The key to Sunday‚Äôs game will be how well the Steelers control Randy Moss, Wes Welker, and the Patriots’ pass offense. The Steelers don‚Äôt have anybody that can match up against Randy Moss 1-on-1. As good as Ike Taylor has played this season, Moss is a major mismatch for Taylor. The Steelers will try to pressure Matt Cassel early with a variety of blitz packages.
Lawrence Timmons could be the key to slowing down Welker. I expect the Steelers use their nickel defense quite often and expect to see Timmons roaming around in the middle of the field. In the past the Steelers have had trouble with quick possession receivers like Welker because the Steelers cornerbacks play too far off of the line of scrimmage due to the scheme they play. They will need to be more aggressive.
WR Wes Welker (80 rec ‚Äì 834 yds ‚Äì 1TD): 2007 Week 14 vs PIT (9 rec ‚Äì 78 yards ‚Äì 1TD)
WR Randy Moss (54 rec ‚Äì 740 ‚Äì 8TD): 2007 Week 14 vs PIT (7 rec ‚Äì 135 yds ‚Äì 2TD)
The Patriots front three is the best in the NFL and they make up for a mediocre linebacking corps and secondary. Rookie Linebacker Jerod Mayo could be the difference maker for Patriots to stopping the run. Mayo is a dynamic player that had 20 tackles against the New York Jets in week 11.
Sunday‚Äôs game is very important. If the Steelers win I think it will show that the Steelers are a legitimate Super Bowl contender and will lead to a successful stretch run.
Rod Woodson, Dermontti Dawson, Kevin Greene and Russ Grimm are among the 25 semifinalists being considered for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2009. Woodson should be a first ballot hall of famer. Dawson should also get serious consideration but he has been bypassed in the past