What the Steelers must do to defeat the 49ers in week 3

(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /
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For the first time in six years, the Steelers are 0-2 entering week 3 of the NFL. This week the Steelers travel to the west coast for a matchup with the undefeated San Francisco 49ers.

What a grueling week this has been. As if going 0-2 couldn’t be worse, the Steelers found out Monday Ben Roethlisberger will need season-ending elbow surgery.

Pittsburgh now turn to second-year quarterback Mason Rudolph to lead the offense. While this allows seeing life without Roethlisberger and lowers expectations, the Steelers aren’t necessarily preparing the fold.

A day after the Steelers lost the face of their franchise, they made an aggressive move to create identity in their secondary. Minkah Fitzpatrick, the all-American out of Alabama, got his wish for a trade from South Beach and now has a new home in the Steel City.

This week Rudolph and Fitzpatrick will have to adjust to their new roles quickly as they travel to San Francisco seeking their first win–and hand the 49ers their first loss.

The 49ers present a very tough challenge for the Steelers. While the Steelers ranked in the bottom half in the league in all defensive and offensive categories, the 49ers rank in the 10 ten in all categories except in two areas (passing yard offensive and defensive.)

If you could ever imagine a must-win to save a season so early, this week would be it. Many of the factors in the previous keys to victory return this week on both sides of the ball. The Steelers absolutely must execute in these keys to victory to save their young season.