Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger talks with Oakland Raiders defensive tackle Stacy McGee after game in Oakland, Calif., Oct. 27. The Raiders won 21-18. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
At 2-5; the Steelers are officially in crisis mode. Their reward? A trip to New England where they never win against Tom Brady and the Patriots.
The season is rapidly slipping away and it’s on Mike Tomlin, Ben Roethlisberger and the rest of the coaches and veterans to not let this ship completely sink.
Here are the Keys to A Steelers Victory:
1. They will need to pressure Tom Brady. The Black and Gold have failed to get to Tom Brady over the years and as Brady has proven time and time again, if you give him time, he’ll burn you big.
2. The offense can be the team’s best defense. The best way to beat the Patriots is to keep Brady off the field as much as possible. The offense will need to exercise ball control. They’ll need to be able to run the ball effectively and mix in the passes accordingly.
3. Playing physical football is a must. The Patriots can be bullied and the old Steelers knew how to do that. Timmons and Woodley need to show the Patriots who’s in charge early and often.
4. The most obvious statement but possibly the most truthful, they can’t commit the stupid penalties. The last thing this team needs to do is provide the Patriots with free yards on either side of the ball.
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady passes against the Miami Dolphins in the second half of game Oct. 27, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
Here are a Few Things to Watch:
1. Big Ben-How will he play in a matchup against the guy he defines as the best quarterback in the NFL?
2. LeVeon Bell-He’s been very enigmatic in his first few games in the NFL. He seems to go up and down week by week. Based on that pattern he’s due for a good week but will it happen? Will the real LeVeon Bell show up or is the real LeVeon Bell a 35 yard per game rusher?
3. Emmanuel Sanders-Remember he was signed to an offer sheet by the Pats in the offseason, will he want to show them what they missed out on?
4. Heath Miller-He’s had an off few weeks with drops and fumbles. Will he make up for it? He may see several targets this week.
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.