Pittsburgh Steelers vs. New Orleans Saints: Keys to Victory
The Pittsburgh Steelers are at home coming off of their bye week looking to keep pace in what’s become the NFL’s tightest division race. In comes the New Orleans Saints, coming off of a Monday night loss at home against the Baltimore Ravens and at 4-7, are still within a game of their own division race. The Steelers defense may just be getting healthy at the perfect time but the offense is now suddenly thin an inexperienced at running back behind Le’Veon Bell. Ben Roethlisberger, for the most part, has been lights out at Heinz Field this season, averaging over 300 yards passing and more than 3 passing touchdowns at home this season. What has to come together for the Steelers to come away with the victory today?
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Do not take the 4-7 Saints lightly
It’s no secret that the Steelers struggle against teams with losing records. It’s a sad reality that is reflected in their records against those teams. But, this sub .500 team is a different animal. The New Orleans Saints are second in the NFL in total offense, averaging over 400 yards per game and have had costly turnovers be their undoing in most games this season. The Steelers need to face each of their opponents from here on out as if it is a playoff game, and this one should be no different even with the losing record. Drew Brees and the Saints offense can very well make this a shootout, so the Steelers need to be prepared for every situation.
Run Le’Veon run!
We know that Ben Roethlisberger and Drew Brees can turn this game into a passing war but the Steelers would be crazy to ignore the 200+ average rushing yards the Saints defense is giving up this season. Bell is coming off of his first 200-yard rushing performance against Tennessee after not getting even 50 rushing yards in the two previous games. There’s no need to abandon the passing game, let’s not be silly here, but if Bell can get the yards and the first downs the Steelers can sure benefit from it.
Win the turnover battle
This can easily be said for any game. If you don’t turn the ball over and you take the ball away from the other team, chances are you’re going to win. But, the Steelers need to take care of the football on their own end particularly against the New Orleans Saints, who have been prone to turn the ball over multiple times a game this season. Drew Brees alone has committed 13 turnovers himself this season. With the Steelers defense healthy getting the likes of Ike Taylor and Troy Polamalu back, they’d be wise to blitz the hell out of Brees and force him into making these mistakes that have plagued him so far in 2014.
Here we go Steelers! Here we go!