Who is the Steelers X-Factor vs. the Titans in Week 9?
The Pittsburgh Steelers are preparing to play the Tennessee Titans at home in Week 9, 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 9:
X-Factor: Kenny Pickett
Why: When it comes to how the Steelers play, they go as their skill position players seem to go. Sure, last week the offensive line was key…and that will remain the same; however, if Pickett is going to play with injured ribs he will need to prove himself early in this game. When it comes to the offense, there isn’t much hope heading into Thursday Night Football. There is only one way to change that…go out and prove it. At some point Pickett will have to either perform, or the team will be looking at quarterback for the future.
X-Factor: “Minkah Fitzpatrick”
Why: Yes, I know he’s not playing. That’s the point. The Steelers are going to have to find a way to replace what Fitzpatrick does for this defense as best as they possibly can. Chances are it’s going to be done by different people in different situations or having completely alternate schemes. This is how much of a factor Minkah Fitzpatrick is in the Steelers defense. So the Steelers defense, particularly the secondary, will have to adjust due to the absence of the All-Pro player. Exactly what the Steelers come up with and are able to do will define the overall success of the defense for the night.
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 Tennessee Titans in Week 9.