When looking at the matchup between interconference foes, there are players who can be viewed as ‘X-Factors’.
What is an ‘X-Factor’?
I would describe an ‘X-Factor’ as a player who can truly alter the outcome of the game, single-handedly. Not just a plug and play type player, but a player who always has to be accounted for, no matter what.
As a clear-cut example of what an ‘X-Factor’ player would look like, think Troy Polamalu. Polamalu’s skill set made him a force to be reckoned with on every play. So, who are the ‘X-Factors’ for the Steelers Week 1 game vs. New York?
Let’s take a look...
X-Factor: Eric Ebron
Why: The Broncos’ defense will be without their top cornerback in A.J. Bouye due to a separated shoulder, and don’t think they won’t be looking to do whatever they can to stop the versatile wide receiving corps of the Steelers. With the secondary likely being put into deep quarters to not allow JuJu Smith-Schuster, Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool or James Washington to burn them.
A smart decision by the defensive coordinator, but the one tool the Steelers didn’t unleash in Week 1 was Eric Ebron. Ebron just had one catch vs. the Giants, but could run wild over the middle with him screaming a mismatch against linebackers or safeties.
X-Factor: T.J. Watt
Why: Why not? If an X-Factor is someone who can single-handedly alter the game, T.J. Watt is the definition of an X-Factor. If Watt is wreaking havoc against the Broncos offense, quarterback Drew lock we have to both worry about his pass rush and his ability to go up and pull down an interception much like he did against the Giants. While the Steelers have plenty of impact players on their defense, I think Watt is a player primed for a big game at Heinz Field.
Joe Rowles (Mile High Report)
X-Factor: Drew Lock
Why: It has to be Drew Lock. The Broncos will need him to make more plays than he did last week against this defense.
Who would be your X-Factor for the Week 2 game at Heinz Field? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!