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Thread: 3 players than can make a big difference for the Steelers on Sunday

          
   
   
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    BlitzburghRockCity's Avatar
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    3 players than can make a big difference for the Steelers on Sunday

    Dejan from the Trib wrote an article about 3 key players for the Steelers that can have a huge impact on the game against the Patriots.
    LaMarr Woodley
    His performance has risen from suspect to sensational over the past three games, in which he has 5 1/2 sacks, an interception and a forced safety. That's why the Steelers invested that $61.5 million. He's an impact player making impact plays.
    There's no reason that shouldn't continue Sunday.

    It's rare to get close enough to Brady to jab him with a stick, never mind wrapping him up. He's been sacked just 11 times in 237 passing plays, mostly because of that lightning-bolt release. As Woodley told me, "When somebody's getting rid of the ball like that, I don't care what you do, you're not getting back there in half a second."
    He's right, of course. But the Steelers don't have another option with James Harrison out and Lawrence Timmons likely focused on covering New England's twin-tower tight ends, Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. Woodley must at least get his quarterback hurries, let Brady know he's there -- Woodley has nine official hurries this season -- and he'll have to be sound when dropping into coverage.

    The man has complained -- rightly, to an extent -- that people "expect me to be a superhero after that contract and have sacks every game." This is a golden chance to prove he can be a force with or without sacks.
    It can be done.

    Ike Taylor
    If you think Taylor had a lousy game last week against Arizona's Larry Fitzgerald, you'd better bolster your argument with more than his three penalties and a couple missed tackles. Taylor was targeted nine times -- more than anyone in the Steelers' secondary -- and allowed just three catches and 15 total yards after those catches.
    That's not bad, especially considering the competition.

    His challenge this week will be far different but no less formidable in Wes Welker, who leads the NFL with 51 catches, plus 392 yards after the catch. On top of that, Welker lines up in the slot, so Taylor would have to move inside with him. Taylor did some of that last week against Fitzgerald but not exclusively.

    "I'll play whatever, inside, outside, I don't care," Taylor said with a shrug. "New week, new challenge."

    Taylor is eager to keep showing he is among the NFL's best cover corners and, even though he's still without an interception, he has allowed just two catches per game while stalking some top talent.

    If he limits Welker like that, it will be because he pounds him early and often.
    It can be done.

    Troy Polamalu
    The defensive back who is struggling the most in coverage is the one least often cited for criticism. Troy Polamalu has been targeted 22 times this season, and 12 of those passes were completed. He has no interceptions, one sack and six official passes defensed.

    If that's Superman, he'd better check his cape for Kryptonite.
    Polamalu remains effective in stunts, but New England won't allow much of that, given the need to track Gronkowski and Hernandez.

    "I think everyone knows what we're facing: a very high-potent offense," Polamalu said.
    Polamalu vs. any tight end would figure to be a mismatch. But he was beaten by Baltimore's Ed Dickson for a touchdown in the season opener, and he was beaten even worse by Arizona's Rob Housler last week. Only Kevin Kolb's abysmally off-line throw kept the play from going for six.

    But again, it can be done: When Buffalo picked off Brady four times Sept. 25, in New England's lone loss, two were by safeties George Wilson and Bryan Scott while covering the Patriots' tight ends. Wilson and Scott were otherwise highly effective in coverage.

    Polamalu doesn't have to be Superman this weekend. Just be like Ike.

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    Starter Goodfrom55's Avatar
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    This game will be won or lost by the Steelers on their offensive performance. NE will get their points, but Ben and company need to "do their job" and keep up.

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    BlitzburghRockCity's Avatar
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    3 fairly obvious choices here. Woodley needs to get a pass rush but with Brady getting the ball out in about 3 seconds or less most of the time the pass rush is usually not a big factor. Not because it shouldn't be but just because simply they can't get there in time.

    I'm going to say the defensive line is a big key in this one. If they can get any type of push up the middle it can throw off what Brady wants to do. He won't be able to step up in the pocket and guys like Keisel and Hood could bat some passes down. Now mind you this is what you'd like to see happen but against Brady it doesn't happen very often.

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    Starter Steelers_All_Day_43's Avatar
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    I believe the key to this game will be Wood. If he gets pressure, we will disrupt their offense. If he doesn't...bad news

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    SA's #1 Pirates Fan Tetris Champion Black@Gold Forever32's Avatar
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    If you can't get to Brady put your paws up....Keisel is great at doing that....Hood, Heyward, McLendon all need to do that as well.....

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    2nd String UKSTEELER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harrison92 View Post
    This game will be won or lost by the Steelers on their offensive performance. NE will get their points, but Ben and company need to "do their job" and keep up.


    But we can get more of a pocket push than usual, as long as Casey remains on the sideline!


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    Starter Goodfrom55's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlitzburghRockCity View Post
    I'm going to say the defensive line is a big key in this one. If they can get any type of push up the middle it can throw off what Brady wants to do. He won't be able to step up in the pocket and guys like Keisel and Hood could bat some passes down. Now mind you this is what you'd like to see happen but against Brady it doesn't happen very often.
    Cowboys, Jets and Bills got to him, but you're right, the ksy is push up the midddle so he can't step up.

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    Living Legend Steelersfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black@Gold Forever32 View Post
    If you can't get to Brady put your paws up....Keisel is great at doing that....Hood, Heyward, McLendon all need to do that as well.....
    This! Pass rush wont get him the whole game so the DL needs to get hands up in passing lines. Also, DBs need to hit at the line to throw off timing.

    Sent from my DROIDX using Tapatalk

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    I am pretty great. Rampage's Avatar
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    I still think Ben is the biggest wild card in this game. If he comes out making mistakes like he usually does against the Pats, the team is screwed. If he keeps things together, they have a good chance. For whatever reason, he just does not bring his A game to meetings with the Pats.

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    BlitzburghRockCity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harrison92 View Post
    Cowboys, Jets and Bills got to him, but you're right, the ksy is push up the midddle so he can't step up.
    Yes indeed, you can get to Brady but it's not very many teams that can. The Steelers can but they haven't been able to much in the past. I suspect Lebeau and Butler have watched a lot of films on those teams.

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