Why Steelers should be looking forward to home opener against Patriots

Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers (R) Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers (R) Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

The Pittsburgh Steelers drew a lucky straw for their Week 2 matchup vs the Patriots.

The Pittsburgh Steelers were able to steal a win in Week 1 against the Bengals. However, that win came at the cost of losing the reigning defensive player of the year TJ Watt for at least 6 weeks. While Pittsburgh’s defense looked great in Week 1, losing Watt will obviously lower the potential of what the Steelers’ defense can do for the next month and a half.

However, the Pittsburgh is playing in Acrisure Stadium for the first time this season against the New England Patriots. This is a matchup that the Black n Gold are likely looking forward to and here’s why.

This is probably one of the easiest matchups on the Steelers’ schedule this season

While it is hard to imagine any team coached by Bill Bellichek as being bad, bad would be an understatement for how this team looks on paper. This team looks significantly worse on paper now than it did a year ago. Two of the biggest losses are Shaq Mason and JC Jackson. JC Jackson had 17 interceptions in the last two seasons and Shaq Mason spent 7 years in New England without allowing a single sack.

Losing one of the best cornerbacks in football on top of one of your most consistent offensive linemen doesn’t bode well. With such a talented receiving corp, and Cameron Heyward likely matching up against a rookie the Steelers have some great advantages positionally.

This is a great opportunity to build momentum and take a step forward offensively

Pittsburgh’s offense dealt with a good defense in Week 1. While the Patriots will likely have a good defensive game plan they simply don’t have the personnel to keep up with the talent the Steelers have on offense. This could be a great chance for the offensive line to take a step forward and build confidence on that side of the ball.

This also means the Black n Gold should be able to get a rushing attack going this week. If newcomer Jaylen Warren can pick up some steam against a weak defensive front, Najee Harris’ snaps can be limited in order to allow him to get even healthier as I don’t think anyone is convinced he is close to 100%.

This is a good week for the Steelers to experiment defensively

While Pittsburgh still has to worry about winning the game, they will have ample opportunities against a weaker team to experiment with some things defensively. The Steelers have had a notoriously hard time winning games without Tj Watt.

This is as good of a chance as any for Pittsburgh to find out who their top reserve edge rusher is. The Steelers will likely use a rotation on the edge but it will be good for the team to get some tape in real NFL action of some of these edge rushers. That information will be valuable in delegating snaps to pass rushers in the coming weeks.

Related Story. 3 Reasons the Steelers Will Upset the Patriots in Week 2. light