The Pittsburgh Steelers have a tough matchup this week against the New England Patriots. This game will be the season opener in Acrisure Stadium. Let’s look at my weekly preview and key matchups.
Steelers D-line Vs Patriots O-line
The Steelers started the season out with a bang. Their defensive line was dominant last week and they were flying all over getting after Joe Burrow. They would produce 7 sacks and even more impact in constant pressure and making stops for loss. With that being said the Patriots offensive line performed pretty poorly against the Dolphins. The Dolphins were able to create a lot of pressure and sacked Mac Jones twice in their dominant victory. In addition, the Patriots could not get a substantial running game going either. This Steelers defensive line is aggressive and ready to go. I expect Mac Jones to have another long day against this ferocious line, and I do not expect the Patriots to get much of a running game going. The Steelers will win the battle in the trenches in week two.
Is Mac Jones Available?
Mac Jones had a lackluster week one performance in their loss to the Dolphins. Jones has missed some practice with reported back issues and a non covid related illness. He gives the Patriots the best chance to win with unreliable options behind him. If he is not ready to go I expect a blood bath on the Steelers part. The defense will get after whoever else is lined up under center. If he is ready to go I still expect a dominant performance by the Steeler defense which will lead to another lackluster performance by him. His lack of explosive weapons and uncertainty with the offensive coordinator situation I do not expect Mac Jones to carve up the Steelers.
Can The Steelers Offense Get Going?
The Steelers Offense was not very inspiring last week either. They had a hard time getting a run game going and could not sustain long drives to maintain possession and keep the defense off the field. Mike Tomlin came out and said they wanted to play conservative, take the check downs and not turn the ball over. That is exactly what Mitch Trubisky did. Well, I think it is time for Tomlin to unleash Mitch to see what he can really do. Trubisky had multiple plays where guys were open down field one notably a play with George Pickens wide open down the side. I don’t think the Steelers can sustain momentum by playing it safe. I want to see how good Mitch Trubisky is in real time and see if those missed opportunities were actually by design or if it’s a lack of field vision on his part. Let the man go out and ball!
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