We're about an hour and a half away from kickoff between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns, two historic rivals who always play hard against each other even if the Steelers have dominated the series in recent history. A quick post about the player I like to make a big impact on the game. Last week my selection was Rashard Mendenhall because of his propensity to find the end zone against the Bengals. This week I'm going with Troy Polamalu for similar reasons.
Polamalu has 27 career interceptions, nearly one-fifth of which have come against against the Browns (5). That's the most picks he's had against any team in his illustrious career. I think the Browns' offensive struggles should play into Polamalu's hands nicely. With little threat of Colt McCoy burning the Steelers secondary deep, Polamalu should be free to play closer to the line of scrimmage against both the run and the pass. His anticipation skills and ability to make plays in traffic can be better utilized against an offense like this compared to, say, the Bengals last week who are a threat to stretch the field vertically with their talented rookie wide receiver, A.J. Green.
So, in addition to making his usual sound plays bringing guys down in the open field, expect Polamalu to finally register his first interception of the 2011 season.