What the heck is a “slobberknocker?” In football terms, it’s a hit that, well, knocks the slobber right out of the other player’s mouth. I’ll be posing six hard-hitting questions to BTSC fans every game-day morning during the 2018 regular season.
On the surface, the Atlanta Falcons and their 1-3 record would seem to present the perfect opportunity for the Steelers to get back on track. Atlanta is coming off of consecutive losses in Weeks 3 and 4 in a couple of shootouts — surrendering a late score to the Cincinnati Bengals last week and being bested the week before 43-37 by the New Orleans Saints. The Falcons, in many respects, mirror the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Falcons had their offensive hiccup in Week 1 (losing 18-12 to the Philadelphia Eagles) while the Steelers had theirs last week. But that shouldn’t be the case this week when the two prolific offenses square off against each other because their defenses are in shambles due to injuries and poor play.
Will this be the week that Steelers fans regain faith in their beloved team? That’s on the hearts and minds of BTSC fans — fans who are a cut above the run-of-the-mill Steelers fans. The following questions are geared towards these insightful fans to gauge their thoughts.
Q1: With inside linebacker, Vince Williams sidelined today, how much of an impact will his absence have? Who is your choice to replace him?
Q2: Where does the blame lie for the Steelers’ poor running game? Coaching, James Conner, offensive line or defensive schemes? Will Conner flourish today?
Q3: Falcons’ rookie wideout, Calvin Ridley is taking the NFL by storm, will he outshine Julio Jones again today? Who will have the bigger day?
Q4: The Steelers’ offense hasn’t scored in the second half of three games this year. Will that change today against a terrible Falcons defense? Will the team that scores last win the game?
Q5: Defensive end Vic Beasley will be the focus of the front-seven of Atlanta’s defense, with the rest either underwhelming or injured. Will this give Ben Roethlisberger a clean pocket and ensure he doesn’t throw his sixth interception?
Q6: Atlanta’s offensive line has given up 10 sacks so far this year, can the Steelers’ pass rush take advantage of the line and force Matt Ryan to turn the ball over?
Bonus: Steelers’ outside linebacker Bud Dupree is tied for the team lead in sacks (3). If he hits a double-digit sack total this season, are you OK with him making $9.2 million in 2019?
The season has been tumultuous so far, with the Pittsburgh Steelers struggling to a 1-2-1 record. Fingers are being pointed left and right at all aspects of the team here on the BTSC boards. The loss last week at the hands of their divisional rival, the Baltimore Ravens, has Steelers fans nervous about the team’s prospects for the rest of the season. Will the ship be righted against the Falcons and how will it happen?