Steelers Looks to Ground Falcons: 5 Things To Know
The Falcons beat the Arizona Cardinals before falling in a comeback heart breaker to the Green Bay Packers. Now, the team clinging to the NFC South lead at 5-8 have another mountain to climb as the Pittsburgh Steelers come to town. Can Atlanta, who can only make the post season by winning the division, give the Steelers defense a jolt like it did to the Packers last Monday night? Head coach Mike Smith hopes so.
I think team owner Arthur Blank might be of the same opinion.
The Steelers are fighting for a playoff spot of their own in the AFC North and are still in the hunt for the division title. They have some competition with Cincinnati and Baltimore scratching and clawing their way in as well. The Falcons cold help themselves while playing the role of spoiler on Sunday.
Here are five things to know for this game, according to Reid Ferren and the Falcons website.
STOPPING ANTONIO BROWN
The Falcons will have the grand task of stopping the Steelers main weapon in the passing game. Following his national-attention-grabbing game Monday night in Green Bay, Trufant's workload doesn't get any easier. Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown has been tearing up the league with eye-popping numbers, including 105 receptions for 1,375 yards and 11 touchdowns. If the Falcons are to accomplish their "1-0" goal this week, they'll need Trufant to slow Brown's big-play abilities.
"He's a great player," Trufant said. "He's definitely one of the best in the league. He's quick, athletic and a big-play type of guy. I have to be on my "A-game" just like every other week."
JONES, ISHMAEL WILL PLAY
Like wide receiver Julio Jones (hip), Falcons safety William Moore (foot) is listed as questionable for Sunday's game. The team's unquestionable leader of the defense has been proud of the work his fellow safeties have done in his absence, including Ishmael. Falcons fans hope Ishmael, the team's interceptions leader (4), delivers his fifth pick of the season, ideally returning it for the score like he did in Week 3.
WHITE TO STEP FORWARD
It's tough to be off the radar when you're one score shy of becoming your team's all-time leader in touchdowns. White needs just one score to pass Michael Turner (61 TDs) to establish yet another franchise record. Despite the individual accolade, White remains focused solely on playing at his best against a solid Steelers defense.
"It's just hard-nosed football over there, and that's the Steeler way," White said. "They've been playing football like that for years. We have to take the fight to them. They are a physical football team. We have to pack our lunch, bring the lunch pail, put on the hard hat, and let's go to work."
STOP THE PASS
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is 6-foot-5, 241 pounds. His size and strength make it extra difficult to bring the two-time Super Bowl-winning signal-caller to the ground.
"If you do get in there, we have to be conscious of pinning that throwing arm, maybe even more so than you would with other quarterbacks," Falcons linebacker Paul Worrilow said.
Sorry, guys. This is one of those games where defense matters. The Steelers are a bit better. Also, if you look at things, Matt Ryan and Ben Roethlisberger could have a shootout much like the Falcons and the Packers, but in the end, the Steelers running game is better and Le’Veon Bell will decide this game.
Game changer. Saints beat Chicago on Monday night and take over division lead.
STEELERS 28 FALCONS 24