The Steelers 2011 season continues Sunday as they play their fourth road game of the year in Arizona against the Cardinals. The Steelers have gotten back on track, winning two in a row at home against the Titans and Jaguars. They will have two tough AFC games following this one, against the Pats and Ravens.
Here’s our keys to a win on Sunday, and our prediction to how things are going to go in the desert, a place the Steelers haven’t had much success over the years.
1. Another fast start – The Steelers have scored on its first three drives in two straight games and has yielded three points or less during the first quarter in four of its last five contests. It has spelled a recipe for winning in the past, and it will again if they can do it Sunday. The fast starts haven’t come in losses to the Ravens and Texans on the road, so if they can start fast Sunday, it will probably again result in a win.
2. Stop Fitz – It goes without saying that Larry Fitzgerald is the key to the Cards offense, and getting him the ball will be their key on Sunday. Having Troy Polamalu will be key for the Steelers as they try to lock down on the biggest Cards threat. The Cardinals’ Pro Bowl receiver had a pair of touchdowns in the Super Bowl meeting and made 10 grabs for 120 yards in his only regular-season game versus Pittsburgh. You can expect to see the black and gold double team Fitzgerald.
3. Don’t give Kolb Time – Kevin Kolb’s career with the Cards hasn’t exactly gotten off to a great start, and the Steelers can’t allow him to get comfortable and in a groove. The Steelers allowed Curtis Painter to get settled in and they almost found themselves on the losing end against the awful Colts. With that said, they can’t just assume they will show up and win. They can’t look ahead and take these guys lightly, no matter how poorly they played two weeks ago against the Vikings.
Prediction – The Cardinals know all about the Steelers, as former Pittsburgh offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt is the coach of the Cards, and if there’s one guy that can probably get in the head of Big Ben, it’s the Whis. This game really worries me, as the Steelers have all the makings of a letdown here, they travel west, are coming off two big wins, and have two big AFC teams (New England and Baltimore) at home coming up next. Pittsburgh hasn’t played all that well on the road this year, and here’s thinking that Benie Wells and Kevin Kolb push them to 4-3 after Sunday. Arizona 24 Pittsburgh 20
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