The matchup between the Steelers and Panthers is easily the best Thursday Night Football matchup of the year, and should not disappoint. Both teams are fearless and rolling. The game could go the way of an offensive duel, the type of games we love to see in a weird short week.
With a wide-open AFC North, the Steelers must continue to pull through with wins. Here's how they can do it.
4. Stop Christian McCaffery
Okay, this one is pretty self explanatory. Panthers' star runner Christian McCaffrey has been having an exemplary year. He's dynamic and scary all over the field. The Steelers have the sixth-best run defense in the game, however. If they can stop McCaffrey at the line, Carolina's game plan becomes a bit more manageable.
3. Chris Boswell Must Be Flawless
Chris Boswell is a pretty good kicker. He has not been called on much this season due to the Steelers' efficient offense, but he has to be on his game Thursday. There's a good chance that the game comes down to a few points, and Boswell is only making 84.6 percent of his extra point kicks this season. That one point could lead to a loss.
2. Keep a Steady Pace
Mike Tomlin and the Steelers' offense need to be ready to dial back their gears a bit. The Panthers have shown that they can make great comebacks; after all, no deficit is big enough for Cam Newton. The Steelers are eighth in time of possession and need to continue that rate. Run the clock out. Going up big early on Carolina is not the best idea.
1. Keep That Big Ben-Antonio Brown Connection Locked in
While this is obvious, it is still true. Ben Roethlisberger and Antionio Brown need to keep that 'Wifi connection' high. Though they started off on different pages, the duo had their 68th career touchdown in Week 9. They're on fire once again, and Carolina's eighth-ranked rushing defense looks to take James Connor out of the scenario. The passing attack must flourish, and Brown simply can't let Thursday's early-morning speeding incident throw him off his game. No excuses.