The Steelers are off to a great start this season and look to continue their winning ways this Sunday in Philadelphia against the Eagles. Based on what the Steelers have done through two weeks and the next opponent, I’ve come up with two scenarios that will lead to either the Steelers coming home 3-0 or 2-1.
Why the Steelers will win: Stay the course. Sounds like a writer induced cop-out, I know. But, the fact remains that the Steelers have found a winning formula. On defense, stop the run and keep pass plays in front of you. Use proper fundamentals in tackling and don’t give up the big play.
On offense, get DeAngelo Williams off to a good start and set up the passing game for a big day. Get #84 the ball early and often and then make the defense pay for adding help to stop Brown and Williams. Wheaton, James, Coates and Rogers should all make big contributions this Sunday. Add Grimble to the mix and there aren’t enough balls to go around, nor defenders to cover this crew. If the defense stays back in coverage, Williams will have more than enough running room to force them to stay closer to the line.
Why the Eagles will win: Darren Sproles. The diminutive running back and returner can hurt you in all three aspects of his team’s possession. He’s a good runner, a savvy receiver out of the backfield and a threat in the return game. Basically, every time he touches the ball he’s a threat. The defense will need to be aware of Sproles throughout the contest and limit his success with solid coverage and strong tackling. He’s elusive and they will to hit hard and wrap up.
The deep ball. I saw Carson Wentz make a real nice deep pass last week that was dropped by a wide open receiver. If Sproles and Ryan Matthews manage to force the Steelers to stack the box, the Pittsburgh secondary will need to be ready for Wentz and his receivers. Philadelphia is also 2-0 and there has been plenty of praise for Wentz so far. Wentz has not thrown an interception in two games and has only been sacked twice in each contest while throwing at least 34 times in each game. Yes, he’s facing an arguably better defense than either Cleveland or Chicago put on the field, but the Steelers can’t take him lightly.
To finish this off, the Eagles are a talented team, but still in rebuild mode after the Chip Kelly era. If the Eagles weren’t 2-0, I’d be tempted to call this one of the “trap games” that the Steelers are prone to losing, but this is not that situation at all. This isn’t the hated Patriots, but the Eagles are a decent team and the Steelers can’t sleep on this game. The Steelers’ coaching staff will find the weaknesses and it will be up to the players to expose them to get a win.