Have the She-hawk fans stopped whining about Super Bowl XL yet?
Here are some quick hitters before you watch today's game.
1) Who starts at CB?--Bryant McFadden has been hobbled by a hamstring this week. It will be interesting to see if he or William Gay starts (or if McFadden is able to play the entire game or at all).
2) Marcus Gilbert--In his first start at right tackle, can he establish himself as the answer? The Steeler offensive line was thoroughly dominated last week vs the Ravens. Can they get a rhythm going and impose their will on the defense? There are times when a boy becomes a man--think of today as Marcus Gilbert's Bar Mitzvah.
3) Can the offensive line establish the run and give Ben enough time to get rid of the ball?--Mendenhall had a few decent runs last week (I wish they would work Redman into the lineup more often when the O-line struggles) but overall, the Steelers never established the run game. Everyone knows that there are times when Ben holds the ball too long. Last week, there were times when Ben barely had the snap and a defender was in his face.
4) Will Ben protect the ball?--Ben floated a few passes into the Ravens secondary last week, 2 landing in the hands of Ed Reed. Throwing the ball away is better than lofting passes into the secondary or taking a sack. I'm just sayin'.
5) Will the Steeler defense look old or youthful today?--There were tons of pundits and fans claiming that the Steeler defense looked old and slow last week. I can not deny that statement, but Ray Rice has a knack for doing that to opposing defenses. Marshawn Lynch is more of a punishing runner, not a speedster. Expect the Steeler D to shut down the running game and force Tarvaris Jackson to win it through the air.
photo courtesy of examiner.com