7:00 Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
NEEDS TO STEP UP:
RT Allen Barbre: With RT Lane Johnson likely to miss the first 10 weeks of the season due to suspension, we’ll need someone who can step into the line-up and be steady. Last week, rookie Halapoulivaati Vaitai was given first crack at the back-up job (Lane Johnson started), and the results were disastrous. Barbre allows us to not only weather the storm, but to likely remain competitive in the hunt for the division. This week he needs to show us that he’s up to the task.
WE MUST CONTAIN:
Besides keeping the crowd quiet…We have to get to the QB. That goes without saying most weeks, but this week it’s more true than it will usually be. Given the decline of Roethlisberger’s mobility, and this systems dependency on attacking, either we will shut him down, or he will use WR Antonio Brown to shred us on the back end, and open up room inside for RB LeVeon Bell to finish the job. If we snuff Roethlisberger, we can load up the front and throw a wet blanket over Bell in the process. Pittsburgh’s defense isn’t the monster we tend to associate with the team. If we can snuff their offense, we win the game.
EAGLES STORY LINE:
Despite quite a bit of activity along the roster (trade, injury, suspension) there is a decided lack of drama in the media surrounding this team. Last week’s win vs the Bucs, may have been rocky, but it showed the players (especially those who’d only ever been pros under the last head coach), that real football fundamentals pay off in the long run. Think of it like a sales pitch. Last week the coaching staff got the players to take a closer look at their philosophy. Depending on how this game goes, the coaching staff could be about to close a sale to this entire roster.
This game will be a good stiff test, and will allow coaching staff, media and fans alike, to be able to truly assess where we are right now. That said, we ARE playing in Pittsburgh.
Steelers 22 – Eagles 14