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Thursday Night Football, Panthers Vs. Steelers: Pittsburgh Should Cruise

The Pittsburgh Steelers will host the Carolina Panthers on Thursday Night Football in a game in which they're a whopping 15 point favorites. The Steelers should have no problems cruising through this game even without S Troy Polamalu, who is out with an injury.

The Panthers will need a lot of breaks to win this game. They can start by forcing the Steelers offense into some mistakes. That can come via the pass rush, which SB Nation's Cat Scratch Reader identifies as one of the keys to the game.

Big Ben doesn’t take a lot of sacks and will try to force throws under pressure. The Steelers offensive line hasn’t been great the past few seasons so it’s very possible Carolina can get to him even with the injuries we have.

SB Nation's Behind The Steel Curtain says not so fast when talking about the Panthers defense getting to Roethlisberger.

With the exception of DE Charles Johnson (nine sacks, resembles a thicker and slightly taller James Harrison) the Panthers front seven isn't particularly tough, especially not for the kind of teams soon-to-be-former Panthers coach (and Steelers assistant) John Fox is used to producing. Despite the loss, and the Panthers win, the Steelers offensive line should have a world of confidence going into a game where, on paper, they don't appear to be overmatched.

If the Steelers lose this Thursday night game at home, it'll be one of the biggest upsets of the year so don't expect a Carolina victory.

Check out Cat Scratch Reader and Behind The Steel Curtain for more on the game.