Keys to victory for the Steelers over the Rams in Week 7
The Pittsburgh Steelers are coming off a winning performance in Week 5, a 17-10 win over the Baltimore Ravens, and while it was the team’s third win, it was a performance which didn’t life many fans’ hopes. The hope is there is a better performance on the horizon on Sunday in Week 7 when the team travels to play the Los Angeles Rams.
What exactly do the Steelers need to do to claim their fourth victory of 2023? Let’s break it down by offense and defense…
Establish the run
The Steelers are not a running team. They also aren’t a passing team. However, they need to try and find some semblance of a running game if they want to have a chance in this game. Doing so won’t be easy with Aaron Donald on the other side of the defensive line, but somehow, someway establishing the run against the Rams who surrender over 122 yards per game on the ground, this is paramount for the Steelers.
Efficiency is key
This isn’t just in critical down and distances, it is throughout the game. Being able to be efficient in both the run and pass, and avoiding those huge negative plays, will be a big key for the Steelers. Can they do it? Can they avoid the loss for 3 yards on a busted running play? Can they not allow a sack of negative 6 yards on a critical 3rd down? Being efficient and setting up manageable down and distances has to be something the Steelers focused on over the bye week. Time to implement those now…
If Steelers fans have seen anything from watching Kenny Pickett in 2023, it is the fact the second year quarterback isn’t very good when pressured. He gets happy feet, which can lead to hurried and bad decisions. Early pressure can result in Pickett bailing out of a clean pocket, and that is when things tend to go south. Get his confidence in the protection early, and hope to see Pickett play better.
Get ready for the pass
The Rams are going to be without nearly every running back who has legitimate NFL experience in Week 7, and this could equate to the Rams going pass-happy vs. the Steelers. Fans have seen this approach before, and they’ve seen it be successful as well. The defense should be ready for Sean McVay to dial up the pass, and a Matthew Stafford-heavy attack Sunday.
Take the ball away
When the Steelers take away the football and win the turnover battle, they win. It’s been that simple so far in 2023. They haven’t had a game where they were split even in the turnover battle. When they win the battle, they have won. When they haven’t, they’ve lost. Not only does this speak to protecting the football, but it also shows the importance of taking the ball away.
Get after Stafford
The Rams have given up 16 sacks so far this season, and that number might seem high, but it’s just two more than the Steelers have surrendered with one more game played. If the Steelers want to make the Rams pay for taking a pass-happy approach, it will have to come in the form of pressures, quarterback hits and sacks. Can they do it, or will the Rams take a page out of the Houston Texans’ page and not give T.J. Watt and company a chance to get to them with a quick passing attack.
I talk about this, and MUCH more on the Friday episode of “Let’s Ride”, and you can hear that podcast in the player below this article. In the meantime, be sure to stay tuned to SCN for the latest news and notes surrounding the team as they gear up for game time!
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