The Pittsburgh Steelers start the regular season this Sunday with a road trip to take on the Cleveland Browns. They have dominated this series since the Browns rejoined the NFL in 1999. The Steelers lead the all-time series 72-58, and look to continue their dominion over them. Ben Roethlisberger, 21-2 versus the Browns, hasn’t lost to them since October of 2014. Rookie DeShone Kizer will be taking the snaps for the Browns. Kizer will be facing a defense that is 19-3 against first year signal callers since 2004. Week one Pittsburgh Steelers keys to victory takes a look at what the Steelers need to do to win.
Week One Pittsburgh Steelers Keys to Victory
Play to the Level of Your Talent, Not the Competition
The Steelers usually have an easy victory when they play the Browns. The average score of the last 14 games has been 26-12, in favor of the Steelers. The Steelers need to come prepared though, because anything can happen on any given Sunday. They can’t take it for granted they are going to win by just showing up. The Steelers have a bad habit of playing down to the competition, losing games they should win. Championship teams have a killer instinct and never let off the gas. They put lesser teams away early and finish them off. The Steelers need to put the Browns to bed early.
Roethlisberger is the most important piece of the offense and must stay on his feet. Todd Haley will use quick passes to help neutralize the pass rush, the rest is up to the offensive line. Rookie Myles Garrett is the Browns most athletic pass rusher, and he wants a piece of Roethlisberger. Garrett will have his hands full with Marcus Gilbert and David DeCastro, despite all of his bravado. Gilbert and DeCastro are two of the NFL’s best. They are no walk in the park for the best pass rushers in the NFL, let alone an inexperienced rookie.
Pressure and Confuse Kizer
The Pittsburgh Steelers defense has owned rookie quarterbacks since 2004, with the exception of Carson Wentz. They confuse them with disguises in coverage, while torturing them with a relentless pass rush. Keith Butler will use the same strategy this Sunday. Kizer has the ability to get outside the pocket, but he’s not as accurate of a passer when he does. The Steelers will pressure Kizer up the middle to force him outside the pocket, where makes mistakes. The defense will exploit every mistake Kizer makes.
Le’Veon Bell is scheduled to start this Sunday, but how long will he be able to go? He reported to the Steelers in excellent shape, which isn’t the same as being in football shape. Bell says he’ll be ready to go after a full week of practice, but James Conner will get his fair share of carries. The Steelers don’t need Bell getting injured due to fatigue, so they will protect him as much as possible.
The Steelers will not take the Cleveland Browns lightly. They want a fast start to the season and in the division. The return of Martavis Bryant and the addition of Joe Haden will make that happen. Mike Tomlin built this roster to win it all and will take full advantage of it. The journey to the Super Bowl starts with the first step, which they will take this Sunday in Cleveland.
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