Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.
As much as I would like to write about last week’s win…We don’t have time for that. The Steelers beat the Ravens because they played together and never wavered in the belief in the man lined up beside them.
Chargers Run Game
Keisel and Haslam- Keisel has really come on the past two months for the Steelers. The Chargers offensive line is a mess…Haslam will not be able to blow Keisel off the line of scrimmage…I will not be surprised if he has some success against Keisel in the run game. Haslam is an undersized tackle with very good movement skills…He should be able to at least get in the way of Keisel in the run game. Keisel cannot allow Haslam to hook him at the line of scrimmage…The Chargers running backs look to bounce everything to the edge in the run game.
Hampton Timmons and Foote Vs Hadnot Hardwick and Vazquez- Hardwick has no chance of blocking Hampton at the point of attack…Hampton will destroy the undersized Hardwick the same way he destroyed Matt Birk in the run game. Hadnot and Vazquez try hard; both are very ineffective at the point of attack in the run game. Hampton will force play side double teams in the run game…That’s just a fact. Foote and Timmons must clean up the mess. Hadnot is short and slow…He struggles to make blocks at the second level in the run game. Vazquez is more stout at the point of attack; he may be slower than Hadnot at the second level. I have one concern in the run game and that is fullback Le’Ron McClain with Iso blocks on Timmons and Foote at the point of attack…McClain is a devastating lead blocker.
Hood and Wells- Reggie Wells a street free agent last week is expected to start at right tackle this week. Wells was a sloppy slow offensive guard for the Cardinals…I expect he is a sloppy slow right tackle for the Chargers. Hood will never be great against the run…He does just enough to keep his starting job to be honest. Hood struggles to beat blocks…It’s not a matter of hustle or toughness…Hood battles he just fails to make plays. Hood should have success against Wells this week based on athleticism. The Steelers need to dominate this matchup.
The Chargers have four tight ends on their roster and none of them can block their way out of a wet paper bag. James Harrison will destroy McMichael and Gates in the run game….Jason Worilds did a fine job in the run game last week…If he brings a similar effort the Chargers tight ends have no chance of blocking him in the run game.
The Steelers front seven must wreck the Chargers run game. The Chargers will be running out their 3rd left tackle, 3rd left guard, and a street free agent at right tackle…No excuses.
The Chargers receivers will run block…Cortez Allen and K Lewis better be prepared to go to war. I expect Ryan Clark and TP are active in this game…Both players just finish from the back end.
The Chargers have a fantastic fullback in Le’Ron McClain…He is the player I fear the most in the Chargers run game. Ryan Mathews looks to bounce everything to the edge…He has no desire to run between the tackles…Mathews is fragile handle with care…He doesn’t like to get hit. Ronnie Brown is not the back he once was…Multiple knee surgeries have robbed him of his explosive playmaking ability. Jackie Battle is a big back with under rated ability…I believe Battle should be the starter for the Chargers…He runs hard.
Rivers is retarded
Harrison and Haslam- Haslam is also playing injured; I give him credit for having toughness and a will to compete. I would not be surprised if Deebo has a multiple sack game. Deebo is showing signs of life as the season goes on…He is still purely a power rusher…I would love to see him try to run the arc…Force the tackle to move his feet and block in space…Give the tackle something to think about.
Keisel and Hadnot- These two have matched up before and Keisel took Hadnot to the woodshed. Keisel is just too damn long and athletic for Hadnot. Hadnot is a short guard with very short arms…His body build is similar to Bronco’s…Keisel is his worst nightmare with his quick first step and very long arms. On paper this is another very favorable matchup for the Steelers.
Hood and Vazquez- This is the only matchup in the front seven that I could see the Chargers controlling. For all the talk of the explosive training Hood did in the off season it has failed to translate to the football field. Hood continues to disappoint rushing the passer. I understand Marshall Yanda is a quality guard…Hood was stoned more often than FC at a Dead show last week against the Ravens.
Worilds and Wells- Jason Worilds should be salivating like the butchers dog on scrap cutting day. I have no idea what to expect from Wells at right tackle…Since I am asked to take a guess I will. I think Wells is going to get Rivers killed. Worilds is a slippery rusher…He is not real fast or strong…He is more sly than skilled. I have a feeling Worilds gives Wells fits on the edge.
The Chargers are going to be forced to help both tackles in pass protection. I have a feeling Keisel is going to whip Hadnot up and down the field…I expect 3 man routes from the Chargers…When the Steelers bring six it better get there.
Lawrence Timmons will draw Antonio Gates who is still a stud…I would not be surprised if Timmons shuts down Gates…Timmons is not great against the run…He has developed into an elite cover linebacker. Randy McMichael is another viable target for the Chargers in the passing game…The Steelers linebackers and safeties have done a fine job covering secondary targets other than fullbacks in the passing game. The Chargers running backs are legitimate threats in the passing game. The Chargers run a ton of screens….The Steelers have to run to the ball and make hustle plays against the screen game. The Chargers running backs will also run routes…I have some concerns about smaller players in space against bigger players. The Steelers must account for Le’Ron McClain in the passing game.
The Chargers have three quality wide receivers…I do not expect the Steelers to match up a corner on a particular receiver. Malcolm Floyd is a massive target in the Plaxico Burress mold. Floyd is wirier and less stout fighting for the ball in the air than Plax. Denario Alexander is not very fast he is a big body who runs quality routes and displays soft hands to pluck the ball. Robert Meacham is a speed target in the Mike Wallace mold…Both players have lapses of concentration which lead to dropped balls. I believe Allen or Lewis can shut down Alexander or Floyd…The Steelers corners will have no fear of being beat over the top in coverage…Meacham, if healthy, is a very dangerous receiver who could give the Steelers problems in the vertical passing game. Curtis Brown was solid against the Ravens…He needs to prove he can cover NFL receivers week in week out. Ryan Clark and TP are both ball hawks who will level receivers anywhere and everywhere on the field…Rivers throws some dying duck passes…Don’t be surprised if the Steelers make some plays on the ball this week.
Phillip Rivers I have no clue what happened to your NFL career. Rivers was a money player in college. Played in 4 Bowl games won 4 MVPS…He just makes poor decisions with the ball. Rivers can make throws if he has time in the pocket…I expect the Steelers are all over Rivers like stink on shit. I expect the Steelers rattle Rivers early and often.
Steelers Run Game
Starks and Liguet- This should be a tough matchup in the run game. Liguet is very athletic and quick at the point of attack. Liguet plays the game low which allows him to anchor and make plays against the run…This is the toughest matchup Starks has faced in the run game in a long time. I don’t expect Starks to have much success this week in the run game…Starks has the ability to blow Liguet off the ball…He just doesn’t play with that fire in his belly in the run game.
Colon Pouncey Foster Vs Franklin Spikes and Butler- Pouncey like Starks will be tested this week. Aubrayo Franklin is a massive mobile nosetackle…The type of player who gives Pouncey fits at the point of attack. I expect Pouncey will need help with Franklin on most interior runs. Donald Butler is a similar player to Lawrence Timmons against the run…Butler can run and strike…He struggles to read plays and beat blocks at the point of attack. Takeo Spikes from Augusta Georgia has seen it all in his NFL career. Spikes lost a step or two to father time over the years…He is still a very effective player. The Steelers guards will also be tested this week…It takes perfect timing come off the double team block to have a successful interior run…The Steelers guards have to walk the fine line of leaving the double team too early allowing Franklin to make a play or staying on the double team block too long allowing Butler or Spikes a free run at the running back. The Steelers interior offensive line has to work like a machine to be successful all the parts have to be moving at once and in unison.
Beachum and Vaughn Martin- One week doesn’t make a career…Beachum was very solid last week. I was very impressed with Beachum in the run game against the Ravens. Beachum will face a tough test this week with Vaughn Martin a massive Canadian with rare speed and power at the point of attack. Beachum must keep his hands inside and feet moving if he expects to get movement at the point of attack. This is a bad matchup for the Steelers on paper…Martin is a powerhouse and Beachum is a undersized tackle.
The Chargers have skill size and talent in the front seven.
Heath Miller, David Paulson and Leonard Pope will be asked to block Shaun Phillips, Jarrett Johnson and Melvin Ingram in the run game…I see the Steelers having very little success doing so. Johnson is a beast in the run game…He destroys tight ends in the run game…Miller and Johnson have battled before so they know what to expect. Shaun Phillips is very average against the run…I believe the Steelers may be able to run at him. Rookie Melvin Ingram is slowly growing into a quality NFL starter. If the Steelers tight ends can block the Chargers outside linebackers some yards could be had in the run game to the edge …Don’t get your hopes up…The Chargers linebackers are excellent against the run.
Jonathan Dwyer and Isaac Redman must attack the hole and finish every run. Ball Security is the most critical element of every run. I don’t expect the Steelers backs to have many holes to attack. Chris Rainey’s speed could be a factor in this game…The Chargers defense lacks speed…They have size and play smart football for the most part…They struggle with fast players in space.
The Steelers receivers must block their balls off...The Steelers must win matchups if they expect success in the run game…This is a hidden matchup that could be the difference.
Starks and Phillips- I am very close to believing in Max Starks as a shutdown left tackle in pass pro. Phillips is not real fast or strong…He understands how to set up a tackle rushing the passer. If Starks is fundamentally sound he should have no issues with Phillips rushing the passer. I also expect Starks faces rookie Melvin Ingram rushing the passer…Ingram is a short explosive player…He has struggled in his transition to the NFL rushing the passer…He has ability. If Starks avoids being fat and lazy he should have no issues in pass pro.
Colon and Liguet- I have some concerns with this matchup. Colon with a bad knee may not have the mobility to handle the Chargers line stunts. I want Colon gone. I just don’t trust him. Liguet is a good player who Colon could make look great…Colon better be ready to battle and move his feet…Liguet has one speed rushing the passer. I do not like this matchup for the Steelers.
Pouncey- I expect he will spend a ton of time helping Colon in pass protection. Pouncey must keep his head on a swivel for the interior blitz packages of the Chargers.
Foster and Martin- Wow this should be fun to watch. Both men try to maul you into submission. I expect this to be a battle of two big Kodiak bears. Foster is just a powerful man…What he hits just stops moving…The pass rush is over when Foster lands his punch. Martin is not pretty rushing the passer he comes with power down after down…My money is on Foster.
Beachum and Johnson- A battle of Youth and Skill against experience and treachery. Beachum has great feet and movement skills…Johnson is very strong…He rushes the passer from the edge with power and technique. The Steelers really need this matchup…I am leaning towards Beachum handling this matchup without much issue…I’m just leery to trust a late round pick making his second NFL start against a proven NFL stud. Beachum will also face Ingram and Larry English at times. Both English and Ingram want to speed rush off the edge…Something I feel Beachum will be able to handle without much issue.
The Chargers like the Ravens do not have an answer for the Steelers tight ends in the passing game unless they want to cover Miller with safety Eric Weddle. Miller understands the passing game…He understands where the windows are in coverage…He is a physical mismatch…What makes him special is his mind…He sees the holes in coverage and sits down in said holes. David Paulson is going to be a major weapon for this team this season…As teams begin respecting Miller and the run game more and more Paulson is getting clean releases from the line of scrimmage…Paulson has playmaking ability in the passing game. The Chargers will also struggle to cover the Steelers running backs in the passing game. Dwyer doesn’t look like the most natural pass catcher…He actually can make plays…Same thing with Redman and Johnson.
The Steelers best matchups in the passing game may be at tight end and running back.
Mike Wallace will draw Antoine Cason…Cason can run and he is a playmaker…He cannot run with Wallace in space. Wallace has to make a vertical play or two early in this game…The Steelers need to back off the defense more importantly they need to get Ben and Wallace in the right mind set. Nothing helps the confidence more than a big play. The Steelers must back the Chargers backers and safeties out of the gaps…The Steelers cannot and will not run successfully against 8-9 man fronts consistently. Mike Wallace is one of the keys to backing the Chargers off the line of scrimmage. Antonio Brown will draw Jammer…Jammer is a wily vet who reads routes and makes plays on the ball. AB has a special ability to adjust his route to make plays on the ball…AB is a very smart football player…He sees things average receivers don’t see. AB is not big, strong, or fast…He is cat quick and reads coverage’s on the fly. Manny Sanders is expected to play despite the shoulder injury…Can’t fumble the ball son. Sanders will draw Chris Carr in coverage…Carr is a Steelers killer. I hope the Steelers dress Plax…Carr is 5-8 with zero chance of covering Plax. Jericho Cotchery is expected back this week….The Steelers missed his blocking on the edge the past few weeks. Chargers safeties Corey Lynch and Eric Weddle are both exceptional athletes…Weddle has a nose for the ball…He is a step below Reed and TP…He is a great player. Corey Lynch will have some mental breakdowns in coverage…He will take false steps and make bad reads.
The Steelers should be able to exploit matchups in the passing game if the offensive line can hold up
Ben…No John Wayne Bullshit. Throw the ball on time. Protect the ball…More importantly protect yourself…Go fetal if you must.
The Steelers suck.