Jonathan Dwyer Should Start Week 9 Even if Mendenhall and Redman are Healthy
It took a while, but the Pittsburgh Steelers finally have some consistency in their running game. Running back Jonathan Dwyer is all of a sudden the Steelers’ leading rusher up to this point of the season with 299 yards.
This past week, Dwyer became the first running back for Pittsburgh to have back-to-back 100-yard games since Willie Parker accomplished the feat in 2008.
Running back Rashard Mendenhall was ruled out of last week’s game versus the Washington Redskins with an Achilles injury, while Isaac Redman was listed as questionable prior to the Steelers’ 27-12 victory over the Redskins and didn’t suit up.
The status of Mendenhall and Redman won’t be known until later this week. Pittsburgh will travel to face the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants in Week 9, who are riding a four-game winning streak.
If Mendy and Redman are able to play this coming week, head coach Mike Tomlin shouldn’t hesitate in starting Dwyer. As mentioned before, this is the first time all season that the Steelers have found a rhythm in the running game and shouldn’t kill the chemistry that has formed over the past two weeks between Dwyer and the offensive line.
The Giants’ run defense isn’t that great. New Yorkis ranked 19th in the NFL in stopping the run, giving up an average of 113.0 rushing yards per game.
Having Dwyer start will not only bring more balance to the offense, but it will also help the Steelers win the time of possession battle and keep the ball out of the hands of Giants quarterback Eli Manning.
It would be great to have Dwyer, Mendenhall, and Redman all suited and ready to play in New York this week. However, if that does happen, Dwyer should get half of the carries and the other half should be split between Mendy and Redman just to get them back into the flow of the season.
Pittsburgh finally has a good thing going on in their ground attack, and this is the best thing that can be done to keep this thing going.
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