10/26/17-Pittsburgh Steelers at Detroit Lions

By: Mike Pelaia

The Steelers are atop the AFC North at 5-2 after defeating the Chiefs and Bengals in consecutive weeks. They now travel to the 3-3 Detroit Lions in a Sunday Night game that is extremely important for both squads yet specifically important for the Lions; if they want to hang in the NFC North race. The Lions are coming off a bye and will be ready to play come Sunday Night.

Here Are The Keys To Victory:

  1. The Lions are ranked second in the NFL in turnover ratio, meaning they don’t give it up much and they have an opportunistic defense that will take the ball away from their opponent. The Steelers need to make sure they do not fall into that trap; they must protect the football at all times.
  2. The offense needs to start with Le’Veon Bell but this is the week for the passing game to be a focal point. The Lions are near the bottom of the league in pass defense at in the top ten in rush defense. Ben Roethlisberger should be able to spread the ball out to Antonio Brown and company with relative ease.
  3. The team needs to remain focused. Often, after a winning streak of sorts, the Steelers tend to get a bit cocky and fall into the trap of assuming victory. They can’t allow themselves to automatically assume they are going to win. They must keep their noses down, stay humble and deliver in-between the lines on Sunday night.
  4. The secondary needs to stop Golden Tate. Tate is Matt Stafford’s favorite target and I fully expect Artie Burns to follow him all over the field. If Burns can eliminate Tate, the Steelers will have a great opportunity to win the game.

Here Are A Few Things To Watch:

  1. Martavis Bryant won’t dress this week but what will his demeanor be? Will he pout, or will he learn his lesson? 
  2. I think James Conner is going to be a bit more involved in the game plan this week. I look for him to have upwards of 10 carries to provide Bell some rest.
  3. Something tells me that Cam Heyward is going to have a big game. I have a feeling he’s going to get to Stafford twice this Sunday.
  4. I think Artie Burns is going to shut Tate down and pick up his first interception on the season at the same time.

The Steelers come into Detroit as the favorite and I expect them to win easily. I think if they stick to the game plan, eliminate turnovers and spread the offense out, they will take this game 34-17.


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