The Steelers have one last regular season game on Sunday Night and it’s a meaningful one. The winner takes the division crown and gets a home game in the first round of the playoffs, the loser is a wild card participant and has to travel in the postseason.
There’s a huge difference between playing at home and heading to someone else’s field during post season play so this game is critical.
Do the boys in black and gold have what it takes to get the job done?
Here are the Keys to A Steelers Victory:
• Mission number one will be stopping AJ Green. Green is as good as it gets and he torched the Steelers for 224 yards the first time they met. Pittsburgh must find a way to keep in in check.
2. If the defense can contain Green, they will then need to focus on the rushing attack. The Bengals are balanced offensively and they have a 1,000 yard rusher and a 600 yard rusher in their backfield. If they set up play action early, it could be a long day, but if the Steelers stuff the run, they can ideally contain Green along with it.
3. The Killer B’s need to do what they do. If Big Ben, A.B. and Leveon Bell get going, they’ll make it a long day for the Bengals.
4. The team must stay disciplined. The black and gold must keep their cool and their wits; they can’t make stupid penalities in what will most likely be a very heated game between two bitter rivals.
Here are a Few Things to Watch:
• Troy Polamalu and Ike Taylor-Both longtime Steeler players are questionable for the game but if they do play, it could be their last home game in a Steeler uniform (if the team loses). Hopefully they’ll get out there and make a few plays.
2. James Harrison-He’ll be playing and he’ll be playing like a mad man I’m sure. He too could be in his last home game as a Steeler, if they lose, so make sure you keep your eye on him as well.
3. Big Ben vs. Andy Dalton-Big Ben makes big time plays in big time games. Andy Dalton doesn’t. Will that trend continue?
4. The crowd-they poured boos on this team earlier this season, they won’t be doing that Sunday Night. They’ll rock Heinz Field and make it tough on the Bungles.
Mike Pelaia hosts the website Steel Nation Association www.steelnationassociation.com- Covering the Steelers and helping Children’s Hospital All Day Everyday. You can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.