Who is the Steelers X-Factor vs. the Browns in Week 11?
The Pittsburgh Steelers are preparing to play the Cleveland Browns on the road in Week 11, and there are certain aspects of the game which can be difficult to predict. Of course, the outcome of the game is paramount, but there are players or position groups who could be viewed as X-Factors.
What is an X-Factor? That definition is an important part of this exercise. If I were to give you a player who was the ultimate X-Factor in Steelers history, it would be Troy Polamalu. Polamalu was able to take over a game almost single-handedly. Whether it being a tackle made where he looked like a heat-seeking missile, or a clutch interception. A game could tilt the Steelers’ way because of Troy.
With the definition out of the way, let’s see who are the X-Factors for the Steelers in Week 11:
X-Factor: Kenny Pickett
Why: The Browns are going to crowd the line of scrimmage and dare Kenny Pickett and the Steelers passing game to beat them through the air. Just like they did in Week 2. Will the Steelers offensive line be able to handle the heat? Will Pickett stand tall in the pocket and deliver the passes necessary to get the Browns out of their defensive scheme and open up the running game? It hasn’t happened much recently, but it’s what will be necessary vs. the Browns defense.
X-Factor: Elandon Roberts
Why: The Steelers have been devastated by injuries at the inside linebacker position. In two weeks they went from having three players filling two spots to only one being left for the remainder of the season. As the Steelers try to figure out how they are going to manage the changes, Elandon Roberts is the last one standing to carry the load. With the bigger concern being in regards to Roberts’ coverage ability, having this matchup this week could play in his and the Steelers favor. The Steelers need to slow down the Browns rushing attack and make their rookie quarterback, who is experiencing only his second start, have to beat them. For this reason, Roberts needs to be a huge factor in the Steelers run defense while showing his coverage ability when needed.
Who is your X-Factor for the game? 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 for the Cleveland Browns in Week 11.