Antonio Brown (84) and teammate Emmanuel Sanders (88) react after a catch during the second half against the New York Jets, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2013, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
The black and gold finally picked up their first win of the season last week in New York against the Jets and the team is ready to turn that win into back to back wins and then some.
The challenge won’t be easy as they take on the hated rival Ravens. It will be a hard hitting, trash talking, close game.
Here are the Keys to A Steelers Victory:
These games are always close and the defense will need to play a pivotal role in this one. Last week they were able to get their first two turnovers of the season and they’ll need to get another one or two again to help set up the offense with decent field position.
Antonio Brown needs to continue to shine. He’s been the best offensive weapon on the team in the last 3 or 4 weeks and he needs to be the ‘go to’ guy in big games like this. His ability to go deep as well as across the middle makes him a true impact receiver.
The rookies are going to need to play like veterans. Linebackers Jarvis Jones and Vince Williams are now very key players on this team. They will get introduced to this rivalry in a hurry. These two, along with LeVeon Bell on the offensive side of the ball will all have a big impact on the outcome of this game. If they struggle, it could be a long day.
The offensive line is going to need to play better than they have all season long. They showed some improvement against the Jets and they’ll need to build on that against a Ravens defense that will be salivating at the very idea of hitting Big Ben. If they can’t keep Ben upright and away from the Ravens defense; he may not make it through the game.
Here are a Few Things to Watch:
Heath Miller – He’s Ben’s security blanket. With an anticipated rush on just about every down coming from the Ravens, Miller could play a huge role in what the black and gold do on offense.
Ike Taylor – He’ll be guarding Torrey Smith most of the game. Smith is a burner and had a game winning grab against the Steelers at Heinz Field last season. Taylor will need to play his usual stellar defense to keep Smith in check. Will he be up for the challenge?
Brett Keisel – At this moment he’s expected to play but coming off a rib injury last week, how effective will he be?
The Terrible Towel – With the team finally getting a win last week and one of the biggest games of the year being played, will the crowd be a factor? Can the terrible towel waving crazies impact the game? If they are loud enough and stick it out, yes, they can and they will.
Mike Pelaia hosts the website Steel Nation Association www.steelnationassociation.com- Covering the Steelers and helping Children’s Hospital All Day Everyday. You can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.