Keys to victory for the Steelers over the Titans in Week 9
The Pittsburgh Steelers are coming off a winning performance in Week 7, a 24-17 win over the Los Angeles Rams, and while it was the team’s fourth win, it was a performance which didn’t lift many fans’ hopes. The hope is there is a better performance on the horizon on Sunday in Week when the team hosts the Jacksonville Jaguars.
What exactly do the Steelers need to do to claim their fifth victory of 2023? Let’s break it down by offense and defense…
Kenny Pickett is banged up, and the last thing the second year quarterback needs is to have a ton of hits on his battered ribs. On top of that, we’ve all seen what has happened when Pickett is pressured early…he doesn’t trust the protection and the escapes a clean pocket when he should just step up. It all starts with protection.
Balance is Key
The Steelers’ run game isn’t good, we know this, but the team can’t become pass-heavy either. The team will need to get some semblance of a ground game going to help keep the defense from pinning their ears back. Then again, as I type this I remember the predictability of the Steelers offense and understand what will likely happen tonight.
Be creative, not stupid
As I mentioned, the predictability of the Steelers offense is no good. However, when they decide to get creative, it couldn’t happen at a worse time. Think about the goal line call of the shovel pass to Connor Heyward vs. the Jaguars in Week 8. Be creative, but do it in an educated way, something we haven’t seen much of in the Matt Canada era.
A rookie QB, on the road, on a short week. Seems like a lay up for the Steelers defense, right? Well, maybe. Levis showed he plays with a reckless abandon last week, and threw four touchdowns in the process. If the Steelers want to win, they have to confuse Levis and force him into mistakes.
Abuse the OLine
Cam Heyward’s return to the lineup comes at a great time. The Steelers need their captain back, both for morale and for on-field production. The Titans’ offensive line is banged up, and the Steelers could very well take advantage. Limit Derrick Henry and hit Levis should be the theme of the evening.
Keep taking it away
The Steelers have been taking the football away at a ridiculous clip, and the are coming off a big three takeaway game. Can they keep it going? They are certainly set up to do so, but they also played a rookie quarterback in C.J. Stroud and that didn’t go too well. Like all season, the Steelers need to win the turnover battle to have a chance.
I talk about this, and MUCH more on the latest 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!