In spite of a late-night detour yesterday, today’s focus is all about football, all the time, not for the least reason being the fact that the Pittsburgh Steelers have a game today, and a day with a Steelers game on is typically a good one.
This time the Steelers are on the road, in Chicago to face the hosting Bears, who have gone 0-2 so far to start the season, though that certainly doesn’t guarantee a win. The team does already have a road win under their belts, though that came in Cleveland, and it wasn’t all that pretty.
As I referenced in our morning question of the day, I think the biggest thing to look out for is simply whether or not Stephon Tuitt is going to be out on the field, and if he is, how effective he is going to be coming off an arm injury.
My hunch is that he will play, but his snaps might be limited, and that might be a pre-determined decision or one that is arrived at due to his performance or conditioning level. The fact that Tyson Alualu has been an asset in his absence allows them the luxury of not needing to dump him back into a heavy workload immediately.
Obviously, another area to monitor will be the right tackle position, where Chris Hubbard will start for Marcus Gilbert. Last week, the Steelers seemed to tweak their approach when he checked into the lineup with more rollouts and moving blocking schemes, but he should be tighter after a full week of starter reps.
I am anticipating a second look at tight end Vance McDonald, who did not make a good first impression in the season opener. I definitely think he is capable of showing much better than he did then. It’s just a matter of him getting settled, and that probably includes getting a catch or two under his belt.
The running game is also an aspect that really needs to get going. It certainly hasn’t been all on Le’Veon Bell, but I do think he shares in some of the blame, including not trusting his blocks, or his eyes, and simply not being fully in sync with his teammates.
Antonio Brown had a big game in the opener, then Martavis Bryant did. Who will it be today? It will probably depend a lot on how the Bears defense chooses to play them as to who gets the opportunities to make plays.
Chicago’s offense has mostly emphasized the passing game through two games, with Mike Glennon already throwing 85 passes. Running back Tarik Cohen leads with 16 receptions for 102 yards and a touchdown, so the linebackers in coverage have to be sound.
But that certainly doesn’t take the cornerbacks off the hook. The Bears have lost a lot, but they still have Kendall Wright and are getting Markus Wheaton back.
Feel free to talk about what you feel are the biggest things to watch for in today’s game below.