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 5 game vs. the Bills?
Let’s take a look...
X-Factor: Kenny Pickett
Why: To me, there was no other way to go with this X-Factor in Week 5. The Steelers are starting a new era with Kenny Pickett at quarterback, and there will be bumps and bruises along the way. But is Pickett the long-term answer for the Steelers organization?
That’s the ultimate question.
When you consider just how fortunate the franchise could be if Pickett does turn out to be their starting quarterback for the foreseeable future. The organization got lucky in 2004 when the Cleveland Browns selected Kellen Winslow Jr. instead of Ben Roethlisberger at pick No. 10 in the NFL Draft. Now, the Steelers saw “the most NFL ready quarterback” fall to them at pick No. 20, and this the year after Roethlisberger called it a career.
There will be no definitive answer on Pickett, and his future, after just one game, but today is Step No. 1 in the process. Here’s hoping Pickett is the “guy” the Steelers need...for a long time.
X-Factor: Levi Wallace
Why: I wanted to think a little outside of the box for this game and wanted to choose a player who it would be beneficial for Steelers’ fans to be hearing their name in a good way throughout the game. There are a number of names that I haven’t heard much this season on defense, such as Malik Reed or Myles Jack, but I ultimately went with former Buffalo Bills cornerback Levi Wallace. Playing against his former team, I just have a feeling this will be a big game for Wallace on one end of the spectrum or the other. Either Wallace is going to step up and have a big game against his former team, or the Bills are going to go after a player with whom they are very familiar. Either way, how Wallace plays in this game could have a big factor on how the defense performs overall.
Who would be your X-Factor for the Week 5 game Sunday? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!