The Black and Gold are off to a nice 2-0 start and now they cross the state of PA to battle the 2-0 Eagles, led by rookie QB Carson Wentz. The last time Big Ben traveled to Philadelphia, it was 2008 and he was beat up, being sacked eight times and considered retiring after that bludgeoning. Can you imagine how different this franchise would be should that have taken place?
Now, eight years later, Ben returns and he’s trying to get a victory in Philadelphia, which is no easy task for any opposing QB. The fans will be raucous, the Eagles will be pumped up and gunning for the Steelers star quarterback.
Here are the Keys to A Steelers Victory:
• In LeVeon Bell’s last game of suspension, the Steelers should run DeAngelo Williams quite a bit. His carries will go down automatically after this game so why not get another 25-30 carries out of him now. He’s picking up yards so why not continue to ride that train one more week?
• They must rattle Wentz. Through two games, he’s played like an old vet and has been mistake free. They Steelers must get in his head early and not allow him to build confidence.
• The team will need to continue to get other receivers involved in the game plan as they did against the Bengals. If the Eagles concentrate on Antonio Brown, Ben can toss it to Rogers, Coates, Wheaton or dump it off to Jesse James.
• The secondary will be tested by Wentz and they need to step up to the challenge. They can’t play off the receivers but rather they must run with them, if not, Wentz will hit his guys in stride. Couple that with the linebackers and ends need to rush and sack the QB. That has been lacking through the first two weeks of the season
Here are a Few Things to Watch:
• Antonio Brown-He was slightly upset last week during the game and only ended up with four catches for 39 yards. That’s not a typical A.B. game but he needs to be a team player and Ben let him know it.
• Jesse James-This kid has stepped in nicely this season after the Heath Miller retirement and the absence of LaDarius Greene. Quite frankly, I don’t think the team needs Greene and can consider his release after the season, James is the real deal.
• The defensive scheme-Through the first two games, the team has one sack and even that was just a QB scramble where Andy Dalton didn’t get back to the line of scrimmage. Will the defense bring more pressure this week?
• Artie Burns-He made a nice play in the end zone last week, will he get more playing time?
Mike Pelaia hosts the website Steel Nation Association http://www.steelnationassociation.com– Covering the Steelers and helping Children’s Hospital All Day Everyday. You can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.