How the Pittsburgh Steelers Can Control Detroit Lions WR Calvin Johnson
It sounds easy. Just keep “Megatron” on the sidelines. Don’t allow the Detroit Lions‘ offense to possess the ball. I recall thinking the same thing whenever the Pittsburgh Steelers would go head-to-head against players like Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and even Drew Brees, but never has it been a wide receiver that has a team so troubled. Detroit Lions wideout Calvin Johnson is a threat against any team, but against the Steelers’ pass defense he could have a field day on Sunday at Heinz Field.
Typically the answer to stopping, or should I say slowing down, a top echelon player like Calvin Johnson is to get to the quarterback. Whenever the Steelers went up against Randy Moss and players of that magnitude the general theory was if you could get to the person throwing the football then they couldn’t’ make plays catching it. However, the reality of this season’s Steelers defense is that they struggle in pressuring the quarterback. To add insult to injury, the Lions protect Matthew Stafford extremely well. Stafford has only been sacked 10 times this season.
With that being said, the solution to slowing down Calvin Johnson doesn’t even come from the Dick Lebeau led defense, in my opinion. No, it comes from Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers’ offense. The Lions will get their possessions, but if the Steelers’ offense can possess the football for long, time consuming drives and turn those possessions into points then they will be doing their part to help the defense in stopping the Lions’ lethal wide receiver.
The biggest concern with this theory is simple: The drives must result in points. This season the Steelers have driven the football down the field only to have those drives stall or end in a costly turnover. Some will say that at the very least they are flipping field position, but against teams like the Lions that simply isn’t good enough. You need points, and if you get in the red zone you need touchdowns not field goals.
One thing is for sure, and the Steelers cannot afford to get into a shootout with the high-powered Lions offense. The offense isn’t just Calvin Johnson but also Reggie Bush running and catching out of the backfield. Stafford also is a very good quarterback. Pittsburgh will have their hands full this Sunday against the 6-3 Lions, but if the Steelers seriously consider themselves as contenders for the playoffs and not just another mediocre team then those type of playoff teams win these big games at home in front of a home crowd.
Only time will tell the destiny of this Pittsburgh Steelers team, but a huge step could be made towards contention with a win over the Lions on Sunday.
Why the Seattle Seahawks will bounce back from their brutal Super Bowl loss
Why the Seahawks are a team uniquely suited to overcoming a brutal Super Bowl loss. Read More
Four Moments from 2014 that Buffalo Bills fans want to remember.
So last week Carl Pfeiffer decided to remind us of the three forgettable moments from the Buffalo Bills 2014 season. AROUND COVER32 Top 10: The NFL’s best corner backers Five Things: The favorites to win NFL Defensive ROY honors Bold Predictions: Five things that will happen in the NFC West in 2015 First and 10: The ... Read More
Fantasy Preview: The top 32 QBs in 2015 (version 2.0)
Which QBs will make-or-break a fantasy team this season? This list answers that question. Read More
Power Rankings: Rating each NFL team’s best home-run hitter in 2015
Who can turn a game around with one play? Here's each team's biggest playmaker, ranked from 1-32. Read More
Goodell Decisions Could Make Or Break the Steelers
With the appeals of Tom Brady and Le'Veon Bell being processed by Roger Goodell, the results of both appeals could alter the season for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Read More
Five of the most depressing Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan signs you’ll ever see
Buccaneers Nation is the real deal. Through thick and thin, ups and downs, wins and losses, the Bucs faithful are always there, even if they're a little angry. And you know what, Bucs fans deserve to be a little angry. It's not very often that they have something to root for. And while this season looks to carry some hope (at least more than last season), don't expect that to calm the Bucs fans' tempers. Read More
Three players that will get you amped for Carolina Panthers training camp
Are you ready for the start of the season? At this point, we're so close to actual football that everyday I don't have football is legitimately painful. I need it! It's been way too long! But I've found a way to cope, at least for the time being. And now I will pass it along to you. Here are three highlight films that will get you amped for the 2015 season: Read More