Thursday Night Football follows two forgettable games with what could be the Game of the Week. Carolina takes its three-game winning streak into Pittsburgh where the Steelers will try to extend their own four-game streak.
Both offenses are clicking, averaging over 30 points-per-game during their recent winning stretches. Quarterbacks Ben Roethlisberger and Cam Newton are playing as well as they ever have, and each boasts a young runner that gives their offense a lift.
James Conner and Roethlisberger made the Steelers the second team in NFL history to finish with a 100-yard rusher and a 250-yard passer in four straight games. Tony Romo and Demarcus Murray did it for the Cowboys once. Pittsburgh will try to do it for a record-setting fifth consecutive game Thursday.
Newton has used his legs as much as his arm to keep the Panthers offense moving. Chris McCaffrey proved he can run between the tackles and handle a full rushing workload, creating a perfect option alongside Newton.
Pittsburgh’s James Conner is the third-leading rusher in the NFL and is tied with Alvin Kamara with a second-best nine rushing touchdowns.
Le’Veon Bell could disrupt the Steelers’ locker room and game flow if he decides to end his holdout this week. It is the last week he can do so and still play in 2018.
Injuries and notes:
In a short week, it’s hard to differentiate who is being rested from who is actually injured. Carolina lists ten players as limited or missing practice. That includes Cam Newton and Greg Olsen, neither of whom is expected to miss Thursday’s game.
Wide receiver Torrey Smith (knee) is legitimately questionable.
Ben Roethlisberger is among a handful of Steelers limited in Tuesday practice. He will start Thursday. The only Steeler ruled out is Bell.
Going into 2018, Panthers coach Ron Rivera declared nothing less than a Super Bowl appearance would be considered success. He brought in Norv Turner to help Newton make the most of his offense with good results.
Carolina is on track to make the playoffs, but they will need to go a step further than last season’s round 2 loss if Rivera is to feel secure in his position.
Mike Tomlin has the Steelers playing as well as ever. He kept the team from being distracted by the Le’Veon Bell saga so far and made preseason prognosticators look silly for their concern about the Steelers aging stars.
How to watch the Steelers-Panthers game
Fox Sports and the NFL Network will broadcast this TNF game across the nation. Millions of savvy NFL fans will watch the contest on their favorite Internet-connected device thanks to companies like Sling TV, Fubo TV, and DirecTV Now.
Sling, Fubo, and DirecTV Now let you watch livestream NFL action all season long with high-definition, real-time sharing of the original NFL-contracted production from all the regular NFL networks, just like cable and satellite providers.
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Check out their websites to see why you should switch to internet television today.
Read More: NFL Week 11 Game Preview: Panthers at Lions
Who will win the Steelers-Panthers game?
Cam Newton is putting better numbers up this season than he did in his MVP year. When he is on his game, you can never rule out a victory for the Panthers.
But Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers have this thing about primetime games. They are practically unbeatable. With Conner making a case to keep his job even if Bell returns for Week 11, expect the team to keep its foot to the pedal Thursday.