Pittsburgh Steelers Week 7: 5 Reasons Matchup with Patriots Will Be Different

Joseph BrunoCorrespondent IOctober 25, 2011

Pittsburgh Steelers Week 7: 5 Reasons Matchup with Patriots Will Be Different

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    The Pittsburgh Steelers are riding a three-game win streak going into a big home matchup with the New England Patriots.

    The Steelers have not fared too well against the Patriots recently and got owned at home against them last season.

    Here are five reasons that the Steelers game versus the Patriots will have a different outcome from that in 2010.

Patriots' No. 32 Pass Defense

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    The Patriots defense is actually ranked eighth in the league against the run; however, they are also ranked dead last against the pass.

    That plays right into what the Steelers have done this season because of their inability to run and Bruce Arian's hatred of the run game.

    Furthermore, the Patriots do not rush the passer that well, which means that Ben Roethlisberger should be able to tear the defense up.

Mike Wallace Is Even Better

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    Mike Wallace has been ripping up defenses this season and in last year’s matchup he totaled 136 yards and two touchdowns.

    Wallace has been one of the only consistent aspects of the Steelers’ season so far and I expect him to be running all over the Patriots.

    If the Patriots decide to take Wallace out of the game, which no team really has done at all yet, Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders have also been making big impacts lately.

William Gay Is Not Allowed to Cover Rob Gronkowski

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    Rob Gronkowski shredded the Steelers defense last season and scored three touchdowns, all while being covered by William Gay.

    Now I am not a coach for the Steelers; however, I do not expect Gay to be put in that same situation this time around.

    Gay is going to be on the field a lot against the Patriots, but I would hope that the Steelers learned from his performance last season.

Max Starks Is Back

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    Although Jonathan Scott played admirably last season filling in for Max Starks, the Steelers desperately needed Starks back.

    The Steelers offensive line looked terrible to start this season and almost lost to the winless Colts because of their inability to block.

    The line may not be perfect yet with Max Starks back in it, but it looks a lot stronger and has been protecting Ben a lot better.

LaMarr Woodley

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    LaMarr Woodley got his big contract in the offseason and then ensued to start the season with only 1.5 sacks in four games.

    Now he’s tearing up opposing offenses and has 5.5 sacks in the Steelers' last three games to push his total up to seven for the season.

    Tom Brady was not sacked once in this matchup last season and the Steelers need Woodley to put him on the ground at least a few times to get him uncomfortable.