The Steelers home opener for the 2015 season comes with more questions than answers, after a 28-21 Gronking by the New England Patriots on opening night last Thursday.
On to San Francisco.
The Niner's defense looked pretty darn good at keeping Adrian Peterson in check, holding him to a pitiful 31-yards on 10 attempts, for 3.1 yards per carry. The Minnesota Vikings offensive line is not exactly what anyone would call "world beaters", but this is "All Day" we're talking about here. This analysis should be taken with a grain of salt; however, since this was Peterson's debut after not playing an NFL regular season game in a year and a half.
DeAngelo Williams, on the other hand, lit up the Patriots' defense to the tune of 127 yards on 21 attempts for an average of an incredible 6.0 yards per carry. Meanwhile, Ben Roethlisberger is a terrible measuring stick for Teddy Bridgewater, but, just for comparisons sake, Bridgewater went 23-32 for 231 yards, no touchdowns, and one interception. Ben went 26-38 for 351 yards, one TD and one INT.
One game does not a season make. The weakness of the Niners' defense lies within their suspect secondary, but their defensive front 7 looks to have not skipped a beat after their numerous losses over the off season. Look for the Steelers to try and utilize the aerial attack with Antonio Brown, Markus Wheaton, Heath Miller and Darrius Heyward-Bey to exploit the weakness in the San Francsico defense.
With that being said, don't expect the team to completely abandon the running game. DeAngelo Williams did more than prove himself in Week 1, he proved he can provide balance to the offense which is the ultimate goal for the Steelers on a weekly basis.
In conclusion, it is my belief that to beat San Fran, the Steelers should look to air the ball out, and sprinkle in some runs to keep the defense honest.