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The Steelers showed up big against the Patriots, but otherwise have been decidedly mediocre against opposing running backs. That's something that hasn't happened in over a decade.
What Needs to Happen
This has to stop. The Steelers are the premier run defenders in the NFL. They always have been in this century. They can't keep letting runners, mostly mediocre ones, gain so many yards. It ruins their game plans.
This has become less of an issue lately, but it's sure to come up this week against Baltimore's Ray Rice and further down against guys like Jackie Battle and Steven Jackson, not to mention the 49ers Frank Gore.
The Steelers had a great blueprint last week. They controlled the ball offensively with short passes and long counts. They stopped the Patriots by making them one-dimensional. Once they knew Tom Brady was throwing every down, they simply played man coverage to keep the receivers from finding space.
If they shut down the run, they win. It's that simple. The secondary (surprisingly) has been way too good to assume anything else.