Weaker Than Iron, But Stronger Than Sticks.
This week’s article should be fairly simple to write…Ladies and Gentlemen I didn’t find this task simple. The Steelers as a team played lights out last week. I stated in the Podcast I believe the Steelers deserved a win and half for beating the Giants and Ref’s. I am concerned this week…I don’t believe this team has a ton of loyalty or warm fuzzy feelings for Todd Haley…I don’t expect the Boys Win One for the Toddster. The two things the Steelers have going for them this week in my opinion are 1. The Chiefs have upset the Steelers recently; The Chiefs have played the Steelers to dog fights recently. 2. The Chiefs have talent but no direction. The Steelers need to start fast and drop the hammer early in all three phases of the game. I will post the kiss of death…I can see no reason the Steelers are not pulling starters in this game in the 4th quarter if they execute and protect the ball. The Steelers will piddle around and keep the Chiefs in this game mark my words.
Steelers Run Game
Starks and Dorsey- Glenn Dorsey is considered a bust by most pundits…I disagree with that opinion. Dorsey is miscast in a 34 defense. Dorsey is a quick up field player with zero ability to hold ground at the point of attack. Dorsey is going to make a play or two which will be the spark that Starks needs in the run game. Starks has decided to move his feet and attack defenders at the point of attack in the run game…Starks will never remind anyone of Flozell Adams in the run game. He is playing with more fire. I like this matchup for the Steelers I believe Starks can dominate and control Dorsey at the point of attack.
Colon Pouncey Foster Vs Poe Johnson and Belcher- We will start with the critical matchup of Pouncey and Poe…Poe is a weight room freak…Poe is massive and he can chase plays like a 280 pound defensive tackle. Poe cannot beat blocks to save his life…Once he is engaged he stays engaged. Pouncey over the years has not only won matchups when covered he has dominated those matchups…I expect Pouncey does just enough to get Poe blocked without much help from Foster and Colon. If Poe cannot force double teams at the point of attack that allows Colon and Foster free runs to linebackers at the 2nd level. Belcher and Johnson are both athletic hard hitting inside linebackers they both will swallow up running backs when they can run free and make plays. The Steelers run game has been great at the 2nd level recently. Colon and Foster cannot tank easy blocks on smaller players at the point of attack…They need to hunt and finish blocks on linebackers and safeties. If Pouncey controls Poe the way I expect the Steelers will dominate the run game between the tackles.
Adams and Jackson-The matchup IC hates the most…He is a fan of both players. Tyson Jackson is exactly what I thought he was coming out of college…He is a quality tough 2 gap player who fights all game long. Jackson was never going to be Bruce Smith, Neil Smith or Reggie White…Tyson Jackson on his best day was going to be Aaron Smith. Mike Adams is a very physical player…This will be the best matchup in the front seven also the most fiercely contested. You have two big bulls who are going to battle all game…It’s a toss-up in my opinion…If Adams just dominates this matchup I will crown his ass the rightful starter at right tackle.
Poor Heath Miller and David Paulson…Both are going to take a beating from Tamba Hali in the run game. Hali is a nasty hombre in all facets of the game. Miller and Paulson will have a far better chance of success in the run game against Justin Houston. Houston is a big man who plays like a small man…Houston doesn’t like to get his nose bloody…Miller and Paulson both have a chance at success against Houston…I think they can get in the way long enough to block Hali at the point of attack. I like the Steelers matchups in the run game between the tackles far more than on the edges. Hali and Houston both are big boys who can play the run if the Steelers have success running to the edges that means Miller, Paulson and Pope are doing great work.
I expect Mendy and Rainey sit. The Steelers will be forced to play Jonathan Dwyer a week earlier than they would like…I expect Redman gets a bulk of the carries this week. Both Redman and Dwyer have unique abilities for big backs. Redman wills his way through tacklers. He reminds me of former NFL running back Otis Anderson (From the U). After Redman breaks the 1st wave of tacklers, he looks to punish defensive backs as he runs North/South. Dwyer is explosive and he has elite vision; Dwyer can jump cut and wiggle all rare traits for a big back. Barron Batch will get some 3rd down packages…He is playing for his NFL career. The Steelers backs must protect the ball. Turnovers are death in the NFL.
Mike Wallace run blocking consists of running a go route…It’s effective. Manny Sanders and Cotchery are some run blocking fools…Sanders will be forced into action this week with AB’s ankle injury. The Steelers wide receivers will be challenged by the Chiefs defensive backs…Flowers and Berry play the run with bad intentions.
7 Dinking and Dunking around the Ketchup Bottle
Starks and Hali- Hali is a challenge for Starks. Starks is so freaking underrated it’s disgusting. Hali is a complete rusher with great skills and technique…Hali has no holes in his pass rush game. Hali is going to sack Ben…Starks is going to struggle. Hali is that good. I don’t expect Starks is a turnstile in this matchup…Starks is a proud skilled man he will battle.
Colon and Dorsey- If Dorsey doesn’t beat the guard off the snap of the ball he is useless rushing the passer…Colon has seen far quicker skilled rushers in his time in the NFL. I expect Colon dominates this matchup. The Chiefs will wave in some interior rushers none are very skilled.
Pouncey- Moe’s level of play in pass pro is on the upswing I believe both Foster and Colon have played at a higher level which simplifies Pouncey’s game… Pouncey will orchestrate the chaos.
Foster and Jackson- Jackson is a very raw pass rusher; he relies on a power rush game which doesn’t work because he plays too upright. I don’t know of many interior rushers who are going to take Foster’s lunch money up his chest. Foster is a big nasty dude…When he is on his game he lands his punch and the pass rusher is done rushing the passer. The Steelers need the interior of the offensive line to dominate this game in both the run and pass game…Ben is going to be forced up in the pocket with Hali and Houston coming off the edge…The interior must give Ben a pocket to move up into.
Adams and Houston- Mike Adams looks like a ball player to me. Justin Tuck made Adams look foolish early in the game…Adams not only recovered he played outstanding the rest of the game. The ability to recover mentally, just move on to the next play, is a trait you look for in a tackle. Justin Houston is a high quality pass rusher. The Steelers need Adams or Starks to hold up without much help…I won’t be surprised if Adams is the player on the island midway through the 2nd quarter.
Both Houston and Hali are useless in pass coverage. I expect Heath Miller and Paulson have some issues beating Derrick Johnson in coverage…I won’t be too surprised if Miller just uses his size and wears out Johnson down the seam on play action looks. Paulson is a weapon in the passing game…He runs good routes and finds his ways to get open. Jevon Belcher is ugly in coverage. He can run straight line he struggles to open his hips and cover in space. Belcher is also light in the pants at 225 pounds. I expect the Steelers tight ends to try to box him out and make plays. The Chiefs will also struggle with the Steelers backs in the running game…Both Dwyer and Redman run hard after the catch…Eric Berry will support like a missile…He wants no parts of a head on collision with Redman or Dwyer.
Mike Wallace will draw Javier Arenas a corner who lacks top end long speed…The Chiefs are going to be forced to play free safety Kendrick Lewis over the top of Wallace any time Wallace touches the field. Arenas cannot run with Wallace for 35 yards. Mike Wallace has ridiculous speed and explosive ability. The Chiefs will respect that ability. Manny Sanders will replace AB…Sanders is a great receiver who would start for over 20 teams in the NFL…The Steelers will miss AB’s ability to quickly beat coverage…The Steelers dinks and dunks come from AB’s ability to put corners on their heels off the snap of the ball…Sanders is a great route runner…I believe he will make some vertical plays this week. Sanders will draw Brandon Flowers in coverage. Flowers is a physical tough corner with play making ability. Flowers like Arenas lacks the top end speed to run with Wallace or Sanders. Jericho Cotchery will draw Jalil Brown in coverage…Brown is a soft finesse corner who Cotchery will beat the piss out of to get open. Both Chiefs safeties have play making ability…The Steelers must make the Chiefs respect the vertical speed of Wallace and Sanders in this game…I believe the Steelers will really miss Antonio Brown and Chris Rainey in this game…They will miss the explosive element both players bring. Well this just in…Chris Rainey practiced and claims he will play with a cracked rib…Sometimes you have to protect a player from himself….I think this may be such a case.
Ben protect the ball do your sweet thing….Don’t take any bad hits, just deliver the ball on time or chuck it out of bounds.
Chiefs Run Game
Pure Zone Blocking Team
Keisel and Albert- Albert is not a tough hard ass drive blocker in the run game. He just wants to lock on and direct the defender away from the line of scrimmage. The Steelers need Keisel to make some plays in the run game. The key for Keisel is beating blocks off the snap of the ball. He must use his length and quickness to at the very least disrupt blocking schemes. This is a matchup the Steelers need…Albert is a quality player in the run game.
Hampton Timmons and Foote Vs Allen Lilja Asamoah- Hampton will beat the piss out of Lilja in the run game…My concern is dirty Joe Asamoah with the hatchet blocks from behind on Hampton. Jeff Allen is a good young player who I was very high on in the draft…He is not a punishing blocker at the point of attack. He is very agile and he will destroy Foote or Timmons at the 2nd level if he has free shots. I expect Hampton rolls Lilja 3-4 yards in the back field a few plays and the Chiefs begin doubling him at the point of attack. Casey will either make some plays or force double teams. Timmons and Foote must do a better job tackling on initial contact…Both have struggled at times to read and react and make plays in the run game. The Steelers cannot afford any dumb mistakes with Jamal Charles carrying the football.
Hood and Winston- Ziggy Hood is allowed to chase plays with Woodley in the starting lineup…Hood has a great motor and the effort is always there…Hood is never going to be a great 2 gap defensive end…Hood is a very effective player against the run when he is allowed to play his game which is chasing and attacking the man with the ball. Eric Winston is a very good blocker in the run game. Injuries have sapped some strength and mobility from his game…I would not be surprised if Ziggy Hood has a real big game Monday night.
The Steelers really need the defensive linemen to dominate and eliminate the interior run game. Cam Heyward, Steve McClendon and Al Woods have been excellent wave players for the Steelers…I believe it’s time someone gave them some love.
James Harrison and Lamar Woodley will be tested this week in the run game when they are lined up across from Steve Maneri, the Chiefs 2nd tight end. Maneri is another tackle with a receiver’s number in the run game. I expect both Steelers outside linebackers have some struggles with the massive tight end. The Chiefs starting tight end Tony Moeaki is softer than baby shit, and I expect Harrison and Woodley destroy him in the run game.
The Chiefs have a stable of quality backs led by speedster Jamal Charles…Charles reminds me of Fast Willie Parker…He can just find a hole and blaze…The key to slowing down Charles is simple…He doesn’t like to get hit at all…I have a feeling Mr. Clark and Mr. Mundy will put a few shots on him. The Chiefs also have power back Peyton Hillis who is a wrecking ball once he gets started running downhill. Hillis has slow feet and zero acceleration left; the Steelers pursuit should limit his production. The Chiefs also give some carries to Shawn Draughn who is a hard runner with limited explosive ability to attack the hole. I am very concerned about Jamal Charles. The Steelers must play downhill and attack this run game.
The Chiefs have very physical wide receivers in the run game…The Steelers need Ike Taylor and Kennan Lewis to win battles and make some plays in the run game.
The Steelers need all eleven to limit this run game.
Cassel like a deer in headlights
Harrison and Albert- Harrison is showing signs of life rushing the passer…He closed the deal last week…He just missed two or three sacks the week before. Harrison most likely will never rush the passer like he did in 2008 and 2009…He is still a very effective pass rusher. I expect Harrison has a big night on Monday Night Football…Harrison is a big game player. Albert is a very good player…He has developed into a fine starting left tackle…I would not be surprised if Harrison’s production came on a line stunt or unblocked blitz...I also would not be surprised if Harrison just kicked the shit out of Albert.
Allen and Keisel- Allen is a former left tackle with very good feet and athletic ability. Allen has one weakness to his game and its arm length…Allen struggles with long armed athletic pass rushers. Keisel needs to have some success rushing the passer…Success doesn’t mean sacks…Deflect some balls…Quick pressures…Hustle plays that make the quarterback uncomfortable equal success…The Steelers need some production from the interior rushers.
Hood and Asamoah- I have a feeling after all the bullshit Asamoah is going to attempt in the run game Ziggy Hood is breathing fire in pass rush situations. I mentioned the interior rush, this could be a favorable matchup for the Steelers. Hood is showing more fluidity rushing the passer…He is setting things up and attacking the blocker…I expect this is the week Hood is rewarded. Asamoah is a very average pass blocker with cement feet and terrible balance.
Woodley and Winston- This could be a key matchup for the Steelers. The Chiefs are scared of James Harrison…Every team in the NFL is scared of James Harrison. Woodley is going to be on an island with Winston in pass rush situations…The Steelers need Woodley to win these matchups. Winston is a good player. Like I wrote earlier, injuries have robbed him of his once immense athletic talent…Winston cannot move laterally like he once did…He can’t close the gate/edge. The Steelers need Woodley to have some success rushing the passer.
I expect the Steelers blitz the piss out of the Chiefs and force Cassel to make quick reads. I expect Timmons, Foote and some defensive backs get in on the sack party.
Tony Moeaki is a tough cover for most teams…I believe Timmons can shut him down…I believe Harrison and Woodley can limit him. I am far more concerned with Charles, McCluster, and Hillis in the passing game than the Chiefs tight ends. The Chiefs running backs are brutal covers for the Steelers without TP. The Steelers blitz better get there.
The Chiefs have 2 massive wide receivers and they watch film I expect Ike and Lewis are tested with jump balls. Ike will draw Bowe for the most part. I expect Ike gets in Bowe’s back pocket and limits his production. When Ike plays with confidence he can shut down plenty of receivers…I don’t think Bowe can threaten Ike with speed so Ike doesn’t respect him. Jon Baldwin is a hot mess as a route runner. Lewis must believe in his ability and stop clutching and grabbing. Lewis basically took Baldwin out of a bowl game when they faced each other in college….I expect much of the same this week. Woody High Steve Breaston is a very dangerous slot receiver who has lost a step…Cortez Allen should be able to cover him without much issue. Chiefs 4th wide receiver Terrance Copper is fighting a leg injury and is very questionable for this game. He could be replaced by Rookie speedster Devon Wylie who was a playmaking fool at Fresno St. Ryan Clark,ml; Will Allen and Ryan Mundy must continue to lay the wood when given legal opportunities. I once again fear the Chiefs backs in the passing game…It’s my only fear in the passing game.
Matt Cassel pretty much sucks…He doesn’t like to get hit and he will throw the ball up for grabs.
Discontinued because the Steelers suck.