The Pittsburgh Steelers offensive line has one more big challenge for the 2008-2009 NFL season. And what a challenge it is, for the Pittsburgh Steelers 6th Super Bowl victory. Truth be told, I think the Steelers offensive line issues have not received enough publicity this week.
The NFL analysts have been more interested in Larry Fitzgerald and the Steelers defense more than anything else. But the game could and probably will be decided up front on both sides of the ball. The Steelers offensive line will have their hands full to say the least.
Coach Ken Whisenhunt and Russ Grimm are very familiar with the Steelers sub-par offensive line. They know their strengths and weakness and you can expect that both have been relaying their knowledge to the defensive staff of the Arizona Cardinals.
The Steelers have the advantage in run blocking against the Cardinals. The Cardinals are an undersized front and are not nearly aggressive up-front as teams the Steelers are used too and have played against. The New England Patriots, Baltimore Ravens, San Diego Chargers, New York Giants, Cleveland Browns, etc are all bigger and more aggressive defensive fronts that the Steelers have faced. I would expect that the Steelers should be able to run on the Cardinals. And make no mistake about it; we need Parker, Moore, and Russell to have a huge game which will in turn, open up the passing game.
However, the Steelers have a disadvantage against the pass rushers of the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals defensive front, while undersized, has very quick pass rushers coming off the corner. This is by far the Steelers biggest weakness and could potentially win the game for the Arizona Cardinals and is a huge matchup for the Steelers. Willie Colon will have his hands full and better not jump offsides to try to compensate for the speed rush. Max Starks is the slowest footed left tackle in the league. Ben Roethlisberger must get rid of the ball quickly, he must hit his quick hot reads, and must punish the Cardinals for sending blitzes his way (i.e. get the ball in Heath Miller’s and Mewelde Moore’s hands!)
While the Pittsburgh Steelers offensive line has been better later in the season, they must put together a good performance Sunday in order for the Steelers to hoist their sixth Lombardi trophy.