Philadelphia Eagles vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Site: Heinz Field
Last Meeting: 9/21/08, L 15 – 6
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The Steelers return to football action this week to take on the Philadelphia Eagles. Also returning to action will be Troy Polamalu, James Harrison, and Rashard Mendenhall. Coincidentally enough, the Steelers have been pretty lackluster in the running game and on defense without these players, hence the 1-2 start. So, no pressure or anything.
Keys to the Game: Defense
It’s the same old, same old for the defense: putting pressure on the quarterback and causing turnovers. Mike Vick has been a master at the fumbleception this year, and the Steelers need to capitalize. With Harrison back, the name of the game is getting pressure in the backfield.
This will be the first game this season in which both Polamalu and Ryan Clark will be starting. With that added bonus of both starting safeties in the game, look for Troy Polamalu to be Troy Polamalu. Meaning, he’ll be everywhere.
Keys to the Game: Offense
Running game, running game, running game. The return of Mendenhall should hopefully be the shot in the arm this aspect of the offense sorely needs. Ben Roethlisberger is on track to have a monster of a year, but he needs the running game to help balance things out. Big Ben tends to get in trouble when he tries to do too much. With the Steelers’ 1-2 start to this season, he may start to feel the pressure without any kind of a running game.
And I know I’m sounding like a broken record at this point, but the Steelers need to keep on finding ways to get the ball to Heath Miller. Thus far under Todd Haley, the Steelers have become more successful inside the red-zone. And what do you know? Heath Miller is one of the top targets inside the red-zone in the NFL with eight targets and four TD catches. Coincidence? I think not.