3 Keys to a Steelers victory over the 49ers
The Pittsburgh Steelers and San Francisco 49ers are preparing to square off in a highly anticipated matchup of two NFL teams with high hopes entering the regular season. For the home team, there are specific items which need to be crossed off if they want to hold serve and start the season 1-0.
Some would call these “Keys to Victory”, and that’s exactly what we’re doing here. Below are three keys on offense, and three on defense, which will help the Steelers get this regular season off on the right foot.
Let’s get to it…
1. Run the football
If the 49ers have a weakness on their defense, it is in their secondary. So, why would it be important to run the football? If the Steelers can’t get any push in the run game it will allow the opposition to pin their ears back and get after Kenny Pickett. Having unique ways to soften the 49ers pass rush will be vital in this game.
2. Cash in when it counts
Whether you are talking about the red-zone or 3rd downs, the Steelers need to win in these areas. A constant criticism of Kyle Shanahan’s team is they will get conservative when it matters most. If the 49ers are kicking field goals and the Steelers are scoring touchdowns, the rest of everything will take care of itself.
3. Big plays for the win
Throughout the preseason the Steelers offense could be described as explosive. I know, this seems crazy compared to last year, but if the offense can pick up where they left off in the preseason the Steelers won’t be considered a low-scoring team much longer.
1. Harass Purdy
Having constant pressure on Purdy, but this could mainly be based around T.J. Watt. Watt has a very favorable matchup, more so than Alex Highsmith, and getting to the young signal caller will be a big part of their defensive success in Week 1.
2. Slow down CMC
While harassing Purdy is going to be important, it means nothing if they can’t slow down Christian McCaffrey and the 49ers running game. McCaffrey is a unique beast in his versatility and ability to be used in multiple areas of the field. CMC is a player who rarely is taken out of a game, you just hope to minimize the impact he has on the game. That’s the challenge for the Steelers defense.
3. Take the ball away
Patrick Peterson predicted an interception this week, citing “tells” Purdy and the 49ers offense have. Let’s hope this is a growing trend for the Steelers defense when it comes to them taking the football away on a weekly basis. Getting the offense extra possessions will be critical in Week 1.
What are your keys to victory for the Steelers in Week 1? Let us know in the comment section below, and be sure to stay tuned to SCN for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare to kickoff the season vs. the 49ers.