3 Things for Steelers to win
1. Le’Veon Bell 30-35 touches. Don’t overthink it. The Chargers’ run defense is poor. Bell allows you to shorten the game and protect your defense.
2. Avoid giving up the big play. The Steelers’ pass rush has shown a pulse lately but still leaves a lot to be desired. The secondary on the other hand simply lacks the personnel to hold up against Phillip Rivers and company for 4 quarters. So, die a slow death. Generally not recommended, but commit additional defenders to defend the pass and keep the play in front of you. Sound tackling when Rivers dumps it down to Danny Woodhead. The field shrinks inside the red-zone, hold San Diego to field goal attempts.
3. Do your job. The Steelers defense, specifically the secondary struggles to identify their assignments. Hopefully, with film study and good coaching the defensive backs’ collective Football IQ has risen. Understand what your responsibility is and hopefully your physical talents allow you to make enough plays.
3 Things for Chargers to win
1. Do what you do best. Generally we preach balance, but the Chargers’ strength (pass offense) is the Steelers’ weakness (pass defense). Put the ball in the hands of you veteran QB Phillip Rivers and let him continue his impressive start to the 2015 NFL season.
2. You’re not going to stop Le’Veon Bell. But you’ve got to contain him. Bell can absolutely take over a game and force your high powered offense to watch from the sidelines. You have to be gap disciplined and run to the ball. You may have to commit an additional defender to the box which frees up Antonio Brown, but I would take my chances with “Mike Vick the passer” rather than ” Mike Vick the game manager.”
3. Insert Denzel Perryman into the staring lineup. Safety Eric Weddle leads the team in tackles and is tied for 2nd in tackles for loss. Weddle is more centerfielder than “in the box” safety. Which means too often the opposition is getting to the last line of defense and Weddle is the only defender making plays in running game. I believe a shake-up at linebacker is in order. Either Manti Te’o or Donald Butler should take a back seat to the blue collar workmanship of Denzel Perryman. Where Perryman may lack in man-to-man pass coverage he provides sure tackling and a physical, downhill presence in the middle against the run.
What to watch for…
Mike Vick’s performance. Can he avoid the negative play and provide a complimentary passing game to Le’Veon Bell?
The Front Office Says…
The San Diego Chargers to win.