New series we’ll do each Sunday morning before kickoff. A prediction of what will happen if the Pittsburgh Steelers win, if they lose, and my final score prediction. My outlook on this afternoon’s game against the New England Patriots.
The Steelers Will Win If…
– Landry Jones completes a couple chunk plays. Been saying it all week. Can’t win this game with 1000 papercuts. Need a few haymakers. The Patriots’ secondary has some talent but given up their fair share of deep plays and a little bit of that splash, momentum-changing, crowd frenzy-inducing completions is what you need in an upset.
It was a big catalyst in how Miami knocked off the Steelers a week ago and Pittsburgh will have to adhere to that same recipe. A 50+ gain to Sammie Coates sure would be helpful.
– Le’Veon Bell finishes the game with 25+ touches. That isn’t to say the Steelers can ignore Bell like they did last week. He has to be the focal point in the offense and Todd Haley will have to get creative with him and Antonio Brown. An 18 carry, eight catch game would be an ideal scenario.
– The red zone defense continues to excel. New England is guaranteed to move the ball. It’s just a question to if their drives end in field goals or Gronk spikes. Pittsburgh will have to continue to tighten the screws in this area to stay competitve and not get one-dimensional, a scenario that would spell doom for this team.
The Steelers Will Lose If…
– The interior line of the Steelers’ defense is unable to get any pressure. Stephon Tuitt would’ve been the next player on my list for today’s X-Factor. He’s gotta bully right guard Shaq Mason. Tuitt has a couple inches and probably 15 pounds on him. Blitzing isn’t going to do a lot of good against Tom Brady and I have little faith in the edge players getting home either.
– Receivers can’t separate. New England will roll up and play a ton of press coverage, especially on third downs, making it hard to get separation and tough throws for quarterbacks to hit. Receivers gotta do their part to get open for Jones. Antonio Brown will see a lot of Malcolm Butler in one of the key matchups of the day.
– Bill Belichick proves again he’s the best. You know he’s coming with a great gameplan and it’s an uphill battle to try and outmatch. Like the Philadelphia Eagles did in Week One, it could just come down to the Steelers being outclassed.