This is the 2nd of our featured posts this week on what we need to watch out for in Pittsburgh and what we need to do to ensure that we come away from Heinz field 0-2.
Continue to protect the Quarterback
Sometimes it really can be the simple things you do in a game. It's a fundamental principle of football, if you protect the quarterback you are more likely to come away with a victory. We saw in week one and we have seen many times in the past, when Sanchez has time to throw the football he can be excellent. I think the offensive line exceeded all expectation in week one by keeping Sanchez completely clean, barely any pressure and no sacks on the board. We're not going to go through the season without allowing a sack, however we need to limit them.
What will we come up against this week, well first things first LaMarr Woodley, he failed to record a sack in week one and according to Pro Football Reference he has played just the one regular season game against the Jets and he failed to record a sack in that contest as well. I expect to see more maximum protections in this contest as the Steelers can be exploited down the field and to do that we need to keep the QB standing for longer.
The Steelers recorded just the two sacks in week one against Peyton Manning and their pressure came from the linebackers and defensive backs. Obviously you have Woodley, and Worilds as well as Lawrence Timmons and I read yesterday that James Harrison could make his regular season debut for the 2012 season against the Jets this Sunday and if that is the case the offensive lines job just got a lot harder.
Against Buffalo we concentrated mainly on protecting the quarterback from pressure coming from the line, Mario Williams, Mark Anderson, Marcell Dareus and Kyle Williams....and they passed that with flying colors. However now they have to pass a different test, protecting the quarterback from linebackers who can come from anywhere, safeties who can come from any angle. This is truly going to be the test for the offensive line and in particular Austin Howard, and if they manage to pass that, well then my confidence is going to be sky high.