NFL picks and predictions 2013, Week 9: Steelers vs. Patriots

Chris McGrath

Few are giving the Steelers a chance to upset the Patriots this weekend, but there are some experts who have faith.

The 2-5 Pittsburgh Steelers are 7.5-point underdogs to the 6-2 New England Patriots. The Steelers, a perennially "good" team heading into the 2013 season, have fallen on some hard times this season. They have shown glimmers of hope recently though with wins over the New York Jets and Baltimore Ravens.

It's no surprise then that a glimmer of hope is about all experts are willing to concede to Pittsburgh this weekend in Foxborough. Among 31 experts at ESPNYahoo!CBS and SB Nation, just four men -- Merril Hoge, K.C. Joyner, Ryan Wilson and SB Nation's venerable Joel Thorman -- are taking the Steelers to pull off the upset.

Their reasons are unknown, though they may have something to do with somewhat shaky play from the Pats lately. Two weeks ago they lost in overtime to the Jets, who were smacked down by the Cincinnati Bengals last weekend. The Patriots are coming off a 27-17 win over the Miami Dolphins, though they had to come back from a 17-3 deficit to pull off the victory.

An improving Steelers defense may have a chance to stymie the Patriots, though you probably shouldn't bet on it.

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