The Oakland Raiders
We all know yesterday was a horrible game. I have already recapped the good and the bad from that game in another fan post of mine. However, we can't do anything about yesterday. Im sure the players are already looking forward to the Raiders and now it is time for us to do the same as well. I am going to take a look at our next opponent in great detail along with our 2nd, 3rd, and 4th opponents on the line of games. IMO, the next two games will decide our season. If we don't go 2-0 in these next two I don't know if we are a Playoff team let alone a Super Bowl Team. If we beat the Raiders and the Bills however, we can gain a lot of confidence going into the Ravens game.
The Raiders are no longer looking like a guaranteed victory. At 5 and 4 the Raiders are sitting at 1st place in the AFC West right now. With weapons like Ford, Murphy, DHB, Mcfadden, Miller, and Bush the offense has the ability to put up a ton of points. However, will there defense be able to play verse our offense. I think that depends a lot on the health of our offensive line and Hines Ward. If Kemo and Legursky can play I think we have a much better chance verse the raiders.
Lawrence Timmons vs. Darren McFadden and Michael Bush: Lawrence Timmons (if he plays) will need to have a big day spotting Bush and especially McFadden. Not only will he need to make plays on the running game, he will need to stop the Raiders screen game with DMAC. If he can shut down the screen game the Steelers have a great chance at winning
Hines Ward vs. Nhamdi Asomaghua: Will HInes Ward be able to start a new reception streak against this simply awesome CB. We all saw how bad our other receivers were at catching the ball in the endzone (im talking about you, ARE). If Ward plays I expect a decent but not spectacular day. Hoping for a few catches and a short TD catch.
Bruce Arians vs himself: If BA can call a decent offensive game where Mendy gets the ball more than 13 times, we should win the game. Mendy needs at least 25 touches. Also, some PA passes on 1st down would be nice.
Raiders WR's vs Steelers DB's: The Raiders have fast WR's. I don't see how BMAC can play in this game. Who would he cover? DHB? NO. Ford? No. Murphy? NO. He is not fast enough to cover any of them. Hopefully we see Lewis or Butler at the #2 CB for this game. Will Gay be able to cover the #3? Not so sure either. I am hoping both Lewis and Butler play #2 and #3 this game.
Mike Wallace vs. The Raiders secondary: If Mike Wallace plays the way he has the past two games, he will dominate this secondary. He is simply to fast and athletic to not dominate opposing teams.
Initial Prediction: Steelers 31, Raiders: 14
We all know the Bills are not that good but they have competed in most of their games this season. However, we should and must win this game. There are not too many weapons this team has on offense. Ike should be able to take Lee Evans out of the game and other than that its a bunch of no names on the offense. We should pick this team apart.
Initial Prediction: Steelers: 34, Bills: 10
This is perhaps the most important game left on the schedule. A win here gives us control of the AFC North. We should be able to beat this team but it is no guarantee and it will be a close game.
Initial Prediction: Steelers 20, Ravens: 15
This will be a highly emotional game. If we have won the previous 3 games this will be a trap game. However, I think we will be able to get over the trap
Initial Prediction: Steelers 28, Bengals: 17
You can clearly see that I am not too concerned about the Steelers pathetic performance against the Patriots. I think we bounce back in a huge way the next 4 weeks. If we go 4 and 0 and improve to 10 and 3 with the Ravens at best 9 and 4 we will control our own destiny to close out the season. I know a lot of you are on the fence after yesterday's performance but there is no reason to be because this is still a great team and it still has a lot of potential.