Jackson 5: Steelers’ scouting report

By Aaron Jackson,
After watching the Steelers these last few weeks in prime time games, I can safely say I think I’ve learned a couple of things. Enough to make this Jackson 5 a scouting report of sorts for next Sunday’s Patriots game against Pittsburgh.


  1. They don’t always finish their tackles: The entire team seems to be more focused on the big hit as opposed to the proper tackle. That’s also combined with a timidness I’ve noticed the last few weeks and was especially evident in the Baltimore game. A lack of technique combined with timidness equals some big plays after broken tackles, something the Patriots need to take advantage of.
  2. You have to limit Antonio Brown: Sometimes, when a player is as good as Brown is, the prevailing thought is “let him get his” and stop the rest of the team. Unfortunately, in this case the receiver can win a game on his own. This isn’t rocket science, but he needs to be priority one, two and three. If he’s not, than New England will struggle to win this game.
  3. Let Le’veon Bell do his thing: Bell is averaging less than four yards per carry, and he hasn’t had the same burst we’ve seen in years’ past. He still gets plenty of publicity because his usage rates keep him relevant in fantasy terms, and his running style is so unique, but this is not a player that is going to single-handedly beat you. Let him “get his” and worry about the rest of the Steelers.
  4. No lead is too big: Against other teams, a two-touchdown lead in the 4th quarter feels insurmountable against the Patriots, but Pittsburgh has shown time and time again they have the potential to come back. New England needs to step on their throat and never let up. If you give the Steelers a window they’ll likely bust it open and make a last minute comeback.
  5. This should be the game Mike Gillislee makes his triumphant return: He’s a hard, down-field runner, which is something that Pittsburgh struggles with. We’ve all expected that one of these weeks he will be active and will have a big game, and I think this is the one. His presence would keep Tom Brady healthy, keep the Steelers from getting the ball, and limit the usage of players like Brandin Cooks and Rob Gronkowski. Power run should be the featured offense of the day.

Aaron Jackson (@AaronRJackson on Twitter) is a co-host on The Drive, weekdays 4pm to 6pm on 92.9fm The Ticket and streaming live at DriveShowMaine.com. Follow us on Twitter, @DriveShowMaine and “Like Us” on Facebook, Drive Show Maine.