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Who is the Steelers’ X-Factor in Week 7 vs. the Miami Dolphins?

Who is the X-Factor for the Steelers in their Week 7 game vs. the Dolphins?

Pittsburgh Steelers v Cleveland Browns Photo by Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers are preparing for the Miami Dolphins in Week 7. It is the Steelers’ latest road game, and, hopefully their third victory.

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 7 game vs. the Dolphins?

Let’s take a look...

Jeff Hartman

X-Factor: Najee Harris

Why: The Pittsburgh Steelers haven’t had much of a running game this season, and if there was ever a game where they return to some ground-and-pound it would be this one. The Dolphins give up over 100 yards per game on the ground, and getting Najee Harris going early and often certainly would help Kenny Pickett settle in on the road in prime time.

On top of the obvious running game, I have been wondering where the targets for Harris have gone? Last season Harris averaged 4.4 receptions per game, and through six games this season he’s only averaging 2.5 receptions per game.

Harris is a back who is multi-faceted, and should be utilized as such. Najee could use a big game, and this is a prime time game where using him in every possible way could benefit the offense, and by proxy the team’s success.

Dave Schofield

X-Factor: Patchwork Secondary Returning Secondary

Why: Last week I chose the Steelers patchwork secondary as the X-factor, and man did they step up! This week, most of the missing pieces return for the Steelers with Ahkello Witherspoon being the only player with an injury status (doubtful) for the game. With the secondary doing a nice job in their big win over Tampa, the players who come back are going to have to step up against the speed receivers of the Miami Dolphins. After having a week away, communication as well as scheme are going to need to come together if the Steelers are going to be able to stack their first set of wins of 2022.

Who would be your X-Factor for the Week 7 game Sunday? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!