Week 14's "Thursday Night Football" matchup of the New England Patriots (2-10) visiting the Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5) is anticipated to be a historic slog through the mud. The current consensus over/under as of Thursday morning is set at 30 points, which would be the lowest since the Patriots and Bengals played in Week 15 of the 1993 season, according to StatMuse. (2-11 New England beat 1-12 Cincinnati by a score of 7-2 in that game.)
The lowest total ever for an NFL game happened two weeks later, when two matchups had over/unders of 28 (another contest had an O/U of 29).
The reasons for 30 being the current Patriots-Steelers point total are fairly straightforward. New England has the worst scoring offense in the NFL, averaging 12.3 points per game as it has rotated back and forth between 2021 first-round pick Mac Jones and 2022 fourth-round pick Bailey Zappe. The Patriots offense hit a new low in Week 13 as they were against the Los Angeles Chargers, whose 265.8 passing yards allowed per game ranks as the second-most in the NFL.
The Steelers were upset by the Arizona Cardinals, who improved their record to 3-10, in Week 13 by a score of 24-10 after quarterback . Journeyman backup Mitch Trubisky, the second overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears, will get the start in place of Pickett on Thursday.
If a defensive rock fight is your ideal brand of football -- Iowa Hawkeyes fans I'm looking at you -- then Thursday night will be exactly the game you have been waiting to see.