games, Conner scored 10 touchdowns and 1,086 combined yards from scrimmage.
Conner’s top-notch performance filling in for Bell has left many Steelers fans confident that they don’t need Le’veon Bell. The Steelers proved they can win with Conner and Conner proved he’s capable and handling the workload.
Tepper Roots and History
The Panthers won three games in a row, but struggle away from Charlotte with only a 1-2 road record.
The Panthers are 0-5 in their last five games against the Steelers. They’d love to end their skid in Pittsburgh, especially their new owner.
Forbes Magazine called David Tepper “arguably the greatest hedge fund manager of his generation” who handles more than $18 billion in assets through Appaloosa Management.
Earlier this year, Tepper purchased the Panthers for $2.3 billion. Tepper previously owned a small piece of the Pittsburgh Steelers. He’s no stranger to local roots either as a former resident and a student.
Tepper’s personal quote seems appropriate as the owner of the Panthers.
“I am the animal at the head of the pack,” Tepper said. “I generally am. I either get eaten or I get the good grass.”
Big D for Steeltown
The Steelers turned their season around with four consecutive wins. In that span, their defense limited the opposition to no more than 21 points per game. The offense perked up over the last month or so, but the defense has been the cornerstone of their winning streak.
The Steelers won three tough division games in a row. NFC North games are synonymous with smashmouth football and the Steelers won by a combined 29 points.
Against the Ravens last weeks, the Steelers held Joey Flacco and company to only 16 points. The week before, the Steelers destroyed Baker Mayfield and the Browns. The Browns were limited to 18 points. The Steelers beat down the Browns so badly, that head coach Hue Jackson was fired shortly after the end of the game.