The Steelers head out west following their bye week, and this is a huge opportunity for this team to maintain control of their future. The AFC North did well last week, meaning a win here keeps Pittsburgh at the top end of the division. A loss could feasibly send them to the bottom as well.
The Rams have proven to be better than most people gave them credit for. From an offense that has flowed both with and without Cooper Kupp to a surprisingly effective defense, Los Angeles looks like a tough team. Here are my four bold predictions for the Steelers as they play the Rams in week seven.
1. Joey Porter Jr. gets the green light
The Steelers secondary has been a bit of a mess this season. From the struggles of starting cornerbacks Patrick Peterson and Levi Wallace to the release of potential slot option Desmond King, this group should look pretty different following the bye week. While the team has yet to fully commit to him, I do think Joey Porter finally gets a more established role on this defense.
It seems likely to me that the team will want to move Patrick Peterson more into the slot, something they have toyed with to mixed results. With King no longer an option and Chandon Sullivan playing poorly, Peterson can become a more full-time slot option while Porter takes over on the outside.
No, this won’t lead to instant results, but Porter has earned the right to play more. Even if he still is on the bench for base defense, Porter should be playing close to 70 percent of the snaps in this new role. Again, he has been the lone bright spot in the cornerback room, and he should be given more opportunities because of it.