Week one of the NFL season is just about here, and it can’t come soon enough. The Pittsburgh Steelers are looking to win two more games in 2017, after their AFC Championship game loss. The Steelers aim to make the Cleveland Browns their first victim of the season. There are some interesting storylines surrounding this game as a result of a trade and a free agent signing. The Steelers aren’t worried about storylines, their concern is getting off to a fast start and getting the win. Week one of Steelers season will cover a couple of matchups and some rookies of interest.
Week One Pittsburgh Steelers What to Watch for
The Steelers scoring 40 points has been the only thing worth watching for in this rivalry. There are actually interesting sidenotes this time around worth keeping an eye on. Le’Veon Bell gets his first action for the Steelers since injuring his groin in the AFC Championship game. Cornerback Joe Haden, acquired by the Steelers last week, makes his first starts against his former team. The Browns will start two high profile rookies, quarterback DeShone Kizer, and defensive end Myles Garrett. Sammie Coates intends to show the Steelers made a mistake trading him to the Browns.
Joe Haden vs Sammie Coates
Haden and Coates were going to match up at some point during this game. The only thing that’s changed is that they swapped teams. The Browns cut Haden, who immediately signed with the Steelers, while the Steelers traded Coates to the Browns. Each player has something to prove to their former team. Haden is looking to prove he’s still a Pro Bowl caliber cornerback, while Coates is looking to prove he can catch a football.
Deshone Kizer vs the Steelers Defense
Being a rookie quarterback in the National Football League is not easy. Imagine being a rookie quarterback for the Cleveland Browns, and your first start is against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Kizer’s worst nightmare is about to come true, despite all of his preparation and coaching. He’s facing a defense that loves to punish quarterbacks, especially rookies.
The Steelers will take full advantage of Kizer’s inexperience by taking away the Browns running game, making Kizer beat them. Rookie quarterbacks don’t handle pressure up the middle very well, which is where much of it will come from. Kizer should get to know Javon Hargrave and Ryan Shazier quite well by the end of the game.
Keith Butler is going to throw everything he has at Kizer to keep him off balance and confused. Confusion leads to turnovers, which leads to points. The Steelers have beaten rookie quarterbacks in 19 out of the last 22 games they faced one. Kizer will make it 20 out of the last 23.
Myles Garrett vs Ben Roethlisberger
Ben Roethlisberger has taken a beating throughout his career. Bart Scott speared him, Haloti Ngata broke his nose, and a Kansas City Chiefs lineman dislocated his rib. Garrett, the number one pick in the draft, announced that he wanted a piece of Roethlisberger last May. Roethlisberger has been much harder to get to the last three years, playing behind one of the NFL’s best lines.
Garrett is going to have to get through Marcus Gilbert to get that piece of Roethlisberger, which won’t be easy. Maurkice Pouncey and Ramon Foster will have their eyes on Garrett as well. Roethlisberger has always been good to his line and he knows they have his back. The members of the line have made this personal. When it’s time to run the ball, they will get real personal with Garrett.