The Steelers enter this week 3-6 and on a high after beating the lowly Buffalo Bills at Heinz Field last Sunday. They’ll face a far more ominous challenge when the Detroit Lions come to town this week.
The Lions are a very solid football team and a legitimate threat to go to the Super Bowl. The Steelers will certainly have their work cut out for them if they want to come out with the win on Sunday and grab a two game winning streak.
Here are the Keys to A Steelers Victory:
1. They absolutely must stop Megatron. How they plan to do that is unknown. Ike Taylor will be the main guy called upon to stop the league’s best wide receiver but it’s no easy feat for anyone. The Steelers will most likely need to implement double coverage and hope they can keep Johnson to only 100 yards or so. He’s had a 329 yard game this year so that’s asking quite a bit out of this secondary.
2. Not only will they need to stop Megatron but they’ll also need to find a way to prevent Reggie Bush from making the big plays. Bush is a dynamic back who can catch out of the backfield or run up the middle. He’s a double thereat and I look to Lawrence Tmmons to be the guy manning Bush all day long. If Timmons can’t rise up to the challenge then you may see Troy Polamalu step in. Either way, if Bush isn’t stopped or at least severely slowed down, it could be a long day for the Pittsburgh defense.
3. The Steelers offense may be the best defense. Considering how potent the Lions offense is, it may be best for the Steelers to run the ball and play ball control all game long. The less the Lions have the ball, the better. That means LeVeon Bell, Jonthan Dwyer and Felix Jones must step up and make some big plays. If they leave it all on Ben and the passing attack; the Lions will have too many chances.
4. The o line must keep Suh (one of the league’s dirtiest players) away for Big Ben. Suh is capable of breaking Ben in half (probably the only man in the league who can). He cannot be allowed near the Steelers QB. If he gets there, he’ll kick, punch or bite after the play and is capable of ending the day for Big Ben. The O line must really step up and show they are capably of protecting the franchise.
Here are a Few Things to Watch:
Big Ben-Not only is going to have to hide from Suh all day but he’ll be playing his first game since all the trade rumors broke out last week. He’s vehemently denied any and all rumors but let’s see if it impacts him on the field.
2. Troy Polamalu-He’s been a little quiet as of late. I expect a big day out of him with some impact plays.
3. Jonathan Dwyer-If it were up to me, he’d be the teams’ starting running back right now. It’s hard to say how many carries he’ll get but I have a feeling he’ll make an impact if given a chance. He’s brought a lot of fire to the huddle this year and he runs the ball better than anyone in the rotation.
4. Heath Miller-He should have a big role this week if the team wants to play ball control offense. He’s a great safety net for the passing attack and is still as reliable as ever. Let’s see if Todd Haley has any sense at all and calls his number.