Who is the Steelers X-Factor vs. the Ravens in Week 5?
The Pittsburgh Steelers are preparing to play the Baltimore Ravens at home in Week 5, 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 5:
X-Factor: Kenny Pickett
Why: For many fans this is the giant elephant in the room. That being it is time for Kenny Pickett to step up and show he is the quarterback the franchise hopes he is when they spent a first round pick on him in 2022. I know he’s banged up, and I know both the line and the play caller aren’t truly supporting him the way most believe he should. But at some point you expect the best quarterbacks to overcome those factors and make big plays. Ben Roethlisberger spoke about how he would often times overrule play calls in the huddle. If that’s what needs to happen, so be it, but Pickett needs to start proving to everyone he is that guy for the Steelers long term plans. Otherwise, more and more doubt creeps in by the week. Time for a big showing, and which would be bigger than a huge win over the Ravens at home heading into the bye week.
X-Factor: Inside Linebackers
Why: The most important thing for the Steelers to slow down the Raven’s offense is to contain their two biggest offensive weapons. To me, those players are Lamar Jackson and Mark Andrews. If the Steelers are going to keep Jackson from running all over them, whether it be designed runs or scrambling on pass plays, the inside linebackers should be a big factor. Additionally, the position group may be called on when it comes to defending Andrews. Either way, the inside linebackers need to step up their play in general. Add in the fact the Steelers are facing the Ravens, it’s time for the inside linebackers to show what they’re made of.
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 Baltimore Ravens in Week 5.
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