1. Steelers Must Make A Dynamic Play Early
The Steelers coaching staff on both sides of the ball has alluded to the importance of this team starting fast in order to win. While that hasn't really been the case for the offense, the Steelers have a much better chance of winning if the defense does start fast.
Last week the Steelers caught a break when Cooper Kupp dropped two passes on the opening drive. This key isn't about being lucky, though. The Steelers need to make something happen early like they did against Cleveland, Las Vegas and Baltimore.
Obviously, against Cleveland, it was the opening pick-six. In Las Vegas, it was forcing an opening drive three-and-out by stuffing the Raiders rushing attack, setting the tone for the game. Against Baltimore, it was keeping Lamar Jackson in the pocket as he fired incomplete pass after incomplete pass.
Jacksonville is a team riding a four-game winning streak playing its only game over a 23-day stretch. Punching them in the mouth out of the gate would go a long way in cooling their momentum off the bus. In the past two games, the Jaguars have scored on their opening possession. That isn't something the Steelers can afford to let happen for a third straight week.
In that four-game winning streak, the Jaguars have only turned the ball over in the first half once, a meaningless fumble to close the first half against Buffalo. Forcing an early turnover that results in points of some kind would be the most ideal scenario for Pittsburgh in this game.
Conversely, getting to Lawrence with pressure early would be a solid consolation prize. Lawrence has been sacked 16 times this season so far. 10 of those did happen over the past four games, but none of them were from the Saints last week. It's no coincidence the team closest to Jacksonville on the final scoreboard over this run was the Bills, which sacked Lawrence five times.