Hot-tober Has Arrived Once Again

By Charles J. Richey

After Week 4’s matchup in Baltimore, it reminded all Pittsburgh fans that that special month has arrived once again for Mike Tomlin and Company, the month of October. Usually around this time is when the Steelers are at their best. Under Tomlin’s tenure as Head Coach, they are 27-11 all-time in October. This is usually the time where they start to peak after facing their fiercest opponents of the season. Speaking of which, they will have their hands full with Jacksonville who is not only number one in sacks, but also at the top of league when it comes to protecting their Quarterback. They allowed only three sacks so far.

Aside from Jacksonville, the schedule will become more challenging. They will have to contend with two of the top teams in each Conference: beginning with KC in Arrowhead and then in Detroit at Ford Field to finish the month.

They are 16-4 at Home and on the flip side, 10-7 on the road. Ben Roethlisberger is 20-1 all time at Heinz Field in October.

Yet despite all the distractions with the anthem protest and now Antonio Brown’s outburst from the sideline during this past Sunday, the team remains focused on their Super Bowl goal.

“It can be a distraction,” Tomlin said. “I didn’t see it on Sunday. I heard about it after. You know, A.B. is a competitor. And we all know and understand that. It aids him, it aids us. But we’ve got to control that.”

When asked about Jacksonville’s Defensive Front, Tomlin was quoted as saying “Yannick Ngakoue, Calais Campbell, Dante Fowler, Jr. whether drafted or free agency in Calais’ case they have dynamic guys at the position. Calais is one of those elephant ends that plays on the TE’s side on first-and-second-down. He disrupts the run game. They’re providing a wave of negativity that the rest of the defense rides. I can’t say enough about those guys.”

Now on the other side of the ball, fans and pundits have been waiting for the Offense to get going. They currently rank 21st in rushing yards and 15th in passing. If there’s anything to be encouraged about, it’s the fact they are 60% on TD passes in the Red Zone. They are ninth in that category. It’s really a matter if they can avoid longer drives and inheriting better field position.

The keys to the game are simple, whoever can protect the Quarterback the most should have a legitimate shot. Look for T.J. Watt and Ryan Shazier to be the key guys. Shazier is known for making the most brutal hits and some would argue he got credited with the assist on the forced fumble by Cam Heyward. If anything by the end of the day, look for the Defense to play the role of heroes as they will look to improve to 4-1 on the season.

Oddsshark has the Steelers as 8.5-point favorites. ESPN’s, Ben Fawkes reports that the Steelers are now the favorites to win the Super Bowl according to experts from Las Vegas. Very rare to see them at this ranking this early. For now, it’s business at hand and Super Bowl or bust!

Twitter: @ProdigyRichey

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