Steelers @ Redskins: What to watch for

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Dec 28, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin talks with linebacker Ryan Shazier (50) in the first half against the Cincinnati Bengals at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports /

A meeting of the minds

Shazier is a player to watch in every game that he starts. If it weren’t for injuries Shazier would likely have the numbers to be considered one of the best in the NFL at his position–there is no doubt he is one of the most gifted.

Shazier will call the defense against 2015’s most efficient passer. Cousins led the NFL in completion percentage last year and set an NFL record for completion percentage while playing at home (74.71%). Playing at FedEx Field in 2015, Cousins threw for 16 touchdowns to just two interceptions and added four touchdowns on the ground en route to a 6-2 home record.

Shazier is an intelligent football player, but often relies on his athleticism to make plays instead of his knowledge and anticipation. He is exactly the type of player that a quarterback like Cousins can take advantage of. Both players have the ability to ruin the opposing game plan, and on Monday night we’ll get to see who does a better job.

Next: Steelers’ Defenders vs Jordan Reed