Coming off of impressive, back-to-back wins, the Pittsburgh Steelers are fresh from a bye-week and they’re looking to continue to stack wins. No need to rehash the first meeting with Cleveland, everyone knows the outcome.
It’s time to talk about the now.
Cleveland has been playing opponents rather tough. Other than the San Diego blowout, all games have been decided by 4 points or less. Their record isn’t an indicator of how hard they play. Defensively, they bring it — but the offense is a different story. Coach Jackson has decided it’s time for him to be more involved in the offense, which is led by the one and only Todd Haley. What that means for the Steelers’ defense is anyone’s guess, but considering this unit still has miles to go before they sleep, it would be fair to say everyone needs to step up their game on both sides of the pigskin.
Let’s take a look at this week’s players:
The former first-round pick out of Miami has failed to seize the opportunity which has been handed to him. He’s been horrendous to say the least, and he’s being platooned with Coty Sensabaugh. That should be enough to make you cringe.
Rumors have surfaced of the Steelers’ interest in trading for a corner. This doesn’t bode well for the third-year player and it certainly doesn’t help our defense. If Artie is going to turn things around, it needs to happen in this game against Cleveland or it might be too late for him.
Cleveland has Myles Garrett listed as the LDE, but in the Week-1 meeting, he lined up on Big Al’s side and had his way with him. The young man has arrived, and Pittsburgh needs to make sure he doesn’t also arrive on Ben Roethlisberger’s doorstep. He needs to perform not only in pass protection but also in run-blocking.
Make no mistake about it, Garrett would love to get some hits on Big Ben, and he’s said as much. It’s up to the offensive line to protect Ben and, more specifically, Big Al needs to protect that blind side.
This is more about what T.J. Watt has done to Cleveland than anything else. Watt has recorded six of his 13 career sacks against the Browns. I’m thinking maybe they’ll pay some attention to the young upstart in this matchup. So, the opportunity for Dupree could be there to make some splash plays. The majority of Steelers Nation has already formed an opinion of the fourth-year player.
Maybe it’s time to change all that and start getting after the quarterback, and the opportunity could present itself on Sunday at Heinz Field. Cleveland knows who T.J. is, but it’s time for them to meet Bud.
That’s my trio, let’s hear yours.