Duel Opinions: Steelers/Patriots Keys to the Game
Our panel of writers came together to preview this week’s Patriots game, by each finding a single battle they felt would be the “key to the game” for the Steelers to emerge victorious.
Here are those results:
The Steelers need to find a way to cheat.
I told Eric I was going to publish that… but all kidding aside…
The best defense is going to be keeping our defense off the field. They’re banged up. Might get some guys back, but with Heyward out, I don’t feel particularly comfortable with the matchup.
That means Landry Jones has to play mistake-free football, and help guide the offense to winning time of possession. Eat up the clock by pounding Bell and Williams on running plays.
Dink and dunk. Keep the Patriots honest enough that they don’t stack the box to stop the run, but if/when they do, stretch the D with a shot or two downfield.
It’s not impossible.
Do that, and our D stays fresh, and can hopefully force a turnover or two in our favor.
The key to this game is Le’veon Bell.
Landry Jones needs to be what any backup needs to be, he needs to be a game manager. He doesn’t need to win the game, he needs to avoid the mistakes that could cause the team to lose the game.
That can be made much simpler if the Steelers take advantage of Le’veon Bell. 20 touches on runs, and 10+ targets on short and screen passes. Use him the way he can be used, put him all over the field and confuse the Patriots as best we can with where he is going to be.
If he can run, then that will open AB and Sammie up for some shots every now and then, but they need to avoid the “cutsie” crap, and stick to a solid pounding using Le’veon.
If they can do that, and maybe win the turnover battle somehow, they can win this game.
Having Shazier back (if he is back) could help with Gronk and Bennett.
Avoid giving up big plays, get a few takeaways and this game is winnable.
The key to the game will be our defensive line and how they perform without the leader.
During the preseason, both Javon Hargrave and Riccardo Matthews excited a lot of people with their play. It may not have been against all first team o-linemen, but they held their own and then some.
Stephon Tuitt was supposed to have this monster year in the eyes of so many (myself included). Now would be the perfect time for that monster season to start for him. He needs to be a force and be the leader for a game.
Anyway anyone ever beats Brady is by making him uncomfortable. Those 3 upfront need to play inspired and mistake-free for us to come out victorious.
The key to the game will be the o-line. Landry takes 2-3 seconds longer in his decision making and he needs it to avoid INTs. He needs to be protected.
After that, Lev Bell has to be utilized heavily. (Edit: DeAngelo Williams has been ruled out for Sunday’s game.) Ground and pound our way to points should be the mindset. Keep it as much on the ground as possible.
Get David Johnson and Toussaint out there too, and hope that the defense can get to Brady with some kind of pass rush.
This game will require a defensive takeaway and score to even be competitive.
We have to go in with the 70’s Steelers mentality that defense win championships; this game should be treated as such.
If by some miracle we can win it will be a close game. Prediction: 10-6 Steelers.