Coaching will be critical during Roethlisbergers absense
I thought it would be fun to take a stab at coming up with some predictions and final outcomes of the Steelers games through out the year. It goes without saying that I am a huge fan of Pittsburgh but I plan to remain as objective as possible each week in my analysis and predictions.
Let it be known that I have already predicted a double digit win season for the Steelers Nation.
T minus 4 days and counting until kick off.
Atlanta Falcons vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Dixon has big play ability
Despite a rough preseason game vs. the Denver Broncos, Dennis Dixon has impressed this preseason. We all know that the run will be heavily relied upon during Ben Roethlisbergers suspension but don't think for one minute that the Steelers will completely keep Dixon under wraps. Dixon is good for at least 2 big plays a game and they will be huge in this game.
195yds passing, 45yds rushing, 1 pass TD, 1 run TD
Mendenhall will carry the load
The Steelers have finally found a back that they believe is an "every down" back and can carry the heavy load of the rushing attack. The knock on "Mendy" is ball security and running behind a suspect Offensive Line. The line has an above average day and makes some lanes for Rashard.
GAME STATS- 21 carries 118yds & 3 rec for 27yds (1 fumble)
The return of Troy Polomalu will ressurect the Steelers Defense
Just take a look at this picture. Is that a sight for sore eyes or what? I have no doubt that the Steelers Defense will be in the top 5 yet again this year. Michael Turner will find very little running room and the pass rush will be harassing Matt Ryan all game. Ryan will find himself looking up at the sky a few times, stripped of the football once, and throwing a critical INT down the stretch.
GAME STATS- 3 SACKS, 1 INT, & 1 FF/FR & 1 TD
Special Teams need to improve this year
Antonio Brown will have a good return game but will not break one for a TD this week. He does enough to win the field position battle all game.
Jeff Reed kicks 2 Field Goals and actually puts a kick off in the end zone.
In conclusion Dennis Dixon will not lose the game for the Steelers and in fact goes beyond being the game manager and contributes two scores. Steelers offense controls the clock and the Special teams do enough to keep the offense out of bad field position.
The Defense gets stingy in the second half and gets a critical turnover and score in the 4th quarter.
The home field advantage proves to be too much for the Falcons
FINAL PREDICTION: STEELERS 27 - FALCONS 17