When it comes to competition, the Atlanta Falcons are an upgrade over who the Pittsburgh Steelers faced in week one in the New York Giants. To win this game, one of the Steelers keys to victory is to alter their attack on both sides of the ball. Offensively, much of that strategy will be decided by who is under center. Apparently Ben Roethlisberger is going to be a healthy scratch for a second consecutive game. With no word yet on the status of Landry Jones, it’s possible that Josh Dobbs may once again get the start. Assuming that Dobbs will be leading the offense, offensive coordinator Todd Haley must put him in a position to succeed. Unlike the defense he faced last week, the Falcons are fast attacking and look to create turnovers. Dobbs’ decisions will have to be quicker, especially when it comes to using his legs. The Pittsburgh Steelers Keys to Victory revolve around coaches putting young players in the position to succeed through playing efficient football.
Preseason Week Two Pittsburgh Steelers Keys To Victory
Pittsburgh Steelers Keys to Victory on Offense
Success on offense starts with Dobbs taking care of the football. Last week he threw two horrible interceptions within his first five passes. Both interceptions only led to a combined six points, but Dobbs cannot afford to be putting the defense on a short field. To be successful, Dobbs needs take what the defense gives him. He needs to be decisive with the football and his legs when necessary. He who hesitates is lost.
The offensive line has to fire off the snap and be aggressive. Last week, during pass protection, they looked helpless and passive, especially Jerald Hawkins. During each sack that was given up, the offensive line looked like a turnstile. They did not seem to register what was happening until it was too late. When it came to run blocking, they were only slightly better. With as much pride and talent as this unit possesses, they must play better this week.
The best wide receiver on the field against the New York Giants was Cobi Hamilton. Hamilton caught two passes from Dobbs, for 72 yards and a touchdown. One of the Steelers keys to victory this week is for other young receivers to step up and contribute. Canaan Severin played his way off the roster by deflecting more passes last week than the secondary. The return of Martavis Bryant should provide a boost to the young receiver corps.
Pittsburgh Steelers Keys to Victory on Defense
The defensive line set the tone for the defense last week with consistent pressure on the quarterback. The surge they were getting off the snap also played a big role in controlling the Giants running game. That pressure needs to continue against Atlanta, and Tyson Alualu makes things a lot easier with his versatility. His presence allows for different line combinations that create disruption and confusion for the opposing offensive line.
The Steelers linebackers are an aggressive bunch who fly to the ball. The Falcons running backs are good at changing direction to pick up big yards. It’s important that that T.J. Watt and Vince Williams, the newest starters, maintain gap discipline and eliminate the cutback lanes. Despite not having Devonta Freeman to worry about, Tevin Coleman and Brian Hill are quality runners who can burn a defense.
Pittsburgh Steelers Keys to Victory on Special Teams
The coverage units have done a good job so far, and need to continue limiting returns to short yardage. Conversely, it would be nice if the kickoff returners could get the ball beyond the 25 yard line. Knile Davis was brought in to do just that, and he needs to start making it happen on Sunday. Davis is a threat to break one every time he touches the ball. The Steelers will need to come up with another returner who can do same, to counter Matt Bryant kicking away from Davis.
In conclusion, to beat the reigning NFC champions the Steelers have to take care of their business. That starts with Josh Dobbs taking care of the ball and delivering it to his receivers. The offensive line must be aggressive off the snap, and keep Dobbs clean. The defensive line must take up residence in Falcons backfield, and the linebackers must be disciplined in their assignments.