When looking at the matchup between AFC 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 15 game vs. the Titans?
Let’s take a look...
X-Factor: Chase Claypool
Why: No one will have the attention of the fan base more than Claypool when the Titans invade Heinz Field in Week 15. Will he celebrate like he usually does? Will the Titans’ secondary be able to get in Claypool’s head to try and get him to retaliate? As I said, there will be a lot of attention on Claypool Sunday.
With that said, Claypool can still be a difference maker for the Steelers’ offense. His knuckle headed decisions in Week 14 cast a cloud over what was a great performance by the second year receiver. If Claypool can step up his game without the mental mistakes, it will go beyond just helping the offense move the football. It will open up things for players like Diontae Johnson and Pat Freiermuth. So, yeah, Claypool having a big game is a big deal...on a lot of fronts.
X-Factor: Chris Wormley
Why: This is a bit of an ‘outside of the box’ choice for this week. Two weeks ago, Chris Wormley had himself an excellent game against his former team and the Steelers did a nice job stopping the run and taking down the Baltimore Ravens. The next Thursday, the Steelers defensive front got pushed around. If the Steelers are going to slow down the running attack of the Tennessee Titans, they need their defensive line, other than Cameron Heyward, to step up and not have the ‘weakest link’ getting exploited. For that reason, Chris Wormley needs to get his game together, along with whoever is going to be playing nose tackle for the Steelers, and get the Steelers rush defense turned around out of the freefall they have experienced over the last six weeks or more.
Who would be your X-Factor for the Week 15 game Sunday? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!