The Steelers first official game of the 2021 season kickoffs on Sunday, and if they want to be victors there are a few things they need to accomplish. In the matchup last year against the Bills, the Steelers were brutally predictable on offense, injury plagued on defense, and Stefon Diggs absolutely embarrassed everyone on the field. The Steelers thankfully have a brand new offense, and are as healthy as you could be for Week 1, so it will be slowing Stefon Diggs that tops the list of keys to victory.
On December 13, 2020 Stefon Diggs racked up 10 receptions for 130 yards and a touchdown. Diggs was by far the best player on the field that night, and that performance is likely still giving Cameron Sutton and Steven Nelson nightmares. In this matchup, thankfully, the Steelers will have the crafty veteran, Joe Haden available as well as the newly acquired Ahkello Witherspoon who matches up size-wise on Diggs compared to any of the other Steelers corners.
Diggs will make plays in this game, he is just too talented of a player to get shut out and the Steelers simply don't have a top flight corner that can erase anyone from games. It will come down to limiting Diggs’ splash plays, and keeping him in front of the secondary. His skill level is great enough that the Steelers should keep a safety rolled over to his side at all times, and consider double teaming throughout the game. Diggs led the NFL in receiving yards for a reason last year, he’s that good.
The rest of the Bills offensive talent is made up of good players, and a great young quarterback. But Diggs is by far the best weapon Buffalo will feature. Sacrificing a double team to Diggs’ side likely means guys like Cole Beasley and Emmanuel Sanders run mostly one-on-one in man all night. But you have to pick your battles. Diggs is a good enough player to completely take over a game, and giving him the ability to run one on one would be the equivalent of shooting yourself in the foot. The bottom line remains, if the Steelers want a chance of winning this game, they have to limit Stefon Diggs, and not let him single-handedly win the game.
But what do you think? Can the Steelers slow down Stefon Diggs or will he run wild on the defense yet again? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.