Pittsburgh Steelers: Why Weeks 8 and 9 Will Decide Their Season (Revisited)

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Pittsburgh Steelers: Why Weeks 8 and 9 Will Decide Their Season (Revisited)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images
Antonio Brown celebrates after finding the end zone against New England.

Week 8 has come and gone, and it's time to revisit a past article.

On Oct. 25 I wrote:

"The Patriots come in to Heinz Field with a 5-1 record to face the defending AFC champions. The Pats are coming off a much-needed bye week after barely squeaking by a struggling Dallas Cowboys team, 20-16, in Week 6.

New England's NFL-leading pass offense will finally put the Steelers' No. 1-ranked pass defense to the test, and if the Steelers continue to move the ball through the air as well as they have as of late, they will look to exploit the Pats' NFL-worst pass defense.

If the Pittsburgh secondary can slow Tom Brady, there's a good chance the Steelers can find themselves ahead on the scoreboard when the clock hits zero."

The Steel Curtain did just that and held Brady and the NFL's No. 1 pass offense to 198 yards through the air en route to a 25-17 Steelers victory. Superstar Wes Welker was held to six receptions and 39 yards, while the Steelers rush defense held the Pats to 43 yards on the ground.

What really stood out was the dominance through the air that showed on the other side of the field.

Ben Roethlisberger and a receiving corps that was missing Hines Ward managed to light up the Pats defense for 365 yards through the air. Led by Antonio Brown's nine catches, Roethlisberger completed 36 passes and helped the Steelers offense control the ball for nearly 39 minutes. This kept the Pats offense off the field and added another W for the win column.

Next up on the Steelers' schedule is their hated AFC North rivals, the Baltimore Ravens.

Pittsburgh comes in ranked No. 1 in pass defense and No. 8 in stopping the run, but it's the offense that will be key in this matchup.

In their Week 1 meeting, the Steelers offense was held to seven points while the defense gave up 35 on the day.

Lately, both sides of the ball have been playing extremely well for Pittsburgh, but we'll have to wait and see what will happen in yet another Steelers-Ravens clash.

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