NFL Week 2 picks: Expert predictions for Patriots vs. Steelers originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
The Patriots enter this matchup at 0-1 following a lackluster performance in a 20-7 season-opening loss to the rival Miami Dolphins on the road. New England's offense struggled mightily with just 271 total yards. The offensive line also was a disaster and had issues protecting quarterback Mac Jones against the Dolphins blitzes.
Blitz pickup could be an issue again Sunday because the Steelers defense is very effective at pressuring the opposing quarterback -- just ask the Cincinnati Bengals.
The Steelers sacked Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow seven times in Week 1, and they also intercepted him four times. Even without star defensive end T.J. Watt (pectoral injury), the Steelers defense still has plenty of playmakers at every level.
Oddsmakers still like the Patriots' chances of avoiding an 0-2 hole to begin the season. New England is a 2-point favorite at several sportsbooks despite being the road team. The Patriots have gone 20 consecutive seasons without starting 0-2, which is the longest active streak in the NFL.
Here's a roundup of expert picks for the Week 2 game between the Patriots and Steelers, with a score prediction if provided.
Tom E. Curran, NBC Sports Boston: 13-9 Patriots
Mike Florio, ProFootballTalk: 20-13 Steelers
Albert Breer, Sports Illustrated: Patriots
Zach Berman, The Athletic: Steelers
Gregg Rosenthal, NFL.com: 20-17 Steelers
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports: 21-20 Patriots
Bill Bender, Sporting News: 21-20 Steelers
Bleacher Report NFL Staff: 23-20 Steelers
Jeremy Fowler, ESPN: Steelers
Dan Graziano, ESPN: Steelers
Mark Schofield, SB Nation: Steelers
David Hill, New York Times: Steelers +1.5
Sheil Kapadia, The Ringer: Patriots -2.5
FiveThirtyEight's model: Steelers 58 percent chance to win