This Sunday, the Pittsburgh Steelers take on the Kansas City Chiefs, the NFL’s last undefeated team. The Chiefs are similar defensively to the Jacksonville Jaguars, ranking 24th in run defense, while having a solid secondary. Offensively, the Chiefs are one of the league’s most explosive teams, averaging just over 30 points per game. They are led by the talented threesome of Alex Smith, Kareem Hunt, and Tyreek Hill. The Steelers have the talent to match them point for point, but haven’t been able to get out of their own way yet. Ben Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell, and Antonio Brown intend to turn things around this weekend. Week six Pittsburgh Steelers What to Watch For looks at what they might do to accomplish their goal.
Week Six Pittsburgh Steelers What To Watch For
Admittedly, Roethlisberger is coming off the worst game of his life, which means, there’s nowhere to go but up. Bell, hasn’t been himself this season, which is understandable considering the line isn’t giving him much room to run. Brown is the only offensive weapon having any success, but he’s not immune to frustration this season. The offensive line, ranked in the top five last season, has been a disappointment this season. They’re not initiating contact off the snap, or getting a consistent push in run blocking.
Week six Pittsburgh Steelers what to watch for sees the early season troubles, including the Anthem controversy galvanizing this team. Despite all the distractions, the Steelers are in control of the AFC North and will begin to turn their season around in Kansas City. The Steelers thrive when they feel it’s “us against the world”, which just happens to be the case. Is it a coincidence that a couple of team members are aware of that fact?
Pittsburgh Steelers What to Watch For Number One: Hines Ward and Ryan Clark Light a Fire
Nothing motivates more than criticism from former teammates and players who once populated the locker room. Hines Ward and Ryan Clark understand that as much as anyone. It’s no accident that they took shots at both Roethlisberger and Bell this week. Nothing brings a team in turmoil together like criticism from former team members. It creates the us against the world mentality Ward used so well in 2005, all the way to the Super Bowl. Look for the Steelers to bring more energy to this game than they’ve shown all season. Harsh criticism from Ward and Clark won’t impact the game, but it’ll wake players up, which was the whole point.
Pittsburgh Steelers What to Watch For Number Two: Eli Rogers Sparks the Offense
One thing Roethlisberger has been missing in the passing game lately is a safety net for the underneath routes. Eli Rogers has been his go to guy on quick slants and crossing routes since he won the slot job. Look for Roethlisberger to take advantage of Rogers quickness across the middle, using him to open things up outside. Mike Tomlin needs Rogers on the field, despite his hesitancy to commit to him this weekend. Rogers isn’t the answer to what ails the offense, but he could be the key that gets it started.
Pittsburgh Steelers What to Watch for Number Three: The Offensive Line Finds Their Aggression
Unquestionably, the offensive line has looked lethargic during four out of the first five games. Poor line play ranks second, behind poor play calling, as one of the offenses biggest issues this season. This unit took pride in their top five ranking last season, and are the key to success. Maurkice Pouncey and David DeCastro are the leaders of this unit, setting the tone for the rest of the group. Expect them to come out with an attitude and open up some holes for Bell on Sunday. The Steelers ability to run the ball will go a long way towards winning this game, and the offensive line will lead the way.
The Steelers soiled the proverbial bed last week and were hit with an even bigger pile of criticism. Expect them to come out swinging and play a much cleaner game this week. The Steelers are at the crossroads of their season, and their performance on Sunday will volumes about who they are. They profess to be a Super Caliber team, watch them go out and prove it.