No, I’m not a crazy, looney dude… just passionate, determined, and skilled and that is what the Steelers need to be this Sunday in their opening game… I know a NFL season is 17 long weeks and full of twist and turns… but out of all 32 NFL Football Teams this year, the Steelers face the only MUST-WIN in week 1 vs. Atlanta Falcons in Pittsburgh.
Reason of course is their starting quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger, is suspended for the first four games, so with trips to Tampa Bay (winnable) and Tennessee (tough), and a home game vs. division and hated rival Baltimore (very tough) next on the agenda, the Steelers MUST-WIN in week 1 to have solid chance at 2-2 or above record in competitive AFC.
The Steelers have been preparing all off-season for the loss of Roethlisberger, hoping their running game and defense can carry the load during his absence. The defense must play better than it did in 2009 bottom line, and the secondary will have to prevent Atlanta QB Matt Ryan from making big plays. If they can do that, they should be able to control the Falcons’ running game well enough to not have to play catch-up. No one runs on the Steelers effectively.
They also will need a big special teams or gadget play to pull this off without the talents of Roethlisberger…. Either a block punt or kick return, or even a surprise gadget play this game. Pull out all stops… I encourage and look for Head Coach Mike Tomlin to support a surprise play for involving starting quarterback Dennis Dixon and receivers, Hines Ward and Antwaan Randle El.. In must-win contests, anything goes and they must start with high energy and use the home field advantage and crazy high energy ‘Stillar’ crowd to their advantage. Put me in coach, I’m ready if all else fails…
I’m saying they do enough of the above to chip the Falcons for the W and Steeler Nation exhales for a week knowing we have a chance these first four games.
Passionate, determined, and skilled Steelers win 23-21.
Stay tuned for my post game analysis Sunday evening.
About the Author
Written by Chris Palisin
My Bachelor's Degree is in Kinesiology from Penn State, and I have been involved in fitness, athletics, sports, and coaching all my life. Recently, I discovered a new passion in life, covering and writing about sports. I am confident I can offer an unique and interesting take on sports with my experience, particularly the NFL and for Steeler Nation this year. My hope is you enjoy and respect my opinion.... Enjoy the journey!