Look for the Steelers to try to run the ball wide this week and force a slow Patriots LB unit to play in pursuit.
I'll be looking. We haven't been all that good in offensively gameplanning against opponent weaknesses, though, IMO. I expect plenty of runs up the gut.
The Patriots' packages will be predicated on down and distance, which means it will be imperative for the Steelers to have some success on early downs and stay out of third-and-long situations.
Ummm, pretty much all
our 3rd downs are 3rd and long.
Steelers will try to get him [Ward] matched up as often as possible on No. 2 CB Ellis Hobbs.
If Holmes is healthy, I like him against Hobbs for the home run.
TE Heath Miller also needs to be a factor this week in the passing game as they will try to get him matched up versus SS Rodney Harrison, who is much better against the run.
No shit. We should do this... all... day... long. Which means you won't see any passes to Miller against Harrison after the first quarter.
Pittsburgh safety Troy Polamalu will play his usual role, which means he will align all over the field. However, we think a key for Pittsburgh in this game will be its ability to stop the run with seven and sometimes even six defenders in the box.
Agree. If they spread the field as I expect, I'd go 6 in the box, with plenty of ****-like movement pre-snap, and the occasional blitz to keep Brady guessing. But most of the time, drop into coverage.
Do not expect to see many free releases for WR Randy Moss this week because they will use CB Ike Taylor, who possesses very good size, to jam him and re-route him at the line of scrimmage... Also look for Pittsburgh to play more zone after the jam.
We don't really do a lot of jamming at the LOS, especially against spread teams. We'll try to force them to take the smaller yardage situations, which is fine, except that Brady is the master of both dinking and dunking. We can't go for the jam, let any WR get past his man and get an easy 6. So we keep them in front of us.
I think Anthony Smith will have to be patient in his deep zone, and it will be up to Troy and Potsy to disrupt routes. If they can bust up routes, that will allow the CBs to make a jump. It's gonna be a real chess match.
One guy to watch on Pittsburgh's defense is Harrison. He has a knack for being in the right spot and forcing fumbles versus the run or during his pass rush. LOT Matt Light and ROT Nick Kaczur will have to play their best games of the season if they are going to keep Brady clean this week.
Silverback is a liability in coverage, but he's better than Peazy was as a pass rusher. He'll be lined up more on Light, who will hold him every chance he gets, with a free pass from the refs. Hope James has a game like he did against McNair...
Stuff not mentioned:
I'd like to see Woodley get more reps in 3rd down pass rush situations.
If it's a goal line situation and Vrabel comes in, someone needs to punish him. I am sick of that little dog and pony show.
Anthony Smith needs to lay some motherfuckers OUT.
Matt Spaeth WILL score a TD this week. Book it.
I expect FWP to do very little. This will be a battle of passing teams.