Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) listens to offensive coordinator Todd Haley during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
The Steelers are in a rare spot after two weeks, they are 0-2. They’ve never been 2 games under .500 in the Mike Tomlin era until now.
If there were ever a must win situation in a week three matchup, this is it. If the black and gold fall to 0-3, the season is all but lost. Yet, if they win the contest, they’ll remain only 1 game out of first place and if the Ravens and Bengals were to both lose, they’d actually be tied for first.
The problem is the offense, can they get anything done against a tough Bears defense?
Here are the Steelers Keys to Victory:
1. The team must figure out a way to get first downs. It sounds ridiculous to even read that but it’s sadly true. They haven’t proven they can move the ball effectively and they must control the ball and finally move it down field on offense. They don’t have to score every time, but they must discontinue the three and outs.
2. They need to run the shotgun formation to allow Big Ben more time in the pocket. At this juncture it’s obvious the O line can’t protect him so they must find another way to do so.
3. Big Ben needs to be allowed to call his own plays. Todd Haley has failed miserably in his play calling both last year and now into this season. The offense is far more effective when Ben calls.
4. The defense has been solid but has yet to force a turnover. They need to provide the offense some help when it comes to field position and there is no better way than to pick off a pass or recover a fumble.
A Few Things To Watch This Week:
1. Antonio Brown-He’s not satisfied with the amount of balls going his way and he had a blow up with Todd Haley last week. Will he be a bigger part of this offense?
2. The O line-They have to understand that they are getting Ben killed. Will they finally step up and protect their franchise quarterback?
3. Ike Taylor-He played one heck of a game last week manning up against AJ Green. He’ll be pitted against a big, physical Brandon Marshall this week. Can he contain him?
4. Heath Miller-Will he play? He’s getting close and this could be the week he returns. If he does, how will he impact the struggling offense?