With the Steelers on the road and coming off of a bye, they will look to stretch their winning streak to four. Here are five Steelers, besides the big-3 of Ben, Bell and AB, who could be major factors in their return to the site of their Thanksgiving feast of 2016.
- Martavis Bryant: The much-maligned receiver needs to run out his routes and pull in a deep ball. I think he’ll get his chance early. This could open up a wide circle of trust between Ben and No. 10. Bryant will line up against a really talented and underrated corner in the form of Rahsaan Melvin. Melvin, according to Pro Football Focus, has the second best index in the league with nearly 25% of the balls thrown his way getting picked or broken up.
- Artie Burns/Mike Hilton: The former No. 1 selection out of Miami could see the dynamic T.Y. Hilton around 60% of the afternoon. But Hilton spends nearly 40% of the time in the slot where Mike Hilton looms. According to Pro Football Focus, opposing passers have a mere 56.8 passer rating when the Steelers Hilton lines up in the slot. Burns has had great success this year in coverage, but even with a groin pull...T.Y. will offer a big challenge.
- Alejandro Villanueva: Big Al will be celebrating Veterans Day weekend by having to deal with the dangerous Jabaal Sheard. No. 78 will need to have a 5-star day against the former Pitt star in order to keep Ben's blind-side safe.
- Ryan Shazier: The Pro Bowl LB from Ohio State is the most explosive playmaker on the Steelers’ defense. He can execute a splash play at a moment's notice. Shazier will be tasked with covering TE Jack Doyle who’s second in the league at his position with 50 grabs. Shazier needs to shut down Doyle to keep Jacoby Brissett from moving the chains.