The Steelers are coming off of a bludgeoning by the Philadelphia Eagles and now they face a tough test with the Kansas City Chiefs coming to town. To top it off, they have injuries to starting players Ryan Shazier, Robert Golden, Eli Rogers and Ramon Foster, keeping all four from playing.
LeVeon Bell returns from suspension this week and should inject some life into an offense who struggled in week 3.
The Chiefs are strong defensively and match up well against the black and gold offense. The Chiefs defense is mediocre, much like the Steelers defense so the game should be evenly played.
Here are the Keys to A Steelers Victory:
• The offensive line MUST protect Ben. He was pressured and hit all day long against the Eagles and that can’t happen again.
• The running game needs to be a bigger part of the offense this week. Last week DeAngelo Williams was only given eight carries, part of that is because they were playing from behind but part of that was the game plan. With Bell back in the fold, I’d like to see the running game get at least 30 carries, however that’s distributed.
• The defense needs to get pressure on Alex Smith. Through three games, the team has one sack, that’s just not going to get it done. I know some of the game plan has the defense dropping back but an adjustment that enables the team to gain pressure on the QB needs to take place.
• The team will need to stop Jamaal Charles. He will be making his season debut and much like LeVeon Bell, he’ll probably be amped up to put in a good performance. He’s a great back and he needs to be contained. It’s more important to put the game on Alex Smiths shoulders vs. allowing Charles to beat them on the ground, even with the porous secondary.
Here are a Few Things to Watch:
• LeVeon Bell-What kind of a game will he turn in on his return to the field? I expect he’ll be used in a limited role, getting about 15 carries.
• DeAngelo Williams-With Bell now back, how will he be used and will he be as effective?
• Antonio Brown-He had 12 catches last week and declared that the team is unstoppable offensively during this week. Will he back up his performance and his words?
• The secondary-I still think the secondary stinks and they need to prove to me that they are capable of stopping Alex Smith because if they can’t stop him, they are in deep, deep trouble.
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.