The Steelers have a huge game against the Eagles this Sunday, and here are four questions that will need to be answered if the team wants to win.
The Steelers fell short yet again against the Dolphins, and things look pretty bleak for the team. The offense is very bland, the stars aren’t producing, and the defense, while showing flashes of great play, is wildly inconsistent. The road before the by takes us to an Eagles team that has played great on both sides of the ball.
The odds once again seem bleak for this team, and a 2-6 record will essentially end their season (if it isn’t already over). That said, this team showed that they can compete even when the odds are stacked against them against Tampa Bay, and perhaps they can surprise again this week. With all of that said, here are four questions the Steelers must answer if they want to have any shot at winning.
Can the Steelers beat the Eagles defense?
The Steelers offense has been sluggish and bland. It also features a mistake-prone rookie quarterback at the helm. They are set up to face a talented Eagles defense that can apply pressure and get interceptions. It seems like a recipe for a disaster, doesn’t it? For a team that can barely score against mediocre teams, the Eagles could be an issue.
What this offense needs to do is establish the run this week. Kenny Pickett essentially lost the game last week due to mistakes, and while he needs the opportunity to grow, having him air it out against an advantageous defense is a recipe for disaster. If this team wants to have any shot at winning, they need to limit the impact this defense has.
Can the Steelers stars look the part?
The Steelers offense was hyped as a potential sleeper unit, as there was a wealth of talent amongst the receivers and running game. To this point, the group has been mostly quiet and lacking. George Pickens and Pat Freiermuth have looked good, but the expected stars elsewhere have really been lacking.
Again, I think the key to this game is limiting the Eagles explosive offense by some ground control offense. That said, a big play from one of the stars will be a huge help. This unit needs to recapture some of its preseason hype again and soon. The Eagles are a tall task, and the stars will need to rise up if the Steelers want a shot at competing.
Can the Steelers stop a dynamic offense?
The Eagles offense is one of the best in the league right now. It features Jalen Hurts playing the best football of his career so far. He is a threat on the ground and has been clean through the air. Add in the resurgence of Miles Sanders and the dominance A.J. Brown has shown, and this offense can kill you in a wide variety of ways.
The Steelers defense needs to be ready to contain this unit. The odds of straight-up stopping it is unlikely but limiting them will be key. The team showed that they could make adjustments and do that last week, but the task is even tougher this week. This defense needs to hold together and limit a dynamic offense.
Are the Steelers going to sell?
Let’s make this very clear upfront: the odds of the Steelers winning this game is slim to none. With the trade deadline coming up next Tuesday, are the Steelers preparing to sell some of their roster? It would make sense. Even if the team gets a win against the Eagles, they still have long odds of remaining competitive this season.
If the team is ready to sell, featuring some of that talent would make sense. Chase Claypool is on a hot streak right now and could fetch a decent pick in return. I would personally dangle Najee Harris out as trade bait given the deal that sent Christian McCaffrey to the 49ers. The Steelers may embrace this season for what it is and prepare to trade some of their roster after this game.
The Steelers are essentially fighting for their season in this game against the Eagles. A loss here heading into the bye really cements this team as a bottom-tier club in 2022. If Pittsburgh wants any shot at winning this week, they will have to answer these four key questions.